Arizona Comics Shops, to Open or Not, After Governor Ducey's Advice

When Donald Trump visited Phoenix, Arizona last week, he was pushing states to begin to reopen parts of their economies, while also acknowledging "some people will be affected badly". Governor Doug Ducey has announced that restrictions on some businesses would be lifted soon, saying that the state is "headed in the right direction".

Arizona Comics Shops, to Open or Not, After Governor Ducey's Advice.
Arizona Comics Shops, to Open or Not, After Governor Ducey's Advice. Art from MyComicShop.

However, a group of scientists that the state government had partnered with were projecting that the state is not heading in the direction that Ducey believes it is, that the peak of coronavirus cases has not yet been reached and it may be two weeks away. As a result, Arizona ended its partnership with them. A week ago, before Trump's visit, they shut down the work of the group, composed of 23 volunteer specialists from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University.  The Washington Post reported that Steven Bailey, bureau chief for public health statistics at the Arizona Department of Health Services, said in an email to the group: "We've been asked by Department Leadership to 'pause' all current work on projections and modelling," This instruction came just hours after Governor Ducey announced that he was lifting some business restrictions. The story only became a thing on Wednesday and by Thursday the state had reversed its position, now with spokesman Chris Minnick saying "understanding the demands on their time, we let them know that we were putting the modeling project on pause until we could bring them back to assist with modeling COVID-19 resource requirements during the influenza season. Since , the universities and team members have expressed a willingness to continue doing this work." No one bought it.

Nevertheless, as of last Friday, shops were told they could reopen. Barbershops and salons were told they could resume services by appointment, with occupancy restrictions and improved sanitation protocols including cloth masks. From today, restaurants and coffee shops can allow customers to dine-in, again with limited occupancy. But a number of Arizona businesses are signing up to the 'Too Soon' petition. So how are comic book stores in the state reacting to these new measures?

Jesse James Criscione of Jesse James Comics in Glendale, Arizona, has decided not to open up early. He writes

We will continue to do ONLINE and CBSN Pickups only. We will see on the 15th where the state of Arizona is with Covid-19. We really think our customers and team members come first. No matter what. Once we feel we have the proper safety standards/requirements at 150% we will proceed forward, based on both the States assessments and the Go from the team.

Samurai Comics of Phoenix, Glendale, and Mesa, Arizona opened on Friday, posting

We will be following CDC guidelines to make the shops a safe comfortable place for you to visit. All employees will be required to get a temperature check when they start their shift & will wear masks. We encourage everyone to wear a mask, and will have disposable masks available at our hand sanitizer stations as you enter the store (while supplies last). Curbside pickup and mail order are available if you don't feel comfortable stopping in the store. We missed you! It was a tough month, but thanks to all of your support we remain in business. Stay safe & healthy. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Drawn To Comics of Glendale, Arizona also had their own procedures

We will be taking call in appointments only during this week with a projected plan for an open to the public to be possible with capacity restrictions on Friday, May 8th. We ask that you do keep your visit shorter and efficient on your in store visits to Drawn To Comics when the doors open to the public again. At that time We will be conducting a 10 total customers in the store at a time with a respected 6ft social distancing policy for the safety of you, our staff and other customers when our doors will be allowed to be reopened to the public. We will not be opening our doors to the public without a prescheduled appointment before this Friday, May 8th.

Upon our public reopening we request that you please wear protective masks when entering the store until further notice. We will as a staff be wearing protective masks and gloves while serving you upon your visit. If you are feeling sick or have a fever we ask please stay home and call the store ahead of time and we can arrange delivery options for your order.In the store we will be doing frequent disinfectant cleaning and will maintain a shortened store operating hours of 11a-7p Tuesday to Saturday and closed on Sundays & Mondays until further notice.

Greg's Comics of Mesa, Arizona announced

Greg' Comics is now open. Next 2 weeks New hours. Then back to normal hours. Monday-Friday 10-6:30 Saturday 10- 5:30 Sunday Closed. Can't wait to see you.

Fantastic Worlds of Scottsdale, Arizona have another week to go.

After 6+ long weeks of quarantine we are excited to announce our official reopening on Monday May 18th!
…just in time for the first new comicbook day on Wednesday May 20th 

Fantasy Comics of Tucson, Arizona is waiting even longer.

We are only open for Curbside Pick Up right now. We will reevaluate this by June 1st, 2020.

Cab Comics of Flagstaff, Arizona are offering curbside pickup, but also doing window displays for the curious.

If your making your way down town (walking fast) or just sitting at home and curious about the many board games we have in store, swing by and do some window shopping! Starting now we will have a small display set up so you can check out a small sample of what we have in store! Have something you want to see on display – games, comics, manga – comment below and be on the lookout for our table of goodies!

Dreadnought Comics of Phoenix, Arizona also opened the doors on Friday.

We open back up tomorrow!!! (Friday the 8th) We can't wait to see you all again and show off the new changes!

While, in comments, stating

we ask that you maintain as much distance as possible from other customers. Also we will have hand sanitizer available upon entry as well as frequent store cleanings.

This is just one state's story, albeit on under the spotlight. Let me know at richjohnston@bleedingcool.com what the situation is where you are living. And keep up with our coverage of the comics industry in this difficult time with this link.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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