DC Comics Reboot Could Help Local Hobby Shops

A move by a national comic book company to restart scores of its popular titles may have economic benefits for local retailers.

At Vintage Phoenix Comics in Bloomington, store regulars began filing in Wednesday just minutes after the store opened. They were there to pick up the new first edition of the Justice League series, the first of 52 DC Comics plans to launch this fall.

DC Comics, creator of comic book heroes including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, plans to relaunch its entire line of comic books with No. 1 issues. Store manager Matt Traughber said his business has not absorbed the recession-era declines felt at some other hobby shops, but says he expects the DC re-launches to be a boon during the coming month.

“It’s going to be great. September is going to be very big,” Traughber said. “We’ve already seen a big jump again with the students returning to IU. Last couple weeks have been great for us, but we think September may be a record-setting month for us.”

While avid readers browsed the shelves and gravitated to the new title, not all fans are sure what they’ll get. Bill Zwissler has been reading comics since the 1960′s and says he has nearly 20,000 books at home. He is a fan of DC, but said the jury is still out on the reboot.

“I’m one of the guys that still wishes they’d stayed with the original numbering and all that sort of thing,” Zwissler said. “But, I’ll give it a try and we’ll see how it does.”

In the coming month, comic shops like Vintage Phoenix will see first editions of the likes of Batman and Superman, which may remind readers of the vintage comics featuring the same characters but offer new readers a chance to pick up first editions of their own.

Still, Traughber said he will discourage prospectors from buying up multiple copies in hopes of making a quick buck, adding he believes the 2011 first editions will be worth more for the enjoyment of their stories than for their resale value.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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