Hello from frigged Indianapolis, IN. Today CBC is checking out Downtown Comics, and boy have a we got a good one for you. This is actually a chain-store and should be named "Everywhere Comics" as there are 4 locations in the city. Too bad we didn't get a chance to see all of them. But, what we did see was pretty impressive.
The Good: This comic shop has many aspects that comic aficionados have come to demand as standard. They have subscription services, premium variants, "key" books at decent prices, and a very nice selection of accessories. The layout is very eye-catching and the back issue rack is itself a work of art. Literally, the comic boxes are on custom sliding drawers that make the hunt super easy on the ol' back. Since we're talking about it, I found a nice selection of back issue gems; including a 1st appearance of Damien Wayne . Not a bad $5 pick-up.
The Bad: The art of negotiating is lost here, unless you're able to catch the owner between his four stores. Not being able to haggle the price caused me to leave a few books on the shelf. It's not that the prices were bad, but I can't bring myself to pay sticker for any book that isn't mint. Even if they were mint and I purchased the books, I'd still leave feeling not quite satisfied with the experience. Negotiating a book to a settlement is part of the overall high for the collector. Years later, most will remember where they acquired the book and the "epic" negotiation leading to victory.
Related News: A minor complaint regarding "key" books; the associate mentioned there is a stock of books held back for conventions only. That means, I could spend the day going to all four locations around Indy and still not see the whole of my book selection options. Kind of hard to buy what you can't see.
Final Thoughts: Downtown Comics is a great store from what I can see. My complaints are more personal preference than "deal breakers." All the really important elements are there and I would be very happy to call this place my LCS; if I lived in this neck of the woods of course. Until next time, happy hunting!