by Alan Beatts
I am, sadly, still playing catchup, still behind on my email (sorry to all of your who have been waiting for replies), and still over-the-moon happy that we're not closing. I'm also really looking forward to our first Sponsors' Social, which is going to be on April 16th (in less than a week).
Speaking of our sponsors: if you were a sponsor as of the 19th of last month, you should have received an email from us. If you didn't get that email, please let us know so that we can get whatever is wrong sorted out. Much of the communication that we're going to have with sponsors will be via email and so we're working very hard to make sure we have correct addresses and that our emails are getting through. If you got your sponsorship after March 19th, don't worry, we'll be sending out a note to you shortly.
Due to the work load right now, I don't have much clever or interesting to say this month except for one thing. Our friends at Comix Experience < http://www.comixexperience.com > are running into some of the same challenges regarding the San Francisco Minimum Wage that we faced (i.e. the prices for their goods are set by the publisher and they will have a hard time meeting the minimum wage as it goes up). However, they aren't planning on closing. Instead they're offering a graphic novel subscription service that, with sufficient support, will allow them to continue operations and meet the increasing minimum wage. You can find all the information about it here < http://www.graphicnovelclub.com > but the thumbnail sketch is that, for a flat monthly fee of $25, you will receive a copy of the graphic novel of the month. There is also a price break if you want a year-long subscription -- that's just $240. Those are the in-person pickup prices but shipping (for those of you outside SF or those of you who just work too damn much), by Priority Mail no less, only adds $6 a month.
As Brian Hibbs explains, "Some months we might send you a more expensive book (If we had started this in February, the pick would have been Scott McCloud’s excellent “The Sculptor," which is $29.95), while some months it may be something less expensive – but every month you’ll get an accessible, compelling, and thoughtful piece of graphic fiction, and the value will be equivalent to the average price of a graphic novel over the course of the yearly plan." There are also some other cool perks like - live book club meeting and social event to discuss that book, the writers and artists of each of their picks participating in their monthly club meetings, and, for selected titles, an exclusive club-only invitation to attend a private after-hours event.
Comix Experience has been a feature and fixture in town for over 25 years. I think that this program of theirs is a great idea and a great value. So much so, I'm planning on signing up for purely selfish reasons. Helping Brian keep the doors open is a good enough reason for me but the value he's offering makes it a no-brainer. I like comics a lot but I don't have time to go shopping for them very often (despite being right around the corner from another great shop, Mission Comics and Art). The idea of getting a new graphic novel delivered to my door every month is pretty damn cool and the $6 in shipping seems like a deal to me. Plus, rather than wandering around the shop for a while and trusting my judgement, I can count on Brian and his crew to send me something that will be good and, quite possibly, something that I would never have picked up on my own.