Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Walkin' Willie's Last Picture Show? Say It Ain't So!

Well, OK - it ain't.... but this Sunday's Charlotte ComiCon will be my last comic convention as a dealer for probably two years or more. If you have read any of my recent blog articles, you know that Walkin' Willie's Comix is getting out of the trade paperback and hardcover business.

Why? It is just too hard to compete with Amazon. Need an example, then just check out The Walking Dead Volume 13 over there - sellers are pitching that for less than half price and if you include Amazon's super high selling fees, those dealers had to get that book at nearly 60% off to make anything at all! If I had a Dragon*Con to go to every month, it would be one thing but with the margin pressure from Amazon, it's time to go in a different direction. I am quietly building a vintage comic collection and will be back on the show circuit in about two years. Instead of schlepping 100+ short boxes full of trades, gridwire, extra tables, wood bookcases (big ones...) and all kinds of supplies, I'll be down to 20 or so mag boxes of comics along with a modest display - set up and break down in under an hour!

But I digress.... the big deal for you, the comic fan is that Ol' Willie will be blowing out all trades and hardcovers at this week's show at 80% off of the retail price printed on the book (i.e. the price located within or close to the barcode area). I'm bringing 45 boxes of this stuff and will probably auction or blow out the rest of it to another dealer at the end of the show. Bring lots o' cash as no cards will be taken with discounts THIS big.

After 20 years of doing shows, the only thing I will miss are the fans and the dealers - it's been a lot of fun but I won't miss load up, set up, break down and load out AT ALL!

Thanks to all the fans who have supported Walkin' Willie's Comix through the years - couldn't have done this as long as I have without your support. But enough of all this sentimental crap - go to your nearest ATM, draw out as much cash as the bank will allow and come on down to Charlotte, NC this weekend and burn Ol' Willie a new one!

Monday, July 25, 2011

What a Story at The Virginia Vintage Comics Show!

I really had another topic that I wanted to get into but will save that for Wednesday (BIG announcement....). The Virginia Vintage Comics show was another success for yours truly and many thanks go out to Roger Mannon for running another great show.

That isn't the real story at all - not by a long shot. I just got in the building and hadn't unloaded a single book when I saw a record album up on Roger Mannon's display board. It wasn't an album that I had ever seen before so I went to get a closer look. As I was holding the record and checking it out, another dealer, Banks Robinson said that I was holding a $700 dollar album in my hands. My eyes certainly went wide on that little piece of information so I had to look at it closer (You can see a larger version of the album cover by clicking on the thumbnail at left - sorry for the reflection but this lil' gem was still in its original shrinkwrap!). Immediately, I saw that Roger himself was the young fellow on the far right. The band's name was Virgil Caine - named after the confederate soldier made famous by the song "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down"

The ever-so-humble Mr. Mannon said that I could get the whole story from some other guy across the room but I stayed put until he told me a little bit about it. Turns out that Roger and his two friends recorded the album in 1971 on a back porch using a Sears reel-to-reel tape recorder. Roger explained that he didn't understand it but there are small pockets of underground folk fans that really like the album. He showed me a webpage printout that showed that the album sold in an auction on eBay for $699 dollars! WOW!

Roger explained that a guy called him up and offered $10 for 10 copies - Roger said sure as he had a few copies around the house and was surprised that anybody wanted them, much less 10 copies. The guy called up a few weeks later and said that he would pay $40 for any copy left - that gave Roger a reason to pause. Roger said that the sound quality was not good and that one track on the album, "The Great Lunar Oil Strike, 1976" was the track that people seemed to like the most. Roger indicated that their might be a re-release of the album some day.

So far, I have been able to listen to the first two tracks of the album and while it is not professional studio quality, it is ANYTHING but bad sound quality. This band was talented and I can readily understand how fans are still clamoring for a re-release. I hope that the band will get it digitally remastered and get it on a site like CD Baby or some MP3 site where they can get some royalties for this Blue Ridge Mountain 1970's classic. Me? I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the album tonight!

You just never know what stories people have created in their lifetimes....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Next Up: Virginia Vintage Comics Show

Ol' Walkin' Willie continues the trade paperback and hardcover blowout this weekend at the 14th annual Virginia Vintage Comics Show on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at the Salem Civic Center. Show promoter Roger Mannon has pulled out all the stops with TV and newspapaper ads as well as giving out gas cards in a drawing for some lucky winners! Check out some of Roger's Facebook posts about the show!

We're bringing 50 boxes of trades and hardcovers and blowing them out to YOU, the customer at a whoppin' 70% OFF OF RETAIL!

The show starts at 10:00 a.m. and runs to 5:00 p.m. - This show has a great dealer mix from mega-expensive to mega-INexpensive in one of the best locations on the east coast - nestled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley with the Blue Ridge Mountains on all sides - heck, I'm looking forward to the drive up there! So come on out!

If those comic-hungry Southwest Virginia fans don't gobble up everything, I will be bringing the rest of the trades and hardcovers to next weeks Charlotte ComiCon in Charlotte, NC on Sunday, July 31, 2011.