Dennis Barger Vs. ComicsPRO Over Local Comic Shop Day

11118131_938632182835504_2169881874101562035_nDennis Barger of QuickStop Comics used to be an outspoken member of the comic book retailer pressure group ComicsPRO. Then he became an outspoken ex-member.

Just as fellow outspoken retailer Larry Doherty of Larry's Comics once accused members of the ComicsPRO board for co-opting his proposed-but-rejected shared retailer exclusive cover idea for the non-ComicsPRO Ghost Variant program (Larry would go on to create the Phantom Variant program)…

So Dennis claims their Local Comic Shop Day idea that was officially announced this week as his own. He writes on Facebook,

Just found out about this local comic shop day, love the idea, you know when I came up with it 4 years ago at c2e2 retailers summit on the exact same weekend they are proposing it should be, also loved it better when I suggested it be free. Hate that this is a ‪#‎comicspro‬ event! really hate that they basically stole the idea I spelled out to them last year (2014) while they were shilling that crappy Halloween comicfest for diamond, and absolutely despise that 6 publishers in this industry have signed on to a plan, that charges $10 for ComicsPRO members under the guise that it's to confirm that you are a brick and mortar shop, and $50 for all the stores wise enough not to give $300 to ComicsPRO a year for it to get squandered pampering the board, embezzled, giving aide and comfort to comixology the enemy of all comic shops and generally promoting a cachhe of retailers as the elite ruling class of independent comic retailers.

But to make a long story short, I'm really pissed you have corrupted my idea, on the date I suggested and are trying to con retailers not in your club to pay you 400% more to participate in something that every comic shop should be able to join for free. Make it free and I'll confirm every shop that wants to participate for free. Discuss it with retailers before pushing forward with so etching that reflects on all of us, and I hope Ski, David Gabriel, Mike and the other publishers know you planning on charging rank and file retailers more to play in this reindeer game.

I like reindeer games… other criticism out there includes the qualifying clause for taking part.

A Local Comic Shop is defined as a brick and mortar business that sells a substantial amount and/or percentage of comics and graphic novels. Qualifying comic specialty shops must be locally owned, not be publicly traded, and not have more than 35 storefronts.

Otherwise interpreted as the No Hastings Allowed clause. Retailers who are not Hastings can sign up here.

And Larry's take?

$50 to participate & NOT have to join ComicsPro.

Bargain of the century.

Heck, I'll plunk down another fifty if I don't have to interact with them.

Dennis's response,

You still owe me $300 for convincing me to join them in the first place

Settle down now lads, settle down. Meanwhile 163 stores have currently signed up…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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