Celebrating 41 years. A visit to Bonanza Books & Comics

Every business begins with a story. Some of the stories are heartfelt, some are inspirational, and some are just about plain money. I am happy to say that Bonanza Books and Comics in Modesto, CA is about the former. It is one of the longest running shops in the USA and has been continuously run by the same family for over 41 years. I had the pleasure to speak with the owners, Bill and Lillian, and get some of their feedback on what its like to run a comic store, and also get some feedback on the ups and downs of the comic industry. COMICS RACK-First of all, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to interview with me on this fine rainy day. How long has your store been around. How long have you been in  business? Lillian: We have been in business for over 40 years. We started in 1973 as a used bookstore and our son who was into comics got us to add a little rack of comics. The business just grew from there. COMICS RACK: Very nice. I can see the comics now take up half the store! Lillian: Half the store and growing! We have gradually expanding the comics section bit by bit. We have been in this specific location for over 16 years. COMICS RACK: Our sons now run the store, we just just fill in from time to time. We fill in so they can go home and still mow their lawns! Lillian: We used to do gaming, Pokemon, and also Pogs. That was about 10 years ago....

Classic Comic Reviews: Batman LOTDK Halloween Special Review-‘Choices’

(Note from Site Editor. We will of course continue our focus on creator owned comics, and comic stores, but we also like to highlight creators in the medium that truly made a difference with their early works. Not many people can cite a profound influence on the medium or characters. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale were some of the creators that did. Their work on Batman and other works in the medium are profound. Lets take a look at one of their early works).  Many people are of course familiar with the perennial best Batman stories of Year One, Long Halloween, etc. etc. Before Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale  entered the  hallowed legion of Comics Masters, they were just starting out in comics around the year of 1993. They had just completed a run on Challenger of the Unknown in 1991, and were still an unproven team in comics. Enter Archie Goodwin. Goodwin was a highly respected editor in the comics industry who was known to nurture talent and help facilitate true comic art. Batman Legends of The Dark Knight (LOTDK) was a new comics series that came out after the success of The Batman movie in 1989. Goodwin was the editor on the title until his untimely passing in 1998. Successes that came out of his run were several amazing Batman stories. Goodwin gave a chance on the young team of Loeb and Sale with a LOTDK Halloween  Special. Loeb had a background in movies and knew how to market himself and the projects he was working on. (On a side note, I highly encourage everyone to check...

Comic Store Focus Series-Comic Ink

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit Comic Ink in Dublin, CA. What a great store!. It’s a rare event these days when you can walk into a comic store and receive a sense of welcome.  There is a varied selection of comics, trades, and toys. It’s rare to see back issues prominently displayed in a store these days, but you have to give the owners credit of recognizing the current trend of prominently displaying graphic novel trades, but also recognizing the past avid comics collector. If you arrive on Saturdays, you can get a chance to get a commission from Julie Strachan, the store coowner. I highly recommend any comic enthusiast to see some of here art. Julie’s skill and craft comes through as she is mimics the style or any comic artist and adds some of her own spin to make the art piece truly unique. The current piece she was working on at the time was a profile of The Avengers. You could see Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man in their full glory! Next to the piece were some original pieces highlighting Batman and Daredevil as well. I had a chance to interview Derek Strachan (the store owner) and hear his thoughts on what makes a comic store truly great. COMICS RACK: Thanks for taking the time for this interview Derek. Can you tell me a little more about your store, what you guys do, and how do you differentiate? DEREK STRACHAN: We had to make sure we had a little bit of everything. When I was a young collector I always preferred the stores...

Welcome to the Rack

I love comics. I hope you, the reader, loves comics as well. The experience of reading a great story and the right combination of art/writing can truly become transcendent. That’s what the comics rack is all about, trying to capture that golden moment of enlightenment. We will be focusing on some of our favorite stories, as well as some of our favorite comic stores. Your humble site editor at The Comics Rack is lucky enough to one of the most diverse areas in the world for comics, the San Francisco Bay Area. We will be highlighting some of these stores at the site, and paying the proper tribute to these fine stores and the select retail experiences that they offer to the humble comics reader. Stay tuned. More to come soon. Thanks for visiting the...