On the third floor of The Cathay (#03-02) you’ll find what’s probably the latest comic store around. Now, I remember my first Marvel comic – X-Men #1 by the inimitable Jim Lee, which began my torrid love affair with the X-Men and the rest of Mutantkind – and seeing another comic shop pop (or should I say *Bamph*) up before me, brings back very fond memories.
So I just had to sit down and catch up with Bruce Doral-Boudville, the main man behind Atom Comics, to get his insights on the Comics scene in Singapore and why open a comic store?
Why a comic shop?
Have you ever wanted to go to work knowing that its a hobby rather than a job?
It was a dream of mine, once I picked up that Marvel comic (X-Factor #1 Age of Apocalyspe to be exact) I just could not stop. From the X-men to Spider-man, to the Avengers and then it just sky rocketed. It was a high. SO yeah…back to the question, it was my dream to own one from young.
So why open one now? Is there really a demand?
Well it wasn’t so much because of demand but the timing instead. If Hollywood hadn’t come up with the idea of making an Avengers Movie, NO ONE will ever know who they are…besides the readers of course.
But I think this WAS a good time when new fans are being generated through the movies and entertainment. So why now? It was a good time to open a store when the movies actually help build a following.
Whats the biggest challenge in running a comic book store?
I would have to say…..thinking about when stock may actually come in…. and the constant worry about pleasing your customers with THE stock you have.
I think that’s the hardest part when you HAVE to try to understand what to bring in for the right crowd. You just DON’T BRING IN BATMAN ITEMS for Superman fans…..but its constantly changing and keeping up with the market is the toughest.
So what sets Atom Comics apart from the average Comic Store?
I think….I THINK. Its the warmth I try to give them…the extra mile. From ordering and tracking down rare stuff, engaging with customers….. really becoming the SPIDERMAN of comic stores (Your friendly Neighbourhood Comic-Shop-Man)….sort of. And well of course the fact that we DO sell vintage comics is a HUGE THING.
What was your target audience when you launched?
I would say…the mainstream geeks first…..the whole lo of them. Marvel to DC readers. It was more testing the market than anything, until I could pull it the NEWER fans who had watched the movies and really got interested in the comics.
It is a thrill opening up a business let alone something that YOU LOVE…and I LOVE making you guys feel at home!
Have you been surprised by a different demographic?
CONSTANTLY!… you wouldn’t believe it. I’ve had 12 year olds tell me the HISTORY of the Teen Titans….Ive had men who were CEO’s of major companies, telling me 101 ways Captain America is WAY better than Batman….I’ve even had a German Priest come in to pick up Constatine titles. It’s one of the perks of the job.
Finally… Whats your most prized item for sale?
When we first opened, I had this Really Mint Condition Daredevil #7! The rarity is one thing but..it is infact…the first time..Daredevil donned the red costume…now to comic geeks…we go……..WHAT THE F***! But since then i’ve been fortunate to have some really rare comics pass through our door.