GES-SA WAS AT THE OPENING OF A BRAND NEW COMIC BOOK STORE
SMALLVILLE COMICS 2.0 IN NEW REDRUTH, ALBERTON
Smallville Comics in Alberton, Gauteng was always the perfect little comic book store. They had a variety of statues and action figures, collectibles and comic books alike and the crew at the store was always on hand with a friendly smile and a wealth of knowledge. But somehow the customers at the store knew it had the potential to grow to something bigger and better, and during 2014 Joe Do Carmo, the owner of the store, started making these dreams a reality when he signed a lease on a corner store in the quiet residential area of New Redruth. The store in Alberton City is going anywhere though….
A bigger and better (if that was even possible) store was in the making and after careful research and speaking to his customers, Joe started building the new Smallville Comics. It took a couple of months of hard work and a lot of blood, sweat and tears but finally the new store was ready for the horde of customers to invade it. The opening day was set for 28 February 2015 and people started making their plans to get to the store early, as Joe has promised them a heap of specials and an experience they’ve never seen before.
The first customers put up camp out in front of the store at ten o’clock the Friday night and the number of campers grew throughout the night. There were people who travelled all the way from Ladysmith in KZN to be part of the opening weekend as well as customers flying into Gauteng from Cape Town (courtesy of Smallville Comics) and the excitement was almost too much to handle. After three lucky early entrants into the store, it was finally time to open the doors to Smallville Comics 2.0 and the people who could see what the new store looked like.
It was very clear from the start that careful planning and thinking went into the layout of the store. There were a large number of comic book shelves, holding everything from graphic novels to complete comic book sets. There’s also a special section for the independent comics, something that is growing more and more as the months go by. These would typically be comics distributed by Image Comics, IDW, Archie Comics etc and it’s a niche market that’s been sorely neglected in the South African comic book market. On the upper level they’ve put up tables with wooden boxes, keeping what must be thousands of back issues of comics safe. To give you an idea what this looks like, think of Stuart’s comic book store in The Big Bang Theory and how Sheldon and the boys stand by the boxes and scroll through the back issues of comics. That’s what it’s like to hunt down your must-have comic book back issue at the Smallville 2.0. Convenient and super organized. If you’re into comics from the Bronze age of comic books (70’s and 80’s comics) you’ll be happy to know that Smallville has a section in their back issue area dedicated especially to these comics.
Huge impressive glass cabinets showcases some of the gorgeous statues that you can get from Smallville 2.0 and steel shelving house a ton of different action figures and other collectibles. One of the things that I quite liked was that the clever guys at Smallville sorted the different fandoms together i.e. there is (what I like to call) a Wall of Dead, where they’ve grouped together all the different Walking Dead merchandise. In another corner of the store you can find all the Star Wars stuff i.e. action figures, light sabers, plush toys etc grouped together. Board games are all stacked together and this makes for a very pleasant shopping experience, especially if you know what you’re looking for.
But I’m sure you’ve all seen comic book stores that group their titles together, or with boxes full of comic book back issues right? So by now you must be waiting for me to tell you what is so different about this new store, hmm? The answer to that lies in the detail that went into the store. For instance, two comfortable wing back chairs gives you an area where you can sit and read your latest graphic novel or comic book, all available from Smallville 2.0. In another corner there is a foosball table, perfect for the football lovers amongst the comic book fans. On the counter at the back of the store you have an old school arcade machine where you can play Pac-man to your hearts content. And they’ve created an intimate lounge area where you can sit down and watch one of the superhero movies that they’ve got in their library or challenge your friends to a game of Injustice : Gods Among Us or the latest Fifa game, on the PS3. If you’re not into any of this stuff, you can just sit back and relax and have a chat with Joe or any of his crew or with any of the many friends that you’ve undoubtedly made at the store in the past. All of this while enjoying a cup of coffee or a cold drink from their kitchen and coming soon, you’ll be able to enjoy freshly baked pastries and treats from a nearby bakery.
At the heart of it all, is Joe, Ronnie, Bryan and the rest of the crew. It’s these guys that make the store special and different and they’re a big part of the reason why so many customers go back to Smallville Comics, over and over again. Joe has gone on record to say that if it wasn’t for his customers, Smallville 2.0 wouldn’t be possible and this just speaks volumes of this man and how humble he is in his success. Smallville Comics is most definitely doing something right and the only thing we can say is, just keep on doing more of the same things. The saying goes: Build it, and they’ll come. Well, Joe and his crew built Smallville 2.0 and boy, did the customers and the fans came.
GES-SA would like to congratulate Joe and Smallville Comics on the opening of their 2nd store and we wish them many happy and successful years in the future. Here’s to going national guys, and to the opening of a coastal outlet, some day in the future….
Click on the link below to have a look at the awesome video that was shot on the opening day:
Want to go visit Smallville Comics 2.0?? You can find them in Penzance street, New Redruth in Alberton, Gauteng. Or you can visit them online at Smallville Comics