Saturday, July 2, 2011

Your Friendly Local Comic Shop: Collectibles, Etc

I believe there is a strong community of folks in the gaming and comic book world that needs to be cultivated. Your Friendly Local Game Shop (or Your Friendly Local Comic Shop) will provide a way for me to highlight such places and give an in-depth review of the store based on the following criteria:
  • Initial Impressions 
  • Customer Service 
  • Atmosphere 
  • Selection 
  • Value 
  • Online Experience 
  • Overall Score 
Join me as I venture to these meccas of geekdom.

N.B. As I was thinking of expanding this series, I reminded myself of the fact that, while I feel well versed with the culture of the gaming store, I'm not as well acquainted with that of the comic book store. So, I decided that though I include a rating system in my posts about gaming shops , I will not be doing that in my profiles of comic book shops. I have still kept the criteria in mind while writing the comic shop portion of this series, but I will not be assigning a score.

115 N Locust Hill Dr #106
Lexington KY
(859) 269-6633

Hours: M - Sat 11 am - 8 pm
Sun 1 pm - 6pm
Owner: Tony Florence

The store is located among restaurants and shops on N. Locust Hill Dr near Movie Tavern. Its unobtrusive storefront simply reads Collectibles, Etc. My initial visit was made prior to Free Comic Book Day on May 7 and there was a large banner for it hanging up. I think it was definitely intriguing to passersby and could have drawn them in. Upon entering, I was immediately greeted and asked if I needed any help with anything. I noted, also, the cleanliness and openness of the store.

You can feel the love that the store's owner, Tony Florence, has for this store and the dedication he has to his customers. The store is inviting and you can make yourself comfortable in a reading area. Tony explained that he wanted to create a clean, organized and courteous atmosphere. He said that they want people to be comfortable and enjoy their shopping experience. The store is also extremely family friendly; an entire section is devoted to kids comics as well as board games and action figures. Tony explained that he is very interested in fostering creativity and a love for comics in children. They go out to elementary schools in an effort to education children on the nature of comics and how to enjoy them.

Collectibles not only offers comic books, but they also sell some gaming items as well. Tony said that many comic enthusiasts are also interested in gaming, so he wanted to be able to make sure their varied needs were met. All walls are linted with comics, both trades and volumes. He said that they originally focused on back issues, but removed those large bins and scaled back that inventory. Having more room, they moved the sales counter to the center wall and added island shelving as well. Amazing Spider-man by Dan Slott and FF by Hickman are hot sellers right now. The Green Lantern titles are doing well in the store currently as well. Collectibles also prides itself on the selection of independent titles such as such as Lock & Key (horror/suspense), Sixth Gun (western horror), Morning Glories (think Lost crossed with Buffy), and Walking Dead are doing quite well.

On this trip, I felt very welcome inside the store. The new look really opens it up and makes it more inviting. On my first venture in a few years ago, the employee that was working that afternoon seemed kind of distracted, so he wasn't as receptive to assisting my friends and I. However, on a recent trip to the store, I saw the same employee and he was helping another customer, so it's obvious that everyone has good and bad days. The employees offer helpful recommendations. If you're new to comic books, like I am for the most part, they will take a look at your interests and suggest comics. You can place items on hold and request titles be pulled and saved for you. Prices are fair and comparable to other stores.

I think that Collectibles is a great store with employees who really know their stuff. They care a great deal about their customers and that shows through in their service. You can find Collectibles, Etc on Facebook and on their new blog.

Check out more pictures from the store on my Flickr page! 

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