San Francisco-based comics retailer Comix Experience owned by Brian Hibbs, and still in shutdown, announced a third offering in their popular National Graphic-Novel-of-the-Month Clubs: the "Comics Masterpieces Graphic Novel Club" which joins the original New Release Graphic Novel Club and the Kids Graphic Novel Club.
Like the original clubs, the Comics Masterpieces club selects an excellent graphic novel by comics' most-exciting creators every month to be shipped directly to member's doors, in all fifty states. Also included will be an exclusive bookplate signed by the creators, as well as access to a live-streamed interview and question-and-answer session for members conducted by Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs.
"For more than a half-decade, we've been bringing the best new releases every month to our membership: great books by great creators to great readers," said Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs, "but the structure of the current clubs is focused on graphic novels that were solely released in the last month. This allows us to focus on an exciting swath of amazing books, but it also keeps us from presenting superb work from the multi-decade storied history of comics – many of which readers only know by reputation, not because they have them on their bookshelves. By opening up the entire history of comics, we aim to make our membership the widest-read comics readers as possible!"
Like many retail book stores in the current pandemic, Comix Experience is under extreme financial pressure. Says Hibbs: "I've always been uncomfortable asking for money in a crowdfunder; my preference is to give people something of value in exchange for their support. We started the original clubs as a reaction to the ever-increasing wage requirements that San Franciscans voted for in 2015, and the clubs have allowed us to have a staff that is among the best-paid in the nation. Despite suffering a nearly two-thirds downturn in store sales due to being closed to walk-in business during COVID-19, we've been able to fully pay our excellent staff for all of the hours they would have normally been scheduled, with absolutely no reduction, and that's entirely thanks to the Graphic Novel Clubs. We're hopeful that this third offering will allow us to do the same with our rents, and keep comic book retail fully viable in San Francisco going well into the future."
The Comics Masterpieces Graphic Novel Club will start shipping out selections monthly on June 1st, and the inaugural selection will be Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Ennis will join Hibbs for the livestreamed interview in mid-June, for a career-spanning conversation and audience Q&A with the legendary writer. Other confirmed creators for the first year of the club include Kurt Busiek for Marvels, Mark Waid for Kingdom Come, Scott McCloud for Understanding Comics, Klaus Janson for Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Neil Gaiman for Sandman, with many more being added weekly.
Monthly club selections from all three clubs are freely exchangeable from an extensive list of additional choices and "runner up" selections, giving members maximum flexibility. Plans are available for month-to-month memberships, as well as buying a full year at a time.