Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 11, 2014

Please Go Read Rob Clough's Interview With Andrew Neal And Attend The Big Signing On Saturday


I totally punted on my own opportunity to do a proper story on Andrew Neal selling Chapel Hill Comics to Ryan Kulikowski and getting out of the retailing business after I think 20 years, 11 as owner of the store. That's one of the good ones, in terms of the way Neal has ordered books, the way he's worked with publishers and creators on events of direct support, and the way he's built a reading community right there in the store.

imageLuckily, Rob Clough has a lengthy interview with Andrew Neal up at TCJ and I would not have asked any question that Rob did not.

Every comic store is precious, and the most undervalued story of the last 20 years in comics overall is how the number of model stores, the kind that can admirably serve a significant and well-balanced community of readers, has increased from 15 or 20 or so to between 50 to 75 such places in North America -- perhaps more, depending on your criteria. I love even the most messed-up stores, but I value the ones that combine some level of financial success with a welcoming, open, ethical operating strategy. Chapel Hill has long been one of that most valuable kind of shop, and I hope that continues.

Neal stopped working on Sunday. This Saturday the event described above will take place featuring fellow southeast comics regional anchor the publisher Chris Pitzer and three cartoonists of the kind that Chapel Hill has tirelessly boosted and sold: Ed Piskor, Tom Scioli and Jim Rugg. I hope you'll consider going.

Good luck to wherever retail burnout takes Andrew Neal. Andrew, thank you for your store. Ryan, you're up.
posted 10:30 am PST | Permalink

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