Hastings to Open 127 Comic Stores Nationwide in US

The news broke on Bleeding Cool today that entertainment chain Hastings, will launch 127 direct market comic shops throughout the US.  By adding an expanded comics section to 127 of their existing 147 stores, they're set to be the largest buyers of comic books in retail.  That's a big deal, and presents them with a huge amount of power in what will ultimately be sold and published.  They've already been selling action figures and graphic novels, but the expansion into regular issues is one that's a major move.  There is no chain carrying monthlies like this in the US. The closest I've heard of is Newbury Comics, located in the northeast, and it wasn't a place I'd want to go every Wednesday.

My first concern was whether they'd offer the kind of selection someone like me would want in a comic shop, meaning diversity of titles and publishers, to which James Parker of Hastings told BC: "Of course, like most markets our customers are very “Super-hero” oriented, so most of our selection will be from the two largest publishers in the field. However, we are not ignoring the medium-sized and indie publishers in our selection. Hastings has great relationships with all of the publishers in the industry, from the two biggest publishers to the smaller presses. As for back issues, we have been able to gather several large collections that we can offer for very reasonable prices in all of our stores."

I'll admit, this is a weird move.  The direct market is in a bit of flux.  With digital as an impending competitor, I feel like everyone is holding their collective breath.  Granted, this move will make it easier for some readers who weren't served by a local store, but I've never heard of the chain.  I'm not sure where they're even located.  Still 127 centralized stores all ordering from Diamond could have a major impact on all sorts of things in comics.  Will they have staff to service new readers?  Will it actually increase readership?  Who knows, but it will be fascinating to see if there is an impact, and if it's one that's lasting.  But when you think about the impact that something like Wal-Mart have over the sales of DVD's or music, a sizable comic chain could have similar influence, if it wanted.  Keep your eyes on this one.


  1. When I first heard about this, my first thought was Newbury Comics here in Boston which is a great fall back if you can’t get to any of the other comic shops. This is going to be interesting.

  2. Oh cool. I didn’t know the had comic shops, but I buy lots of trades from the gohastings amazon store. They sell lots of cheap used trades and they ship faster than most other sellers. 

  3. Hastings is a southern chain of stores, I think. When my GF moved up north she was shocked we didn’t have Hastings up here… or very many Sonics.

  4. Yeah, Hastings is mostly Southern U.S. I live in Arkansas and have been to a few before. Pretty cool place. Will be nice to see some more comics in there.

  5. I just discovered this last week when I went to pick up my books and was approached by an employee about a pull list. They’ve always had a rack with some titles but I noticed recently they’ve expanded it and were keeping it well stocked with up-to-date releases, which wasn’t always the case. I wasn’t sure if it was a big chain-wide initiative, or just an experiment in select stores. This is good news for me however, since my regular LCS is 2 hours away and while it’s convenient while I’m away at school, not so much here during the summer. It’s still about 20, 30 minutes away, but a lot closer and while I was considering an online service I don’t mind making the trip for now. Out here everything’s at least 20 minutes away anyway so it’s not too big a deal. Having my books held means I get some freedom in when I go pick them up and I know they’ll be there for sure waiting for me. If only I had known about this when Siege #4 sold out by the time I got there.

  6. Avenger117: Don’t order Vinyl LP’s off gohasting on amazon marketplace! I ordered a record once and they sent a CD, instead. When i contacted them they said they didn’t carry vinyl. But, they did give me a refund and let me keep the CD.

  7. Good news for me, as well, I think. The LCS I go to is over an hour away, so sometimes I don’t pick up my comics for a few weeks, and their discounts kind of blow. If they’re selection will be decent, I’ll give them a go.

  8. @winthewonderboy Oh thanks for the tip. Yeah I just order a bunch of trades from them recently (Powers, Runaways, Y the last man, ) so I could read them on the beach. The service was really good, but I have come across some trouble on other amazon shops. 

  9. Wow, that is intense! I live in a town with a Hastings, and I have to admit it is the best entertainment store I have have been in with more DVDs to rent than any other store (they don’t get rid of their older stuff like most Rental stores). It as great toys! Tons of music, books, Trades, and Manga! I have always found their comic section lack luster, but it might be more interesting if they expand their comics section. I would still rather go to my local shop because I like to be around people who talk comics with me and I doubt that the employees of a national chain will be quite up to par, however could be really good for casual/new readers. Just so everyone knows there are Hastings all around (Kinda) but they are a chain that avoids Metropolises and goes to smaller towns (not to small but you know places with 25,000 to 500,000 people estimate), but I have been to Hastings from Northern Montana to Central Texas they can be anywhere.

  10. Definitely have them in Texas.

  11. I’m also in Texas and there’s one about 20 minutes away from me.  I love going there for trades and graphic novels.  Hasting’s will also buy used books so that’s a good place to pick up a trade for about half price if you don’t mind buying a previously owned copy.  I’m excited to see what they do with comics.

  12. i’ve never heard of Hastings but i’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a big chain or "best buy" of comics and related type stuff. Seems like an interesting move. With great power comes great…..

  13. Hooray for more comic street presence!!!  Great news!


    the Tiki 

  14. Dear Hastings,

    Do it Right

    Thank you…(50% of new floppies wouldn’t hurt )

  15. Good job Hastings! Way to jump into a dying market!

  16. Hastings is typically in smaller towns. I grew up in a town of about 30k people and the Hastings was the only place we had to buy a book, rent a movie or find CD’s. This is great as far as I’m concerned. Now, a lot of those places that don’t have access to comics will now. 

    Having grown up in a few small towns, I can tell you that everyone is on the look out for new forms of entertainment.  

  17. Don’t think any are coming to central Oregon anytime soon, ah well I only buy from Amazon and IST anyway…

  18. Buddy lived in Missouri.  Told me Hastings frequently has comics on the day of release (as opposed to Borders).  And that was not a "comic" Hastings

  19. Unless a store opens up in the middle of Nowhere, New Jersey then I’ll still go to my shop.

    Great news though. 

  20. I’ve been going to the Laughing Ogre since I was 11, and I will keep going there until I move out of my parents house/graduate

  21. just went to their store locator, and there aren’t any within 50 miles of me.  what region(s) of the country is this chain mostly?

  22. @ THENEXTCHAMP  I just got back from SeaSideHeights,  I love New Jersey been there 8 times in the laST 11 years and plan on going back.


    I hope they open up a Hastings in the middle of nowhere Ohio, my LCS is cool enough but sometimes piss-is me off, they talk about football/sports to damn much and never talk about cool stuff like LOST and Batman.

  23. smh @ someone suggesting that they should sell floppies for 50% off.

    This is good news, but, let’s not get crazy.

    *flashbacks of people stratching their heads when Marvel OF COURSE didn’t sell digital comics at the imaginary 99-cent pricepoint*

  24. Hastings was one of my favorite place in my old college town.  I think this can only bring good things to the industry.

  25. In July of 2008 I predicted a significant rise of comic book sales by the year of 2013. I was practically mocked for it.

  26. Well, it hasn’t happened yet.

  27. They stock all kinds of media – but they’ve primarily been a video rental business. I’m sure this new business model is in reaction to the crash of the DVD rental market. Block Busters are closing like mad here in Texas (they can’t compete with Netflix, streaming, torrents, and Red Box).

  28. My local Hastings puts SKU stickers on all of their floppies. I wonder if all Hastings do this and if they will continue to do this once their comic selection expands. I would hate to have a sticker covering my beautiful covers and I feel like most agree.

  29. I’ve never even heard of this store.  Cool news though, and it will definitely be interesting to see how this gambit works out for them.

  30. Hastings isn’t just a southern phenomenon, there’s one Spokane, WA. 

  31. I second that.  They are all over Eastern Washington (Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Spokane, and Moscow, ID which kinda counts).

  32. This is nothing new.  I remember my local Hastings having a well supplied comic section in the early to mid 90s.  Then, one day it suddenly disappeared.  That was where I bought Mike Allred’s "Madman" #1 published by Dark Horse Comics.  That single issue is what kept me not giving up on comics altogether.

  33. I remember a decade ago that I frequented hastings to get my top cow comics, then they closed all the hastings in my area… that kinda sucked… good news for anyone who still has one though

  34. I’m most impressed by what a massive show of confidence this is…seems like very good news to me.

  35. @Josh: Yet being the operative word.

  36. "So speaketh the sage Jupiter the Jumper…"

  37. @Win – so what you’re saying is, DO order vinyl, because you end up with a free cd?

  38. @Muddi: HAHAHA! Good one!

  39. Walmart of comics and all that it entails?

  40. We have a Hastings store here in the great state of Washington. This isn’t that big of deal to me since I order my comics from DCBS. But the more hands that comics get into, I’m all for it…

  41. Awesome, there’s a Hastings near where I live, hopefully they’ll be one of 127 stores to get this.

  42. You realize how vulnerable, and relatively tiny this industry we love is, when a company like Hastings can make such a difference as to be worthy of these headlines. I am reminded of the ONE TRUCK that crashed, that affected such a sizeable percentage of we consumers. Scary actually.

  43. Two words Hastings….Mobile Alabama.

  44. Lol, this is interesting. Of course like a rebel, I resist and resent franchises of every sort so this puts me in a really wierd situation, like Nick Fury vs. Captain America. Which side is the right side again? Anywho Sounds good for cities without decent or reliable comic shops. Me? I found the perfect one and it is not Zanadu I can tell you that.

  45. We have a couple Hastings with comics here in Utah. and they encourage you to read in the store if you want to. Its great if you’re on the fence about some comics.