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Anthony Falcone is a freelance writer living in Toronto and he is the Ayatollah of Rocknrolla. You should definitely follow him on Twitter.

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Anthony Falcone

This is post 10 of 10 in the series “So You Wanna Open A Comic Shop?” Comic book retail in the 1990s was very different. Due to a vast distribution system there was a relatively low start up cost, and it seemed that anyone and everyone was opening up a shop with little more than a personal collection and a…

Ideally, every comic book story should be able to stand on its own merits and not be read with previous knowledge of a shared universe. Ideally. But, of course, that isn’t always the case. There are certain tales that are specially crafted to continue plot lines set out in a character’s decade old history. So some stories really do require…

This is post 8 of 10 in the series “So You Wanna Open A Comic Shop?” As many of your know, Scott and I have the privilege of sitting on the selection committee for the Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Comic Book Retailers. Part of the Joe Shuster Awards, the Kremer is given each year to a brick and mortar…

The 80’s was a dark, dark time in comics. Batman and Superman fought it out in the dystopian world of Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore introduced us to the dystopian world of the Watchmen, and Green Arrow fought rapists and serial killers in the dystopian world of The Longbow Hunters. If something bad could happen it did happen, and for…

This is post 7 of 10 in the series “So You Wanna Open A Comic Shop?” Once you have an established shop you may wish to sell your wares at a comic book convention. You are no longer testing the waters of comic book retail as you did before you opened shop, but rather you are now committed to renting…

In the glory days of 1990s comic book collecting we were often drawn to shiny things. Like easily distracted birds we flocked to whichever anniversary issue had the best foil/glowing/die-cut/super-special cover on the promise that by purchasing such a collector’s item our retirement fund would be assured. We dreamt of seeing the same exponential returns that previously would have only…

There are certain moments in comic books that you always remember. These are the moments that stay will you long after you have closed the comic and re-sealed it back into its polybag. They are key parts of the shared universe, and important pieces of its history. They might be visually iconic, or have a piece of memorable dialogue, or,…

This is post 5 of 10 in the series “So You Wanna Open A Comic Shop?” So you’ve found a perfect location for your store, you’ve got inventory, and you’ve tested out selling at small one day conventions. Now you need to hire staff (or not), develop some store policy, and implement the customer service model that you want to…

Spider-Man has always had one of comic’s best rogues’ galleries. Filled with the iconic and the absurd, the villains range from the unforgettable to the laughable. It is always a treat to be collecting a book at the time when a new villain emerges, and the Carnage was one of the first new villains introduced when I had started collecting…

If you were to ask a child to draw a spider you would probably get a black circle with eight lines coming out of it. This would be the basic representation of an arachnid. What you would probably not get back from a child would be a blue and red circle with blue and red lines comic out of it.…

Superhero comics should have lots of action. Fights! Explosions! Team-ups! Colourful costumes! Megalomaniacal villains! These are what make the genre the cultural and entertainment powerhouse that it is today. But you can have too much of a good thing, and as a storyteller you don’t just want there to be action scene upon action scene, you also want to give…

The retailing waters have been tested at one days shows and you’ve enjoyed the experience and see opening a comic book store as a viable option. Now it’s time to find a location and determine what kind of comic shop you want.

  Despite the fact that Spider-Man has fought supervillains, megalomaniacal despots, and galactic level threats, I have always thought of Spider-Man as more of a street level hero. Maybe it is the origin of the character so connected in the failure to stop a simple burglar, but in many ways Spider-Man seems more at home when facing off against gangsters…

Not every story is worthy of an Eisner award, but one of the things I particularly enjoy about Spider-Man is how over the years his popularity had led to an abundance of ridiculous tales. From hanging out with a cartoon dog to riding in a souped-up dune-buggy, Spidey has done it all. No yarn is too bizarre, no story too…

For some readers today, it might be hard to imagine that once upon a time Todd McFarlane was the top artist in the industry and not just a toy company mogul or occasional cover artist. But he was huge. Highly influential, he was one of the founders of Image Comics, but his name was synonymous with Spider-Man before he left…

One of the benefits of enjoying a character that has been around for decades is that you have hundreds, if not thousands, of great stories to go back and read. The downside of this is that you have no way of truly enjoying the stories in the same way that the readers of the day did. For example, I knew that…

“Anthony, it’s the most collected series.” That’s what Walt said to me when, at the young age of 19, I came up with this great, new idea that I would collect every issue of Amazing Spider-Man. I really thought that I had come up with a unique collecting idea. Surely no one had every thought of that before? I laugh…

All good things must come to an end, and so too must this column. For almost five years I have had the privilege of using this space to discuss many aspects of an industry that I love, but now it is time to close the door on this chapter and move on to different things. When I first approach Walt back…

It is that time of year again! The gingerbread lattes are out, the stores are playing Christmas Carols, and your local comic book shop has a myriad of gift ideas for the comic book fan on your list. 2014 has been a very solid year for comic books, so here, in no particular order, are some suggestions from yours truly.