Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Questions & Answers

I've been away for several days---this time no comics' biz work was involved!

Libby and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday (mark your calendars---coming December 5!). We took in two shows: the Moody Blues at the Mirage on Friday night (one of our favorite classic rock bands, especially love their early stuff. "Question" is one of my all-time favorite songs...does that surprise anyone given my previous blog entry?.) On Saturday night, we went to an oh-so-very-Vegas show, seeing (*ulp* out the window goes my cool-cred) Barry Manilow at the Vegas Hilton. It was a fun show, complete with dancers, a mini- big band, light show and tons of oozing schmaltz. Still can't figure how those light sticks work, though...

So I'm back in action to answer the questions I received from my last blog entry. "Anonymous" asked the following:

"How do you make Flying Colors such a wonderful place to shop?"

This is where you got it a bit wrong. Everyone who comes into Flying Colors makes it such a wonderful place. Without you coming in, we wouldn't hear what you like about our store, we wouldn't respond to what we hear---and we'd all be sadder for it.

A quick story: My sweet wife Libby is a credentialed teacher. One of her old favorite teacher books was called something like "The Classroom I'd Like" and it went into ways teachers can personalize their classrooms and turn their visions of productive, fun, learning environments into reality. Flying Colors began as a kind of vision--- not only mine, but also Libby's and my daughters' visions, too. Between 1986 and 1988 (when we opened), as a family we visited something like 40 different comic shops, making notes of what we liked and didn't like, in the hopes of creating "The Comic Shop We'd Like". My daughters were between the ages of 4 and 8 when Flying Colors opened, so their unique perspective was invaluable to me. I looked at comic shops as a total fan-addict--- they wanted an accessible, light and open place. We all got what we envisioned.

"And where do you find your staff? They are incredibly helpful and very friendly. Half the fun of comix collecting is visiting the store every week and chatting with the employees."

Wow! Thanks for the nice compliment. Again, I've been a very lucky guy. Back before the store opened, I wondered how I'd find the right people to fill out the Flying Colors' team. One of my mentors in this business, the late great John Barrett of Comics & Comix fame (the good old C&C, not the lame company it was under its final criminal owner) , told me simply "Good people find good people." So I've tried to be good to everyone who comes into the store and along the way I've found good people to work here. "Anonymous", you are right--- it really is fun to hang out each week and talk comics here at Flying Colors.

"And why are you so fair to your customers? You treat everyone with honesty and respect, as if they are a part of your family."

Oh, man, this is gonna sound like an Olive Garden commercial, but--- when you are here, you *are* family. You help to support my family and allow me to continue doing something I really love. We all share a common interest in loving a powerful medium of entertainment and artistic expression (that's fancy talk for "we like comics!") I also like to sleep well---and I wouldn't be able to do that if I treated anyone poorly, especially those who come in every week and give me money in exchange for bags full of comics and other cool stuff!

OK, I'm ready for more questions!

Peace 'n' Comics!
FlyCoJoe
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