Name: Scott Samson

Bio: I am a comic store manager and a podcaster. Check us out at Check out the podcast at


Pull List

For Comics shipping on 08/28/13

    View details of my comics
    Print Your Pullist

    Published by Devil’s Due Press … a phrase I am not all that often excited about. But now that they…

    Read full review and comments

    Years ago a really promising series started. NYX was written by Joe Quesada and drawn by Joshua Middleton. Eventually Quesada’s…

    Read full review and comments

    The World’s End continues here in the pages of The Authority. And everything I said last week in my review…

    Read full review and comments
    RoninDont's Recent Comments
    March 16, 2013 12:46 pm Valiant has been doing quite well. Performing around the levels of mid-Image or mid-Vertigo titles on most of their books.
    March 11, 2013 5:09 pm dkbrain: We've been a comics and gaming store since we first opened our doors at our first location in 1981. One of the key facets of our continued success has been the diversity of our appeal. A comic store that sells only comics will suffer from the ebb and flow of that market and find little to help when the publishers fail to properly disperse their releases during a 5 Wednesday month. Having board games, card games, and role playing games in the store and being able to talk about them with a similar level of authority helps to keep things consistent week in and week out. Approaching the Video Game and Manga fan bases has been more difficult than most people seem to want to acknowledge. Video games are available at so many other retail outlets and have an entire industry of retailers who deal specifically in their sale/resale. Getting in to that market is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination and with so much built in competition certainly not something that can easily equate to additional success. Manga and Anime are both things that we've tried to carry in the past and things that we experienced success with for a while in the distant past but once Big Box Book Stores started carrying Manga it became difficult to compete with a store that could carry the kind depth on the product as they could. With Borders closing we've started to dip our toes back into that market a little bit here and there but only with the additional incentive provided by companies like Viz releasing their "Viz Big Editions" and "3-In-1 Editions" that allow us to carry their product in a fashion that necessitates only stocking 10 books instead of 30. I think that you are also forgetting one of the central things that could help more comic stores to succeed: Hard Core Super Hero Comic Readers diversifying what they read week to week. One of the quickest ways to bolster the health of a comic store is to try out something new. The more people who read the same number of comics that they currently can afford but diversify what they consume the healthier the market will be and the more open to recommendations and more open to finding new books on their own when a series they are passionate about concludes. IthoSapein: The key to getting someone who isn't a comic fan interested in comics is to show them something they can dive right in to. Very few of my Magic regulars who read comics are superhero readers. Most of them read books from Image or Valiant or Dark Horse because they can find interesting stories that don't require them to know back story or to pick up other titles in order to grasp the whole of what they're getting in to. That is the most important first step. Once they are getting something (in one case it was Colder, in another it was Bloodshot, in another The Lookouts) they are looking at the shelf and are bound to find something that jumps out at them and will make their way home with them.
    March 11, 2013 3:28 pm It represents a nice bump in our weekly sales though it's not, I wouldn't say, all that large a portion of our weekly sales. It's been far more important as a nice bump in the amount of people who come in to the shop every week. We have been successful in getting more and more of our Magic customers to check out the occasional comic or two. Largely just from their exposure to clerks talking to other customers or from a desire to have a reason to come hang out at the shop a little more regularly. Those who haven't gotten into comics have found their ways into playing other board games or the Pathfinder RPG among other things.
    March 11, 2013 2:50 pm Hi, my name is Scott Samson and I am the manager of The Fantasy Shop in South County Saint Louis, MO. As the retailer mentioned in Jim's article I wanted to comment and clarify a few things. First he had things confused just a little bit. February was our 2nd most successful month of sales in years. Like a bunch of years. For real. December 2012 beat February of 2013 out but not by that much. And these are big time numbers that we're talking about. To give a frame of reference though, I have managed this location since late 2008 and we've experienced growth every year that I've been at this location. And not insignificant growth. Double digit percentage growth every year. And the growth has been higher each year over the year previous. Some of this growth is as a result of being at the location longer and longer and more people discovering us but I think it would be foolish to believe that it was simply that or simply anything. Sure, the success of movies like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Trilogy, the success of The Walking Dead on AMC, and the marketing push made by DC Comics for The New 52 have all helped. A good amount of our growth has been outside of the realm of comics as well, with Magic: The Gathering becoming more and more popular in the store and more events being run to support it. But it's also been the efforts of myself and my great staff. We've been experiencing the kind of growth that does not happen by accident. It happens as a result of great management, great training, great ownership, and (honestly) great customers. The other thing I wanted to mention is in an effort to clarify something and to cover my own butt. I want to assure anyone who shops with me that might read this article that anytime I snag something out of a hold for another customer I make sure that I can replace it before I hand it over. If you all have any questions I'm more than happy to answer them. And if you're in the area, check us out. ||
    April 17, 2009 8:51 pm

    I'm going to say either Brooklyn Dreams or Moonshadow by JM DeMatties, I asked you guys about him on a video show many moons ago and the look of confusion when I got to his smaller titles could have been seen from space. So that's my vote 

    February 14, 2009 12:29 pm Jason Aaron brings moral ambiguity to all of his characters, a sense of what is right and wrong and a knowledge that sometimes something wrong has to be done to achieve something right. He brings the world of grey into what is typically a very black and white world. Marvel will try to tell you that the difference between their comics and DC comics is that their characters live in the grey area more, but I think that in the last ten years that fewer and fewer of their comics have actually mined this idea. Lately it's been writers like Bendis and Brubaker who have really grasped that, and Aaron is another of those names.
    February 4, 2009 1:02 pm X-Factor is completely worth saving, but I think that ditching the supporting cast is a bad move. Sure some of the characters are frustrating at times but it's Madrox dealing with those characters that makes it interesting. I think that the problem with interweaving it with the Marvel continutity is that Peter David plays so well in his own world but hasn't been shown to deal so well with outside influences and while I understand that the hope behind putting the banner of some crossover on the top of the cover might bump sales a little here and there that just making the book consistently good would give it good numbers without the need for an artificial bump every now and again. I think that the book worked great for the first trade worth of material and then the train kept getting knocked from the tracks and that getting back on point would make the title great again. It proves that point every time it gets back to the heart of the series and people start loving it again ... but then two or three months later it gets distracted again.
    December 8, 2008 6:10 pm

    *cough* Manages a Saint Louis Comic Store *cough* ...

    As a matter of fact the comic store pictured is the former location of the store I manage ... here's hoping that the store mentioned in this article wasn't that one. Stop in some time Jim, we'd love to show you what The Fantasy Shop is capable of.



    Manager of The Fantasy Shop South County Location and Co-Host of The ComicDorksCast

    May 3, 2008 12:31 am

    I thought it was really, really good ... and I think that I agree with what some of you have said: that this movie might just get some people into comic stores ... kind of makes me wish that (as a fan and a retailer) that Invincible Iron Man #1 and Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1 had come out this Wednesday as opposed to next


    April 30, 2008 11:37 pm

    Definitely April 30th, not April 1st ... I read this book and I understand that for serious Sim Fans that this book is pretty cool and anything new from Sim is going to be instantly grabbed up into their grubby (not that I think that all Sim fans are grubby) little hands and devoured for what it is worth, but to be honest I find it a little shocking to see this as the pick of the week. Moreso I look at this and as a fan, a retailer, and a struggling story teller, I am a little perplexed as to how this can be a series. But, it's your pick and I gotta respect the pick.