|Monday||11 a.m.||–||6 p.m.|
|Tuesday||11 a.m.||–||6 p.m.|
|Wednesday||11 a.m.||–||7 p.m.|
|Thursday||11 a.m.||–||7 p.m.|
|Friday||11 a.m.||–||7 p.m.|
|Saturday||11 a.m.||–||7 p.m.|
The Story So Far ...
It's the dream of almost every die-hard comics fan -- to open a local comics shop. Jason Pierce, a life-long comics reader, and his business partner, Tim Holman, decided to make that dream come true.
"From the beginning, we wanted our comics shop to be an experience," says Jason, who is the first friendly face people usually see when they come in the door of the shop. "I want people to be wowed by how easily accessible things are and how friendly the staff is. I want to make it so that when someone new comes into the shop, they don't have to know the secret handshake or talk in secret code to interact with the people there. I want new readers to feel welcome."
One thing that feels different when you enter the store is the open feel of the shop, but there are other things that make it a unique experience:
- A computer at the check-out counter is not only used to maintain orders through a high-tech customer system, but Jason often uses it to share the latest movie trailers or pictures of upcoming releases.
- There's a "New Release" board where all the comics that have come out this week -- and are coming out next week -- are listed and updated so that customers can see what they want at a glance.
- The New Release wall has all the week's latest comics at easy access with labels to remind readers which issues have new creative teams or new storylines.
- A pull service offers customers a way to subscribe to their favorite titles that will be waiting in their file each week for pick-up, and all pull customers get free bags with their purchases.
- Alter Ego has a huge, organized selection of trades in-stock, and a quick ordering system for any trades we don't carry.
- A wide variety of gaming items, collectibles, T-shirts and other comics- and gaming-related merchandise.
- The store is well-lit, clean and offers a friendly environment for readers of all ages.
Then in February 2006, the store started releasing a weekly podcast called Alter Ego Comic Cast, which has thousands of subscribers. Jason is a host of the show along with Drew Slentz and Steve Schuler, as the three discuss buzzworthy books, update listeners on the latest comic book news and interview creators. Some of the comics creators who have been interviewed include Ed Brubaker, Peter David, Robert Kirkman, Paul Jenkins, Don Kramer, Matt Fraction and Sean McKeever.
The store is also always trying to have events and in-store sales to generate excitement among readers. Within the first few months of opening, comics writer Geoff Johns visited for a store signing, and the store has held several signings since then. Other events include sidewalk sales, gaming tournaments, and other promotions that provide a fun way for customers to participate in what's happening at the store.
The podcast has generated attention from many comic book news websites and Jason is often interviewed and quoted for his opinion on the latest comic book industry developments.
Early in the store's history, Jason and Tim were the subject of a series of articles on Newsarama.com written by a good friend, Newsarama writer Vaneta Rogers. To learn more about the store's history, check out these articles that ran on Newsarama during the store's first year open:
- The Ups, Downs, Ins and Outs of Opening a Comics Shop
- Checking In On Alter Ego: Week 1
- Checking In On Alter Ego: Month 1
- Checking Back After One Quarter: Trades, Gaming and Geoff Johns
- Alter Ego: Geoff Johns' Signing
- Alter Ego: Six Months In
- Alter Ego: Following a Store Ten Months In
- Alter Ego: One Year In