Gary Colabuono, who runs Moondog Buys Comics, has started a GoFundMe to benefit Larry Charet, a longtime retailer and co-founder of Chicago Comicon.  Charet started one of the first comic shops in the U.S., Larry’s Comic Shop, in 1972, and in 1976, with two partners, he founded Chicago Comicon.  The GoFundMe recounts that the owners sold the convention to Wizard in 1997 with the proviso that the organizers would be given two free booths at the show for the rest of their lives.  After closing his store, Charet continued to support himself by buying and selling comics online, and the booths made a big difference to his bottom line. After having him cut the ribbon at the 50th anniversary show in 2022, however, the newest owners of the convention (who acquired it from Wizard) decided not to honor the booth deal in 2023, according to the GoFundMe; while Charet did persuade them to give him one free booth this year, he has been told there will be none in 2024.  The fund-raiser is to help Charet with his living and medical expenses.

NPR reports on a trove of vintage Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis video games that were locked up in storage when a Nebraska video store went out of business in 1998.  Owner Mark Odorisio recently retrieved them at the urging of his brother Tim:

Here's how Tim recalled the conversation: "I said, 'Mark, you need to make a decision about these games. What's your plan?' He said, 'Well, I was just going to keep them and then when I died, it would go to the kids.' I go, 'We can't ... your heart's in the right place, but your mind sucks.'"

The Nebraska Collection, as it is now known, consists of 173 games that will eventually be sold, but not individually.

Mission: Comics and Art in San Francisco is inviting the community to a meeting on December 13 to help decide the future of the store.  Mission Local spoke to owner Leef Smith, who said that sales are down 12% from 2022.  He blames the loss of foot traffic as more people are working from home, the rise of online shopping, safety concerns, and a massive winter storm for the drop in sales.  “The customers that used to come in every week are often coming in every two weeks. People are not browsing, and a lot of customers have moved away from the city entirely,” he said.  Leah Morrett, who opened nearby Sour Cherry Comics in 2022, said she had a tough year as well.  “Vibes are totally off, and people are having a bad year in general,” she said.

Your Central Valley reports that a longtime customer has bought Heroes Comics, which owner Dave Allread had decided would close in December (see “Shop Talk: Three Comic Shops Close, Three Game Stores Open”).  New owner Joey Martinez will reopen the store with a new name, Secret Identity Comics, and a new location.

In Fort Wayne, Indiana, Round Table Games and Curt’s Cafe is combining games and goodies, WANE reports.  Father and daughter Keith and Reith Layman are the co-owners of the store, which will carry board games, card games and RPGs; Reith says that owning a game store has been her family’s goal for years, and having worked in both game shops and coffee shops, she’s ready to combine the two.

Keith Anderson, owner of Keith’s Komix in Schaumberg, Illinois, and the customers in his store passed the hat to help a longtime customer who had fallen on hard times escape eviction and get out of debt, Fox32 reports.

Holidae Fun & Games in Rigby, Idaho, is inviting the community to come in from the cold on Friday nights, when they host a board game night.  Owners Jennifer and Jarek Smith told the East Idaho News that their shop is more than just a place to buy games, it’s a place to play them, and they also host events spotlighting local creators, such as Nick Harmen, who recently brought in his new line of toys, Randimals, for customers to check out.

Tara Hunsucker, owner of The Castle Games in Seymour and Columbus, Indiana, tells The Tribune that when she was growing up, there weren’t many other female tabletop gamers.  “There were times where I wasn’t taken seriously because I was a girl,” she said.  “I would sit down and they would think I wouldn’t know what I was doing. Eventually, I just learned to use that to my advantage.”  Now she has plans to create a game store empire of her own.

The customers at the Otaku Manga Lounge in Louisville, Kentucky, don’t buy the books, they rent them.  LEO reports on the business, which is similar to a popular model in Japan: Guests pay for a pass to browse the library, play the games, or just hang out.  The store actually does sell manga, as well as Japanese snacks and other items, but that’s not the main point.  “Creating a space for the community to interact, gather, and meet fellow fans of the culture was the biggest inspiration for bringing Otaku Manga Lounge to life,” the owners write on their website.  "The community is at the center of our vision.”

Short Takes
The Beijinger talks to Zak Elmasri, the owner of Steamed Bun Comics, which opened in Beijing, China, in October.  Elmasri gets most of his comics from North America and the United Kingdom, and hopes to attract both Chinese and foreign comics fans to his shop.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports on a new comic shop in town, Ray Gun Comics, located on Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont.  The store opened in October and carries new comics, back issues, and collectibles as well as action figures and other merch, and it has a game room as well.

Looking for a good comic shop near Torrance, California?  The El Camino College Union has you covered with a list of the five best comic shops near the campus.

Local news station KSNV pays a visit to Action Comics & Games in Henderson, Nevada, a shop that prides itself on its sense of community.

Friar Tuck’s Comics & Collectibles in Brookline, Maine, is profiled in the Brookline News.