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With New Platform, Comics Entrepreneurs Hope to Increase Native Retailers

Comic book fans can look forward to another way of shopping on Friday, when a new platform, the Comic Book Shopping Experience, debuts on Facebook.

The platform will sell comic books and other collectibles, feature creator appearances and hold virtual signings. To start, it will hold a virtual convention Friday through Sunday. Beginning Jan. 19, it will move to four hours of daily programming. It hopes to offer 24 hours of programming a day by the end of the year. The content will be available on YouTube after it airs live.

The founders of the Comic Book Shopping Experience — Nick Barrucci, the chief executive and publisher of Dynamite Entertainment, and Jen King, who owns the comic store Space Cadets Collection Collection in Oak Ridge North, Texas — aim to reach fans and “bring attention to retailers,” Barrucci said.

Comic characters are spotlighted in film, television, video games and all manner of merchandise, Barrucci wrote in an email, but there is not much focus on comic books or local shops. One tool the new platform will promote is a Comic Shop Locator Service.

King wrote in an email that the platform would “allow us to raise each other up,” whether it is supporting fellow retailers or bringing new shows into the fold. “Pieces and parts of this idea (like having a central place to find all of the comics news each day, for example) have been talked about in the industry and maybe even tried individually,” she wrote. “But as a whole, a professionally run comics and collectibles entertainment network has never been fully realized.”

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