Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by retailer Steve Bennett of Mary Alice Wilson's Dark Star Comics in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett talks about the changes at Dark Star:

This will be the last Wednesday that Dark Star Books will sell new, single issue comics; because next Wednesday, August 29th, will the first comic book day for a new store opening roughly a block away from us, Super-Fly Comics & Games.  It's owned and operated by our former manager Tad Cleveland and former employee, extreme sports enthusiast/mathematician Tony Barry who have purchased the new comics portion of the store from its owner, Mary Alice Wilson.  They'll take with them our file customers as well as considerable good will and our best wishes.

The 'why' is simple enough.  Tad and Tony have always wanted a shop of their own and though the weekly comics have done well for Dark Star they've always been just one of many product lines (used books, new books, newsstand magazines, etc.) we've carried over the years.  The absence of the new comics will just give us more free space to devote to everything else.

I'll still be working for Dark Star which will still have graphic novels and manga as well as Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokemon cards and back issue comics.  I've been asked to serve as a 'consultant' to Super-Fly, meaning I'm free to give my opinions unasked, so hopefully in the weeks to follow I'll be reporting on just how a new comic book shop fares in these strange and wonderful times we're currently enduring.

Now Super-Fly will also have graphic novels (though it will take them a while to build the extensive and eclectic back stock Dark Star has), so unfortunately you can't label this split as 'pamphlets vs. graphic novels.' Still this will definitely change how Dark Star orders it graphic novels -- for one thing we'll definitely be focusing more on literary graphic novels and kids stuff, material more in line with our book store clientele.

And it'll be interesting to see if the 'I'm waiting for the collection' crowd will in fact buy the collections when they lose the option of buying the monthlies (from us anyway).  Plus, will they keep coming back to Dark Star for them, as opposed to picking up their volumes at the local Barnes & Noble and Borders?

As usual I haven't a clue.  And to answer what appears to be the key question of our age ('how do you feel about it?') I'm fine, I think. As a rule we comic book guys don't navigate change particularly well, and while I'll certainly miss the ways thing have been for decades, I'm anticipating what comes next more.

But regardless of how I feel about it next Tuesday night Tad, Tony and assorted minions (myself included) will descend upon Dark Star under cover of night, strip the shelves of their comics and ferry them over to their new home.  Things are about to get interesting around here.

The opinions expressed in this column is solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of