Robot 6

Alabama comic store seeks a little help to expand space

99-issues

A little more than a year after it opened its doors, Mobile, Alabama, retailer 99 Issues Comics & Gaming has run into a problem: It’s outgrown its space.

When it opened in March 2013, the store carried just 99 titles to complement its name — yes, it’s a reference to the Jay-Z song — but within months that number had grown to more than 200 new releases, plus a selection of back issues. Add to that an area for playing video games, display cases and a desire to hold more in-store artist signings and, well, you can imagine things get a bit crowded — so much so that owner Chris Barnett says he loses money on every event.

In hopes of alleviating that problem, Barnett has turned to Indiegogo to raise $5,000, half of what he needs to expand the store. The rest will come out of his own pocket.

“We’ve been looking to become more than a just a store or a small business,” he said in a statement. “We want to create a place where artists can come and showcase themselves to the Mobile and Baldwin County market. We are a strong supporter of artists/writers/creators of all genres.”

The campaign launched early this month, accompanied by a video featuring a ringing endorsement from Neal Adams, who calls 99 Issues the best comic store in Mobile. (It’s a well-produced video that showcases not only the creator’s appearance, but the store’s customers and the shop itself.)

Barnett is offering a variety of pledge incentives, ranging from signed comic books and limited-edition prints to T-shirts and sketches. The campaign ends June 1.

“If we are able to raise the money needed for expansion, we can continue to grow our events in the Mobile area,” Barnett said. “With a bigger store, we will have the space we need to showcase more local talent as well as bring in more known name artists and creators.”

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Comments

10 Comments

Wow, this sounds cool. I know how much it sucks to find a good comic shop, especially when you live somewhere remote or not really lit friendly . . .

Hope this gets funded.

Mobile was definitely a dry spot for comics until 99 Issues opened. I really love this store and I hope Chris makes his goal.

It’s so good to hear about a shop that needs more space instead of one closing down. Best wishes to Chris and the Mobile comics comunity, keep the good work :)

I hope this gets funded. With everything becoming digital nowadays, we need more comic shops like this. He needs to keep it going. Best of luck to him.

I wish him luck on his fundraising and hope he is able to expand. I just don’t understand the mentality of it. I think its kinda crappy for people to be doing the fundraising stuff for stores and bills. Go to the bank and get a small business loan like everyone else. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fundraising to help someone publish a book or create a documentary.

So let me get this straight. You mean I didn’t have to sink every penny I had, and work no less than 60 hours a week for the last 22 years, to make a successful comic book store. All you need to do is ask people you don’t know to give you money, so you can make more money, and they give it to you? Damn, I wish I would have known.

Can’t get a loan at the bank?

We live in a nation of fucking infants at this point.

But he has been in business for a year. He deserves it. Why in the world would CBR promote this.

Dylan Forrest

May 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

Haters gonna hate. Keep up the good work and I hope you accomplish your goal. Its good to see a shop promote locals as well as the big boys.

Tony Witherspoon

May 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

I can tell you now that Chris has given up his fair share to see 99 Issues successful. He puts in the hours. He puts in the money. We are in a great time where people are putting stock into things that weren’t possible 5-10 years ago. Look at the insane popularity of Kickstarter and the BILLIONS of dollars it has helped raise to fund projects/ideas like this one. If you don’t like the idea, fine. Just keep the negativity to yourself and do your thing your way. No one is bashing you for it.

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