Welcome back to the ComicBookDaily Progressive Shop Profiles! Comic shops often get a bum rap, they’re seen as dingy little holes in the wall that you wouldn’t want to take your mother into. It’s ComicBookDaily’s mission to dispel this false myth by highlighting some truly amazing comic book stores! In fact progressive comic book stores are often on the leading edge of innovative retailing, offering unparrallelled product knowledge, unbeatable service and a truly rewarding shopping experience. We’ve designed a set of finely crafted questions, aimed them at these great stores and now pass along the useful information to you comic fans out there.
This time around, we’re taking a look at the 2008 Eisner Award winning Brave New World in Newhall, California. They look pretty awesome, so check em out next time you find yourself in Southern Cali!
How was the location of 22722 Lyons Ave #6 in Newhall, CA decided and do you like it?
We’ve been in the Santa Clarita Valley of Los Angeles County for nearly 20 years now. This is our 4th location on Lyons Avenue over the years. When we knew it was time to move from our last one, we thought a lot about what kind of audience we had and what kind we wanted to attract. If you only ever wanted to sell comics to the avid collectors who are looking for you the minute they hit town you could rent a space in the industrial center with a roll-up door that you only rolled up Wednesday through Saturday and do pretty good business. But, when you want to bring comics and your business not only to the avid collectors but the wives, moms and kids of those collectors, you go to the part of town with beautiful Victorian style buildings that tends to cater to hair salons and yoga studios.
How long has Brave New World been in business for?
Under the previous owner, since 1990. Portlyn and I purchased it in 2000.
Do you take part in Free Comic Book Day?
Absolutely! We wouldn’t miss it. Counter to what you might think, FCBD is one of our most profitable sales days. And we see more new faces on that day than on any of our many, many, many events.
Does Brave New World feature a back issue section? If so, what sort of areas do you focus on?
We do. I would say that we focus on the high end and the low end. You’ll find the high end chase back issues on our walls and in our Rare Book Room and great deals on modern and silver age books in our $1 and $3 bins.
What do you think are the strongest assets of your store?
Our ties to our community. Our status as a social destination as well as a commercial one. And our customers. They make the store what it is. They ask questions that spur us to make changes, they come to the parties, they are the engine that runs Brave New World and we try to never forget that.
Do you offer a subscription service and what sort of incentives do you offer subscribers?
We do offer a subscription service with the best possible service we can give.
What approach do you think that Brave New World has that sets it apart from other comic book stores?
BNW strives to be that Third Place that’s not home and not work that you are happiest at.
Are there any creator signings or visits to the store that you would like to boast about?
Sure! But depending on when this runs it will likely be a different list. There’s always something happening at The World.
This Saturday, Chris Bailey the director of the Disney short Runaway Brain and Patrick Romandy-Simmons the sculptor of the Walt Disney Collector’s Series statue will be here signing their creation.
Next week is 24 Hour Comics Day and Brave New World will be participating for the 5th time.
Two weeks after that, we are partnering with the City of Santa Clarita to bring the people of our neighborhood the Main Street Zombie March. 100s of zombies will descend on the streets of Newhall to terrify and excite the city.
Not to mention the gaming tournaments, art classes and other programs.
And, and, and… like I said, there’s always something happing at the world. To be in the know, head over to BraveNewWorldComics.com and sign up for our newsletter.
What are the various promotions you put on every year, whether it be Boxing Day or Anniversary sales and what do these promotions entail?
Wow, that’s a short question with a long answer. Like I mentioned before, we try to make sure that there’s always something happening here at The World.
Do you do special orders for customers in the monthly Previews catalogue?
Absolutely. Our PrePay With Previews customers enjoy one of the best run services anywhere and discounts up to 20% off every week of the year!
What are the future plans for the business?
Continue to set the bar for promotions and events that bring comics to the community and create a community in this comics shop.
Owner Profile: Atom! Freeman
What made you decide to get into comic book retailing and what is your comic book background?
Fate, to some extent. Everytime I would move, the first place I would look for was a new comics shop. When my last job started to get a little boring, I told my then fiance that I was going to start looking for a new job and the next day, my local comics shop offered me a job. The rest is a history of working in nearly every aspect of the comics industry.
What’s the one title you wish you were selling more of and why?
I don’t know that I can answer that one. Sure there are books that don’t do as well as others. And some books that I like more than our customers, but our job is to sell comics. If something is on the shelf that is good and not selling, it’s because we failed to communicate how good it is. Many times, we find a book that we fall in love with and get behind it and push. As a result, we tend to sell more of that title than other stores our size.
What direction do you think the Comic Book Industry is moving in and where do you think we will be 5 years from now?
Boy, you like those tough questions, dontcha? If I’ve learned anything from this business, it’s how much there still is to learn. And, while I don’t think I’m qualified to make predictions about the future, I can tell you that nothing has been thrown at us as an industry or as the retail segment of the industry that can’t be overcome with hard work and new ideas.