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Friday, Feb 23, 2024

Comic Shop Caters to the New Fandom

With the walls adorned with some of the greatest female superheroes and villains of all time such as Black Widow, Harley Quinn and Scarlet Witch, the Perky Nerd is anything but your typical comic book store. “We had our own idea of what we wanted the shop to look like – clean, fresh, uncluttered and not like other comic book shops,” said Tiffany Melius, owner and creator of the Burbank store. “It’s for people who want to meet other people who are nerdy but don’t know where to start as far as reading comics or how to introduce themselves.” As part of her vision, Melius wanted women and newbies to feel especially welcome at the 1606 W. Magnolia Blvd. location. She set out to provide a space where people can learn about the comic book world, cultivate new interests and engage with the local community. As for outreach, the Perky Nerd features and sells artwork by local artists and hosts an array of different events, including a book club for kids, trivia nights and Caturdays, which are cat-themed Saturdays featuring cat comic-book writers and artists. “Our comic book reading club for ladies went from nine to 40 (women),” said Melius. “We do lots of events that bring people together and showcase whatever they are doing.” For seasoned comic-book fans, Wednesdays are most anticipated because they are new comic book-release days. However, for vendors, hump day presents a whole new series of challenges. Omar Spahi, founder of publishing company OSSM Comics in Santa Monica, said retailing comics is all about ordering and talking to customers. He said it is difficult for sellers to find that divine balance between over and under ordering. “On a Wednesday, you should have one issue left; that’s proper ordering,” he said. “Because if you order 10 copies and they are sitting there, all your dollars are tied up, because retailers have to pay for that. They have to push everything they have.” Apart from selling comics, the Perky Nerd also retails snacks, iced coffee, bagged coffee and mugs. Melius markets her business through social media outlets and by word of mouth, which have proven successful so far. “We want to grow, keep doing our events and continue getting ladies and the community into comics,” she said. – Stephanie Henkel

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