Buying locally is not a very easy thing to do these days. The internet has all kinds of sites offering to sell you old collectible comics, new weekly comics and everything in between with just the touch of a button. These sellers have no names, no faces and are spread out clear across the globe. The practice of buying off the internet is becoming so commonplace that we really don’t give it much thought. Perhaps we should give some thought to this. Perhaps we should ask ourselves the following questions;
How is my ordering this comic or comic related product off the internet going to affect my local comic book store?
Do I want to have a healthy and happy local comic book store?
Are there things that my local comic book store can consistently provide for me that I would truly miss if I no longer had access to it?
Is the money I may be saving worth removing a local source for most of my comic book needs?
There are many more questions we could ask ourselves on this subject but for this article we’ll stop here.
Most people do want a healthy and happy comic book store near them and for good reason. A good local comic book store is a place to meet other comic book fans, a place to forge relationships and even frienships with the store staff and the regular patrons. Good local comic book stores enhance their communities. Healthy viable comic book stores hold special events like Free Comic Book Day, they donate comic books to schools and libraries, they host store signings that enable fans to come and meet famous comic book writers and artists, they have cool events like Halloween parties, comic book movie launch parties and countless other fun events (like say the wedding of Archie and Veronica acted out with real live actors for the customers at Happy Harbour Comics in Edmonton, Alberta). Almost all of these things the local comic stores do for the community can be accessed for absolutely free by all the local comic book fans. Yeah, I’d say I’d miss my local comic store if it was gone. The bottom line is that yes, you may save a bit of money by getting your stuff mailed to you but if you factor in the services and value your progressive local comic book store is giving you for free then it really is no contest.
Now there are things we want that we may only find on the internet, things like expensive old comics or some ultra rare variants our local shops may be out of or maybe never even received and sadly, there are many of us that currently do not even have access to a local comic book store. To protect the treasure that is our local comic book store we should all limit our internet shopping to items not available at our local shop. It’s time to reassess our local comic book store and it’s time to reassess our internet buying habits.
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.