2020: Comics for Anyone
As we usher in the closing days of Variant Edition as a used book store, you’re probably wondering what’s next for us.
We’re not going to lie, we’ve heard that from so many of you over the past few weeks and months, and we’ve told you our general plans. We’re expanding our all ages section to have unparalleled selection here in the city. We’re rethinking how we engage with our graphic novel section and how we’ll be presenting it to you with the extra space to do something really special. But those are just the broad ideas.
Just wait until you read about what’s all coming next.
COMICS FOR ANYONE.
When we started the shop, we did so with the idea of being a comfortable place for everyone to come in and enjoy pop culture. Some would argue that we didn’t achieve that, after becoming the target of a hateful group within the comic book industry a couple of years back. Those people would be right.
Being for “everyone” is an impossible task. “Everyone” includes elements who wish to make life harder for others who are just fighting for basic human rights.
With the simple act of building a store that pushes against intolerance, we have become a point of discomfort for people who see their given privilege as a right, but the rights of others as something lesser than their privilege.
Realizing this caused us to stumble across a very important idea: we weren’t a comic book store for EVERYONE - we were a comic book store for ANYONE.
On comic shelves, ANYONE should be able to find themselves reflected in story. ANYONE should be able to do so with ease. The fact that there is more representation on comics stands these days shouldn’t ever be viewed as a negative, but as a positive as ANYONE could show up in the stories we love. ANYONE can be the hero - just as anyone who bristles at this breadth of representation could be considered a villain.
In 2020, we’re striving more than ever to be the comic shop for everyone - and we’ve been spending the last few months working very hard on making that a reality. Sadly, that means an end to our used prose book section - but that ending has opened the door to so many wonderful beginnings that we’re going to share with you right now.
LITTLES, MIDDLES, and YOUNG ADULT.
The change you’re already seeing in the store is the vast expansion of our ALL AGES section. In 2020, not only will be continue to have one of the best ALL AGES section in the city, but you’ll see the selection expand ever outwards. Danica has devised wonderful sections with titles like “Space and Robots”, “Adventure” and more to speak towards the younger audience for whom the word “genre” has no meaning. The section is built and fuelled from FEELING and in doing so, we hope to connect all of the Littles, Middles and Young Adults out there to books that speak directly to them in ways that make discovery much easier than every before.
YOUR FIRST (OR NEXT) FAVOURITE.
We don’t want this sense of discovery to end when your childhood does. Comics are filled with brilliant ideas for everyone! To that end, we’re rethinking how we’ve been displaying our graphic novels, and will be making some exciting moves in the near future.
In the meantime, our online store will continue to provide you with a point of discovery. Inside our SHOP menu, you’ll find links that will help you find great stories by age group or genre. Once you’re there, you’ll see a button that will let you REFINE those selections even further, so you can find the story of your dreams.
THE THING MEANT SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU!
Once you do that, you can either buy it directly from there, or pick it up in the store at a later date.
BRAND NEW WORLDS, JUST TWO CLICKS AWAY.
One more thing that is going to make it even easier for you to explore new worlds is our brand new PULLBOX PROGRAM - which allows you to request items from us for pick up with just the click of two buttons.
PULLBOX is a program ran through our comics distributor that has access to everything and anything they offer. With a PULLBOX account, you can request anything as a special order, or as an ongoing pull that will get you subsequent issues. That information will go directly to us, and we’ll contact you back with confirmation of the items, and of their pricing. If the price doesn’t work out for you, no harm, no foul, you can just “reject” the item and it won’t be placed on order.
WHAT’S MORE: the PULLBOX program will show you exactly what items you have coming into the store on any given week! You can also drop orders at any point (although we will ask you to still pick up items past their FINAL ORDER CUT OFF), all from the comfort of your own home. This means that people with LOW MOBILITY or folks who live too far out of town can communicate their needs to us with great ease!
If you’re interested in becoming a part of this program, contact us and we’ll get you started - and then getting items put on hold will be just as easy as following a link from one of our recommendations!
STAYING SMALL TO STICK AROUND
This one is going to seem a bit weird: one of our big goals this year, is to do all of these things, while staying small.
You may have noticed a trend lately - big stores in all industries shuttering or lowering stock levels. These days, people don’t want a place to be bigger - and if they do, they’re generally using a large ONLINE retailer. But smaller businesses? Smaller businesses are thriving. They can be nimble and adjust their models as circumstances change - and more importantly, they can provide better service on a singular level. That’s what we want to do, and that’s who we want to be. The store for you. The store for anyone. And we’re gonna keep getting bigger and better by just staying small and using our time and space in better ways.
Oh, we have so many cool plans for this coming year, ranging from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, to more recommendation posts across all mediums, and the evolution of our popular weekly new comics streaming show! We would share them with you now, but some of them are still in the early phases of planning, and others, we want to be a surprise!
Rest assured, we’re here to help make your 2020 one of the best years of pop culture you’ve ever had.
Together, we’re going to do amazing things.
Comics for Anyone!