Friday, June 23, 2017

My Interview with Collected Comics Co-Owner Ron Killingsworth

I’ve known Collected Comics (several Dallas/Fort Worth locations) co-owner Ron Killingsworth since the 1980s, when he owned Heroes Workshop, which had stores in Fort Worth and the Mid-Cities area. When I was co-owner of Fantastic Comics during the early 1990s, we were friendly competitors, more concerned with advancing interest in the art form than stealing one another’s customers. A highlight was when our stores were selected as vendors for the exclusive Marvel Mega Tour in Dallas in 1993. The night before this big event, we had dinner with  and . I still run into Ron from time to time at various comic book conventions around Dallas/Fort Worth, and I’m proud to call him a friend. He’s a nice guy and a great ambassador for the industry. I caught up with Ron recently for a story I’m working on for K Magazine. Here’s that interview, uncut.  

BRETT WEISS: What are some of the differences between comic book retailing during the 1980s, 1990s and now?

RON KILLINGSWORTH: I think the main difference is in technology. Not just in the way a store operates now, but also with the internet, there is more of a sense of community in the industry, both on the retailing and the consumer sides. On the operations side, all of the manual inventory and cycling processes are now handled more efficiently by retail POS systems. On the consumer side, customers can keep up with industry news, new releases, reviews and all manner of information on a near instantaneous basis. Of course, with this instant knowledge it sometimes becomes more difficult for publishers to surprise readers in their storylines.

WEISS: Geek culture is now mainstream. How did this happen?

KILLINGSWORTH: Hollywood. Between all of the profitable and record setting movies, top TV shows such as , Arrow, Agents of Shield and , comics are reaching a larger audience than ever. The industry has also helped, with events such as Free Comic Book Day that reaches out and draws new people into the art form. Conventions are seeing record attendance numbers.

WEISS: Despite the fact that geek culture is now mainstream, comic books sold a lot better years ago when they were less socially acceptable. Why is this so?

KILLINGSWORTH: A couple of different thoughts come to mind here.  The first is that there are probably more readers now, and fewer collectors and speculators.  Collectors - back in the 80s and 90s, I had customers that would buy  month in and month out even though they weren’t reading it just so they could keep a complete run.  Speculators--during the '90s especially, people were buying multiple copies of current comics as “investments.” I remember selling 100 copies of the  to one person, and many bought 2-10 copies of all first issues.  I think with the additional mediums, TV, movies, games, etc, people are able to get their geek fix in different ways, it doesnt have to be just comics anymore.

WEISS: What is the comic book culture like in Keller?

KILLINGSWORTH: Keller is an amazing area full of young families and enthusiastic comics and pop culture fans. The comic book business in Keller is incredible. We have so many folks that love comics, science fiction, horror, and all things pop culture that it’s a pleasure to be here for them. I truly think our customers appreciate that we offer them a well-organized, clean, friendly store with a very knowledgeable staff in Michael, John and Brent—those guys know their comics, both old and new. We have a wonderful clientele for back-issue comics and have worked very hard to bring in a much larger selection of older comics for them. We have a very nice group that come in to participate in our many weekly Magic the Gathering gaming events in our dedicated event space. Gaming is a social event, and we are always teaching new people how to play thanks to our “in-house” gaming experts, Camden & Zoe. The Keller area in simply amazing, the customers are great and the area just keeps on growing. We are excited to be here and an active part of the community.

Check out Collected's WEBSITE

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pac-Man Champion Matthew Laborteaux of Little House on the Prairie Fame

Matthew Laborteaux, who played Albert Ingalls on was a champion during the early 1980s! He was also a big fan!

Click on the images to read the articles:

Monday, June 5, 2017

The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 - NOW ON KINDLE

My most popular book, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, is now available via Amazon Kindle, which is a FREE app on your smart phone, tablet or computer. You can "look inside" the digital version of the book on Amazon HERE. Just follow the link and then click on the cover. Thanks for reading! (The book lists the games alphabetically.)