Monday, June 10, 2013

Goodbye Dreamscape Comics, Goodbye

This weekend was effectively a low-key Father's Day for me.  Saturday was a single Daddy Day with the kids.  Sunday was strawberry picking at a nearby farm, with the ladies of the house following up with an afternoon of jam and pie making.  There's a rhubarb pie sitting on the counter with my name on it for this evening.  Life shall be good. 

Saturday afternoon had the girls begging for a car ride, so I bit the bullet and sauntered down the PA Turnpike to visit Dreamscape Comics.   As I mentioned here, Nick, the owner, had passed away and his longtime companion Jeanie had taken over full store duties.  Unfortunately, the swirling rumors were confirmed:  Jeanie had decided to close the store and and slowly begin the process of cleaning out a store that was a cross between a great graphic novel store and an episode of hoarders. 

I refused to take pictures of the muddled carnage.  It's just too painful.  I may complain about it, but the store has been a significant part of my life for far too long to do that to. 

I will, however show some of the bookshelves, brimming with aged stock:

More GURPS books than Steve Jackson stocks anymore

DC Archives and Marvel Masterworks out the Wazoo!

The remains of the WoD books that aren't hiding in the bins.
The girls were armed with Archie comics and barricaded into one of the back issue aisles that was blocked up with shipping boxes.  From there, I could peruse the gaming section on the shelves, and in a number of magazine-sized back issue bins.  Of course, I had to clear off about two feet of miscellaneous Marvel bobblehead/comic combo packs to access them.

Before I go any further, one point needs to be brought up.  All the old stock on those shelves?  For the most part, those are the fifth or sixth copies ordered.  Nick was great at restocking product that sold.  His fault was that he rarely cleared his inventory of dead stock or non-sellers.  My retail philosophy is that manageable inventory is a great thing, so long as sales can offset the tax burden at the end of the year.  I am sick and tird of stores stocking the top ten selling products and nothing else, or worse yet, purging all inventory after six months, even items that still sell well.   Still, most of those books have been out of print for almost ten years (?)  He could have done a little better with the discounts at the last couple of post-Christmas sales.

I compared the shelf stock with my wallet and only found two key items to run away with.  First was a copy of OGRE Scenarios #1 - seven scenarios for either OGRE or OGRE Minis.  The second was the copy of Advanced Squad Leader that had graced the shelves of the Easton location since it had opened back in '90.   Wargaming was never a big seller, despite the Osprey sales, but to stock anything Avalon Hill back in the day, the unititated would go down the list in the catalog and select the first two items Acquire and ASL.   I can't tell you how many stores I've seen this combination at, and both were dust covered.

With these two items and a stack of Archies for the girls, we drove back home to take out food and naps.  I may swing by in a week or so for some more items.  I'm more interested if Jeanie can dig up some other randomness from the back before the formal going out of business sale commences.

For now, we have

Archies - Maja and Millie, plus an Uncle Scrooge for good measure
OGRE Scenario Book #1 - Daddy
ASL - will be the ultimate gift for my friend for his gaming bachelor party.  If he doesn't want to play it, he can sell it on ebay (still in the shrinkwrap) and pay for his groomsmen suits... or the caterer.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, the infamous Bill called in while I was there.  It was good to hear from him, even if I went into a comic geek rant about a Cyberfrog #1 limited edition Rob Liefeld cover.  He may have soiled himself.


  1. Since she is selling, is any of this stock for sale on the internet? Not trying to be a dick and worsen the mood, but some of that stuff looks pretty cool.

  2. We (the ex-employees) have been trying to do that since eBay was a fresh concept. The owner was indifferent and to say Jeanie is overwhelmed is an understatement.

    I may suggest it again. It might be faster than the sale and get a better return than a bulk sale to another dealer.