Brainstorm Comics and Gaming closing its Walkersville location – Frederick News Post

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John Frazier, co-owner of Brainstorm Comics and Gaming, stores stands inside the Walkersville store that will be closing soon.
Brainstorm Comics and Gaming’s Walkersville store will be closing soon.
Brainstorm Comics and Gaming’s Walkersville store will be closing soon.

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John Frazier, co-owner of Brainstorm Comics and Gaming, stores stands inside the Walkersville store that will be closing soon.
John Frazier, co-owner of Brainstorm Comics and Gaming, stores stands inside the Walkersville store that will be closing soon.
John Frazier, co-owner of Brainstorm Comics and Gaming, stores stands inside the Walkersville store that will be closing soon.
Brainstorm Comics and Gaming’s Walkersville store will be closing soon.
Brainstorm Comics and Gaming’s Walkersville store will be closing soon.
After almost three years in a white brick building in Walkersville, Brainstorm Comics and Gaming is closing its store there this week, but its Frederick location will stay open.
“I am disappointed,” John Frazier, co-owner of Brainstorm, said. “It didn’t quite go the way that we wanted it to go, but we have a lot of plans for next year.”
The store will close after the New Year, but is having a flash sale, with comic books 75% off and graphic novels 50% off.
Brainstorm employees have been packing comic books and graphic novels into boxes to bring over as much as they can to the Frederick location on North Market Street, which will stay open.
“We are going to have about 50,000 back issues now,” Frazier said. “I’m slowly redesigning the layout [in Frederick] to maximize what we can fit down there, but our goal is to open a larger location in Frederick.”
Brainstorm was originally on East Patrick Street, Frazier said. But at the end of 2019, the store moved to North Market Street and opened a new location in Walkersville. Things were going well until the pandemic hit, he said.
Brainstorm shifted its service. It did deliveries and opened on a limited basis, he said.
Frazier said there were indications in the past year that the shop might have to close. He saw more people who bought expensive comic books selling those same comic books on Facebook.
The breaking point was when he and co-owner Eva Brown had to close the Walkersville location for five days due to staffing issues, and the store lost roughly $10,000 in revenue.
“My business partner and I sat down, we’re like, you know, what makes the most sense to handle it?” Frazier said. Their answer was to close in Walkersville.
But, Frazier said, Brainstorm has been fortunate throughout the pandemic. And the closing of the Walkersville store opens up opportunities.
Frazier said he and Brown have a lot of ideas for 2023. One service they’d like to bring back is pressing people’s comics, so the grade can increase. The better condition of the book, the higher the grade.
They also want to network and partner with other businesses in the area, Frazier said.
Frazier said Brainstorm has been fortunate since it continued to sell its comics to the reader rather than speculators, who buy comics or graphic novels because they will be worth a lot of money or there’s a movie coming out.
A lot of comic book stores started targeting speculators, but emotional attachments to things are always stronger than monetary attachments, Frazier said.
Fewer speculators have been buying as they’ve cut back on spending, he said, but those who have an emotional attachment find a way to keep their hobby going.
“Comic fans, the ones who read, are invested in it … not for the money purposes of it, but for the emotional,” Frazier said. “They’ve watched these characters change over the years, they’ve watched them, I would even say grow, I mean, outside of being the comic medium and to being a full-fledged media juggernaut.”
Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel
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