In discussions of the “perfect comic shop,” in between delusions of comfy chairs and pink comic boxes to appeal to girls, the one thing that really stands out so often is the lack of basic, barely minimal, much less decent, customer service. To make it worse, there’s dissatisfaction on both sides of the checkout counter.
I count myself incredibly lucky to know the owners of the Comic Store that blows the grading curve – Bill Meccia and Stacy Korn of Comic Fusion on Main Street in Flemington NJ.
Comic Fusion does not have great big comfy chairs and wide aisles – it’s a retail store on a main street of a little town. It has crowded shelves and walls, as you might expect from a comic book/collectibles store. But what Comic Fusion has that no other store has, are Bill and Stacy. Stacy is just about the nicest person you’ll ever meet. She has been my “human relations” mentor for many years. If I can have a pleasant chat about nothing with a total stranger, it’s only because I learned how from Stacy. She’s a comics geek who likes people more than things, if such a thing can be believed.
When you walk into Comic Fusion, you are greeted by an old-school tinkling bell on the door, and a cheerful “Hello!” If you need help – they HELP you. No one is treated as anything less than a friend. And twice a year, Comic Fusion throws open its doors to men, women, children, random families walking by, artists, fans and people of all ages during their Free Comic Book Day and Wonder Woman Day events.
“I know what Free Comics Book Day is,” I hear you say. “What is…Wonder Woman Day?” Well, to answer all our questions, I’ve invited Stacy Korn herself to tell you.
According to Stacy, she and Bill started out with a Internet Store in 2003. After a few years they had so much inventory that they decided to open up a store front. Stacy is pleased to report that they get a lot of local families coming in with their kids – she thinks it is “very cool to be a part of parents sharing their love of comics with their kids.”
She’s just back from Baltimore Comic-Con and took a moment out of her schedule to answer a few questions for us.
What is Wonder Woman Day?
Wonder Woman Day was started by Best Selling Author Andy Mangels (who is a big Wonder Woman fan and wanted to celebrate the Wonder of Wonder Woman) in Portland OR, five years ago. One of our customers saw advertising for the event and asked if we would be interested in doing something similar. I had been looking for a way to help out our local Domestic Violence Shelter, SAFE in Hunterdon, and this seemed like a perfect fit!
How did it evolve into Super Hero Weekend?
Excalibur Comics in Oregon does Wonder Woman Day as a one-day event on a Sunday. Our town is pretty sleepy on Sundays, so I wanted to open the event up on Saturday as well. I also noticed that the few sketches that were not Wonder Woman got pretty decent bids [in the silent auction fundraiser]. I still wanted to honor Wonder Woman, but at the end of the day, the object is to raise as much money as possible for the shelter, so I opened the event up to include other Super Heroes. By doing Super Hero Weekend there is less confusion with our sister store in Portland, but by featuring Wonder Woman Day we still share the event with them.
What festivities are planned for the event?
We like having fun at Comic Fusion so we have folks dressed as Super Heroes for people to take pictures with, awesome Artists doing sketches for donations, a raffle with some great prizes. The main focus is spectacular artwork from people in the comic book industry for our Silent Auction.
We already have donations of great sketches from Legendary Sergio Aragones, the always Awesome Michael Golden, my personal Hero, David Mack, and Rising Star Charles Wilson III, just to name a few.
I am so touched by the generousity of all these artists. We also will be getting sketches from Superstar Adam Huges, Sketch Card Star Allison Sohn, Sports Card Star James Fiorentino, the Undead and Unbelieveable Ken Haeser and the list goes on! The Guest List is pending, but I am pretty sure we will have some incredible talent at the store.
What are your thoughts on Wonder Woman’s new costume?
To be honest, costumes come and go. Every writer and artist wants to put their stamp on the character. What is important to me is how Wonder Woman is portrayed. She is a strong, compassionate, intelligent woman. Writer Greg Rucka once told me that she is the strongest of the Big Three (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman). She will do things her counterparts can’t or won’t. I agree with him completely! And if you haven’t read his run on Wonder Woman run out and get it! Awesome from beginning to end. He totally “gets” Wonder Woman.
Any message you’d like to share with readers about anything?
In hard economic times domestic violence goes up and charity funding goes down. You can help break this cycle and get a cool sketch in the process. A lot of the artists that donate will be future Super Stars! You can pick up a cool sketch at a affordable price, AND help out a worthy cause, AND have a great time! If you can’t make the event in person, bidding will begin online October 1st. Check out www.ComicFusion.com and click the Wonder Woman Picture to go the Wonder Woman Day page and see the artwork. Check us out on Facebook at Comic Fusion Fans and click the events page to go to the Super Hero Weekend Event. If you are local, some down to the store and enjoy the event. Any way you choose, you can still help out and get a great sketch!
I’m going to be predictable here and end this with the obvious – if there are any Superheros at this event, my vote goes to Stacy and Bill. They make every day at Comic Fusion Superhero Day.