Comics in good hands
The new owners of Christchurch icon Comics Compulsion are finding their feet, successfully holding their first Free Comic Book Day on Saturday.
Owners Kirsty Everett and Logan Freear said they felt the day was a huge success with plenty of customers turning up in costume and previous owner Tim Driver farewelling the community.
"We had Harley Quinn, the Punisher, Iron Fist, two young Super Women, a Judge Dredd turned up, we had Iron Man, it was really cool," Everett said.
Each customer who visited the Main North Rd store was given a free comic and a snag off the BBQ. Costumes granted an extra comic as well as a further comic with each purchase.
"It was a buzzing place . . . We probably gave away a few hundred comics and quite a few were purchased too, probably even hundreds again," she said.
When Driver put the store and its 23 years of history up for sale in March, he said he wanted to be selective of who would take up the mantle.
When Everett and Freear took over on Easter weekend, the mantle fit well.
The two self described war gaming and board game nerds, along with store cat Shere Khan, were first time business owners and were starting to get their heads around running the store.
"It's something we love, so we're really excited about it. Whenever someone comes in for a talk, we love it," Freear said.
Everett said Driver had mentored the two on what to expect and given them a "101 rundown" on the basics. Management qualifications, relevant experience and support from the store's loyal customers had helped them confidently get started, they said.
Freear said their knowledge of board games and tabletop war games meant they could help customers, but both needed to brush up on their comic knowledge.
"Reading comics for homework, man it's a hard life," he said.
They said their focus for the future was growing the connection between the store and Christchurch's geek community.
"Our big push for the shop is community, being a central point. If we can't help you we can point you in the direction of someone who can," Freear said.
Part of that was a plan to add to the two events the store ran each year – tabletop war gaming tournament Conquest and Free Comic Book Day.
"Another one we really want to do is a painting competition. We'd really like to get it up to six events a year, or push it out 12, one event a month would be great," Freear said.
Reciprocal support for the city's war gaming and role playing communities had been a hallmark of the store since before the earthquakes – Cavaliers, Woolston and Saga clubs all received discounts in store.
"It's been amazing to see how much support we've had from everyone. It's quite overwhelming just how much support there is," Everett said.
Freear said it may have been just a shop, but coming into Comics had started so many young Cantabrians out in their hobby and no online shopping experience could replicate that.
"I don't know, there's just something special about this place," he said.