Saturday, February 9, 2013


Gail Simone and Acme Comics manager Jermaine "Lord Retail" Exum
So today I took a little drive to Acme Comics in Greensboro North Carolina where comic book icon Gail Simone was doing a signing. This was my first trip to Acme Comics. Having seen quite a few comic shops between my native California and the east coast I have to admit that I was highly impressed with this store. There was a great vibe and a large, diverse group of customers milling about, chatting away and buying lots of comics. Located in the northern part of North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad (a grouping of three cities; Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem). Located among a group of stores that seem to have more in common with a trendy downtown area than with your average mundane strip mall. Just down the line is a music store, a bar called the Boo Radley Tavern and a neat video cafĂ©.

Acme Comics in Greensboro NC
I made the trip to Acme Comics today to meet prolific writer Gail Simone. She was in high spirits and happily chatting with fans. It was a great relaxed event where fans were able to chat at length with Simone. While in line, I spoke with a father and young daughter. It was the wide eyed daughters first trip to a comic shop where she had plans to buy her very first comic! I asked who her favorite character was and she told me it was Iron Man. When I asked her if that was because she was a fan of the film, her father informed me no, it was because he was a Iron Man fan. He seemed very proud that she was following in her fathers footsteps. However, after seeing how happy she was to get her picture taken with a woman cosplaying as Batgirl, I had to wonder if she would disappoint good ol’ dad and walk out with a Gail Simone penned issue of Batgirl. I loved listening to this father and daughter talk and was reminded that every comic is someone’s first comic. I envied this little girls experience being in a comic shop for the first time and remembered my own first experience in a comic shop. I was glad that her first experience visiting a comic book store was at Acme Comics.

This young lady was thrilled to meet Batgirl and Gail Simone during her very first trip to a comic shop!
The store has a great atmosphere. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day for it. I had a fun conversation with one of the stores friendly employees, the blue Mohawk sporting Cody who explained where everything in the store was located and shared several highlights of the stores history including a visit from Powers writer Brian Bendis. I also met store manager Jermaine Exum aka “Lord Retail”. Exum started out at the store as an unpaid volunteer in the mid 90s and worked his way to store manager 2 years later. His creative marketing ideas helped keep the store thriving when all the others were dropping like flies.

When visiting Acme Comics, say hi to Cody!  Hi, Cody!
Manager Jermaine "Lord Retail" Exum(left) with customers

This year, Acme Comics, the winner of the Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary and has plans to host a comic con in the area called “Comic Book City Con” later this year with a guest line up that will include Mark Waid and Jonathon Hickman. I hear that Acme Comics puts on a heck of a Free Comic Book Day and I have every intention of returning to visit this fun store.  Oh, and thanks to Gail Simone for signing my copy of Back Issue #54!

Gail Simone at Acme Comics, giving yours truly her autograph!  I love comics!

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