Thursday, July 8, 2010

Third Eye Comics

 Opening your own business can seem like a far fetched idea but at the age of 23 Steve Anderson, a self proclaimed “lifer” in the business decided to do just that. Steve was previously working at Alliance comics in Bowie, Maryland. After deciding to take the plunge, he worked incredibly hard to achieve his dream. From working 60 plus hour weeks, selling his personal comic collection, he did it all. In April 2008, Third Eye Comics opened their doors. Anderson's wife, Trish is co-owner of the store. In August of 2009, the store moved to their current location of 45 Old Solomon's Island Road, Suite 102, Annapolis, MD 21401. The store can be somewhat difficult to find. It’s behind Kohl’s and Shoppers Food Warehouse on Route 2.

The moment I walked through the door I felt welcomed. Being my first time at the store, Steve explained the layout of the store. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books in the store. Steve was able to make several recommendations and they were spot on! Not only did he flip through some of the books but actually read some of his favorite scenes to me. When it comes to customer service, Third Eye Comics is in a league of its own.

Steve showing customers the fantastic Shadowland #1.

Let’s not forget the events held at the store. Today the store held an X-Men themed party to coincide with the release of the new X-Men series. The store offered multiple variant covers for the new series, 25% off X-Men and X-Men related trades, and X-Men cupcakes. I’m still regretting not grabbing a cupcake. This Saturday, 07/10/10 the creative team of the indie book “The Stuff of Legend” will be at the store from 11:00am through 4:00pm. A cover exclusive to the store will be offered at the signing.

 Speaking of indie comics, the store is a very large supporter of independent talent. The store claims to have one of the largest independent comic selections in the state. Some of the books are not distributed by Diamond Distributors. Some of the books are sent in straight from the creators’ homes. If you would like Third-Eye Comics to carry your book, all you have to do is submit it for review. The staff will review it and if they believe that it will sell, they will do everything to promote your title. “The Stuff of Legend” sold as well as DC’s blockbuster event “Final Crisis”. With rack space playing a factor in title selections, books that make it to the racks are the cream of the crop.

Despite my thoughts on the digital trend, Third Eye Comics isn’t worried about the growing format. Steve believes that people who are reading comics exclusively in a digital format are doing it already and they are doing it for free. Also, the experience will never be the same with the digital product compared to print. The new format would actually help local comic shops (LCS). With Marvel’s digital app, at the end of each issue there is a button that directs readers to the closest LCS. If there was any impact it would be to store owners’ that aren’t 100% dedicated their business. They will either have to step their game up or their business will take a hit because of the new format.

As I was checking out, Trish explained how the store has a family atmosphere. Steve described it as being like a bar. If that's the case, then Third Eye Comics is the "Cheer's" of local comic shops.

No comments:

Post a Comment