A Swallow Press Book

Comic Shop
The Retail Mavericks Who Gave Us a New Geek Culture

By Dan Gearino
Foreword by Tom Spurgeon

“If the foundation of America’s castle on a hill consists of how we buy and sell things, Dan Gearino shows us what’s in the basement.”

Tom Spurgeon, editor, ComicsReporter.com

“Dan Gearino captures the genie in the bottle. He’s gathered together the players and the circumstances to reveal how a generation of entrepreneurs saved an entire industry and changed the very way people discover, buy, read, collect, and even think about comic books.”

Bud Plant

“This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand comics in the U.S. Dan Gearino has put together a riveting account of the history of the comics market, and even reveals the forgotten key women who were essential to its creation. Comic Shop is a fascinating page turner.”

Heidi MacDonald, editor, The Beat

The early 1970s saw the birth of the modern comic book shop. Its rise was due in large part to a dynamic entrepreneur, Phil Seuling. His direct market model allowed shops to get comics straight from the publishers, bypassing middlemen. Stores could better customize their offerings and independent publishers could now access national distribution. In this way, shops opened up a space for quirky ideas to gain an audience and helped transform small-press series, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Bone, into media giants.

Comic Shop is the first book to trace the history of these cultural icons. Dan Gearino brings us from their origins to the present day, when the rise of digital platforms has the industry at a crossroads even as sales are robust. He spends a year with stores around the country, with a spotlight on The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio. Along the way he interviews those who shaped comics retailing from the early days, including many pioneering women; top creators; and shop owners who continue to push the industry in new directions. A guide to forty of the most interesting shops around the United States and Canada is a bonus for fans.


Dan Gearino is a lifelong comics reader with tastes that swing from the classic Legion of Super-Heroes to the work of Michel Rabagliati. As a business reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, he has won national recognition for his work. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and two daughters. Find him at www.dangearino.com.

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Related Subjects

Comics and Graphic Novel Culture · Business and Economics

Formats

Hardcover

978-0-8040-1190-7
Retail price: $26.95, T.
Release date: Oct. 2017
75 illus. · 264 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World

Electronic

978-0-8040-4083-9
Release date: Oct. 2017
74 illus. · ≅ 264 pages
Rights: World