Articles & E-books

Articles and E-Books


Here are links to some articles that Mel has written that will provide you with some interesting reading.

January 29, 2009 01:52 PM

The "Year End Business Review" is an article that takes you through the process of reviewing your business at the end of your sales year.  Every business should go through this process at least once a year.  Depending on your business' size and complexity it will take you between two and six hours to go this, including writing down your results and thoughts.  Trust us, your return on your time investment will be substantial.

August 17, 2007 01:55 PM

Is California (or your own state or province) over-stored?  Mel shares some thoughts and data on the subject.

November 7, 2006 04:27 PM

We've added a Competitor Evaluation Worksheet to our list of free tools for retailers.

March 26, 2006 03:51 PM

March 2006

Internal shrinkage is still a more serious problem than customer shoplifting.


August 23, 2005 03:25 PM


(Coming soon...)
This is a brief introduction to the basics of pop culture/comics store site location. Many of the issues discussed in this xx-page pamphlet are applicable to game store location as well.

August 23, 2005 03:08 PM


This is a PDF document that we revise every year that presents a high-level overview of what is The Direct Market, how it works, who the players are and other useful information for people who are just getting familiar with the industry.

August 23, 2005 02:39 PM


This PDF file contains material from retailers on some of the less-well-known aspects of running a store.


August 23, 2005 05:40 AM

This is a long series of notes from a seminar at the San Diego Comic Book Expo presented by Ron Hon of Comic Carnival and Hal Stewart, the store designer.  This is an excellent summary of the process by which Ron used Hal's services to design Comic Carnival #5. (We did the site location work for this store). It was a real beauty and did very well.


August 22, 2005 01:24 PM

This is an article which was originally written in 1997 describing the results of more than 7,000 customer transactions involving back issue sales.  It's been refreshed and the graphics have been improved.  Read it along with "Efficient Back Issue Marketing".  Published in Acrobat Reader format.


August 22, 2005 12:55 PM

Mel's Presentation at Diamond's Tenth Annual Retailer Sales Conference. A comprehensive look at the pros and cons of store automation.


August 21, 2005 01:13 PM

Cash Flow is the term used to describe how cash moves in and out of a business. Your ability to predict and make effective use of cash is often crucial to the level of profit, if not the survival of the business.


July 23, 2005 03:16 PM

This PDF file contains a speech prepared by Buddy Saunders of Lone Star Comics (an 8-store specialty comics and pop culture chain in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas) and Mel Thompson as the feature presentation at the 1992 San Diego Comic Book Expo. Much of what we said back in 1992 is still valid today. Here are 21 pages of concise analysis covering all the aspects of creating a pop culture and comics chain.(There's no discussion of the Internet, as that was in its infancy in 1992!)


July 23, 2005 03:12 PM

This PDF document gives an overview of how to use cycle sheets to track comic inventory and how this can help you at order time. You also can download a cycle sheet PDF template that matches what we discuss in Cycle Sheeting Basics.


July 23, 2005 03:10 PM

This PDF document is the outline we're using at San Diego for our discussion. It's an updated version of the 1995 artcle listed later on this page.


June 23, 2005 03:26 PM

This PDF file is a three-page checklist that guides you through the process of planning and carrying out a successful in-store appearance or other event. It's an extract from an e-book that we're preparing on marketing and promotions for comics specialty retailers.


June 23, 2005 03:22 PM

This is an article about how retailers are making money on back-issues in today's radically different back-issue marketplace.


May 23, 2005 03:35 PM

This PDF file is a 24 page introduction to the issues you should consider when you review your current security practices and planning.


May 23, 2005 03:31 PM

A brief introduction to the issues you should consider if you are thinking of opening your own store.


May 23, 2005 03:28 PM

This is an outline of a panel presentation that Mel made at ProCon in 1996. His thesis is that most of the problems in the Direct Market come from fundamental structural deficiencies in the marketing channel itself and that significant growth won't come without remedying these problems.


June 6, 2004 03:42 PM

Part of the problem in figuring out what goes on with the Direct Market is that different parts of the retail channel operate very differently from one another.


May 13, 2004 03:44 PM

We finished a large project for a client on the Graphic Novel and Manga segments of the Direct Market this week.


April 30, 2004 06:16 PM

Brian Hibbs wrote a column recently where in passing he felt that the United States and Canada had too few comics retail outlets.

April 23, 2000 03:53 PM

From Comic Book Business, September 1995

It's generally accepted that the price of comics titles has risen much faster over the last ten years than the inflation rate. These price increases (which have’nt been matched by increases in the perceived value of the product) have had negative impacts on comics retailers.


January 23, 2000 03:58 PM

From Comic Book Business, January 1995