The Joy Of Discovering A New Comic Shop
I was at the last Charlotte Comicon and overheard a couple of dealers telling an attendee about their store in Concord, NC. Bear in mind that for the first few years since I returned to Charlotte, comic stores north of uptown simply didn’t exist. Now it seems that there has been an explosion of new stores in the past few years. Chances are, you’ve seen it in your area as well, as the demand for comics facilitates new outlets for comics and merchandise around them.
I ventured into the new shop in Concord, NC. Church Street Comics & More opened up near downtown. It’s a little out of the way, but still just off a main thoroughfare. Following Google Maps, I got lost, but a quick phone call directed me across the street. I spoke to one of the owners for about an hour on a variety of topics, and genuinely had a good time, even picking up a couple of recommendations he had. I left with a positive experience in the store.
On another visit with my family, the back issue room had been firmly set up. I was even invited to look at some of the convention stock, which ed to me meeting another of the owners. I got a fuller view of the building, which gives the store a feeling of a clubhouse, and based on interactions with other customers, it definitely has that feeling. This is not a good or bad thing on its own. It is dependent upon the customers and how the owners deal with any customers that turn off others with language, behavior, or and/or opinions. On my third visit, when I got to thoroughly go through the back issue room, one customer was a little rude in his opinions, which did turn me off a little. The same owner that has always been there when I visited was very good about trying to steer the conversation towards suggestions that could engage in a more positive way.
Overall, Church Street Comics & More had a different feel, with the custom furniture and artwork on the walls. It didn’t quite get to where I like a shop to be, but that takes years to work out the kinks and find the niche. They had lots of large plans, which was good. They also seemed to want to listen to their customers, which was nice. The acknowledgement was there that the store was an evolving entity.
That’s what’s so great about a new comic shop opening. You go back and every time, something new is there. There is an excitement to not knowing exactly what to find, as long as the store can carry through in providing something every time you visit. Too many visits without getting that excitement of discovery, and a new store will not last very long, much less through the lean times that eventually come with the comics industry. Unfortunately, my busy schedule hasn’t permitted me the opportunity to visit since this third time, but in completing this article, I find myself wanting to go again and see what changes have been made.
Sadly, that cannot happen. On June 28th, they closed their doors. Their Facebook page promises to be the place to announce any new developments towards reopening down the road.