Sunday, November 08, 2009
Comic Shop Tour - Pittsburgh
I ventured out on an exploration yesterday in an attempt to get acclimated to my new city of Pittsburgh. On Wednesday I had already paid a visit to the comic shop closest to my new place, Time Tunnel comics, and it was a nice shop overall but not warm & fuzzy with friendliness until I got to the counter to actually pay for something. So this weekend, the tour was expanded to another four shops in the downtown area. There was a virus-like plague amongst these comic shops where I wasn't even greeted with a "Hello, can I help you find something?" except for one shop. That shop was the Phantom of the Attic in Oakland. All the shops were clean and seemed to be organized but you have learn the different methods of organizing in each shop. Figuring out where the one-week old comics were was not necessarily intuitive. I like a purely alphabetical filing system but it seems most of these like to divide by DC, Marvel, then "other" and then by title. PotA had the best shelving system utilizing custom cabinetry for their comics and all the supplies instead of just white cardboard boxes. The displays were creative kiosks which are updated regularly with themes for sales or based on a subject that's hot. The entire staff was friendly and outgoing to boot which made the biggest difference. I don't mind white boxes and little mess if you're going to help me find something; ignoring new shoppers looking to spend their cash is no way to win them over. In my past few years in retail, I'd like to think I treated everyone with courtesy even though there was one snooty old broad who copped an attitude; one in three years isn't so bad.
Here's a bit of confusion: there are 2 shops with that name Phantom of the Attic because they used to be under the same ownership. When the shops split up, neither was forced to change names so there's another in a sad mall where more than half the shops are vacant.
An interesting bit of trivia - all but one shop had female employees and they were cute though only PotA had one outgoing and friendly. So I do not want to hear that there are no cute girls in comic shops. Where do you people shop? Plenty of girls out there who are into comics, work in comic/gaming shops, and are really cute. Get out of your damn house and go to a shop.