As of last week, Junction City in Kansas has a new comic store. Rockwood Comics, at 602 Caroline Ave., Suite C, opened last Wednesday.
Ex-military Brad Mitchell opened Rockwood Books in Manhattan, Kansas three years ago, and started selling comics there a year ago, only to discover a disproportionate amount of comic book buyers coming buy from Junction City. They told him that without a comic store of their own, they visited neighbouring cities such as Topeka and Lawrence or shopped online.
This is what you call a gap in the market and one that, as of last week, Mitchell has filled.
He told JC Daily Union, "There were a lot of people in this area that I was selling comics to, and I kind of feel for them having to drive twenty minutes each way," and couldn't find any competitors in the city. "I thought that was surprising."
It's not an uncommon story, though, and many Bleeding Cool readers comment about not having a local store, either where they live, where they go to college, where the work, anywhere within a hundred miles. The greatest benefit the comic book industry could receive right now is a massive expansion in retailers. Diamond Comic Distributors has been making an effort to incentivise existing stores such as Rockwood Books to open up new locations, but areas that no comic book retailer is familiar with are likely to suffer.
But for local collectors, he is also looking to acquire comic book collections in the new store. "We really like buying stuff from people that bring them in. We're trying to buy more Manga."
Bleeding Cool covers the closing — and opening — of comic book stores. We're more likely to discover the former rather than the latter, as the result of an active fanbase, so please let us know when a new store in your neighbourhood is opening as well as closing: email@example.com.