AND THE CHILDREN SHALL LEAD: Comix Experience expands GN of month club to kids!

Announcing the Kids' Graphic Novel Of The Month Club!

Comics are going through an incredible renaissance at the moment, with more astonishing tales being produced than the average person could possibly hope to keep up on. One of the most explosive areas of growth is comics aimed at kids!

Kids love comics - our 26 years of running a comic book store can attest to that. But parents usually don’t know how or where to start. Parents want books that they can trust, so they usually fall back upon the same few characters and licenses that they see in other media, not knowing or having the time to figure out which are the truly special and thoughtful books with a passionate creative vision. And that's understandable! How can you have time to stay up on children’s literature when you barely have time to stay current with your own likes?

That’s where Comix Experience comes in – we eat, live and breathe comics, and while we’re mostly adults, we’re all kids at heart. Similar to our just-announced Graphic Novel of the Month Club, we're introducing the Kids' Graphic Novel of the Month Club to help put the best comics for kids in your child's hand every month. Plus, the Kids' Graphic Novel of the Month Club will have an 11-year-old on our advisory board – Ben, son of Comix Experience owner Brian Hibbs!

Beginning July 2015 we’ll send your favorite kid an amazing, compelling self-contained graphic novel every month that’s going to light their mind up and leave them wanting more! This pick will be a newly released book that month, so you don’t have to worry about them already having it. And each pick will be suitable for a typical 8-13 year old.

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to a great graphic novel they’ll also get:

● Access to a monthly live-streamed book club meeting where kids from all over the country will be able to discuss the graphic novel they’ve just read.

● Whenever possible, we’ll have the writer and artist of the book involved in the video meeting, there to answer your kid’s questions. And when we have the authors actually in-store, we’ll have a special club-only mixer for your kids to meet.

● We will start an invite-only and moderated message group where kids can write their own reviews of the books we send, and talk about it amongst themselves. Every kid who writes 10 reviews will earn a free book!

● We’ll also offer cool swag for the book, like posters and bookmarks, whenever available!

The whole thing is just $15 a month, the average price of a kid’s graphic novel. If you are local in San Francisco you may pick the book up, otherwise we can ship it for a nominal charge. Ways to Join the Club

Kids' Club membership is available on a month-to-month basis. You can sign up today by clicking the buttons below or by calling either of our stores:

● Comix Experience on Divisadero St. at (415) 863-9258

● Comix Experience Outpost on Ocean Ave. at (415) 239-2669 Club FAQs

Q. When does the club start?

A. We’ll start shipping book as of July 2015.

Q. What books will I get?

A. Some months we might send you a more expensive book, perhaps a nice hardcover, while some months it may be something less expensive – but every month you’ll get an accessible, compelling, and fun piece of original graphic fiction aimed at an 8-13 year old audience.  We will seldom pick stories based on movies or television shows, except when the book is truly exceptional. The value of the book should average out over the course of a year to the price of the membership.

We plan a mixture of genres and styles – sometimes it will be adventure fiction, sometimes it will be non-fiction or history, sometimes it will even be slice-of-life – but always chosen for the sensibilities of your kids.

Q. What if I don’t live in the Bay Area – can I still join?

A. Yes, absolutely! We’ll just have to add $6 a month for shipping and handling for sturdy packaging in a domestic US priority mail. We can offer this outside of the United States, but the shipping costs are pretty horrible (more than the cost of the club, sadly).

Contact us if you’re interested in international shipping.

Q. What if I can’t make it to a meeting or I live out of town?

A. We will also record all club meetings so if you’re out of town your kid can still watch.

Q. My child is really sensitive; will this be right for them?

A. You’re the best judge of what your kid can handle, but we’re aiming at an “average” 8-13 year old. We will sometimes choose work that is more slightly more serious in nature, but we’re vetting every choice with our in-house eleven year-old who has a pretty gentle personality.

Q. Is this for boys or girls?

A. We find that most kids are looking for compelling stories, regardless of the gender of the protagonist. Having said that, we’re going to aim for as even of a mix as we can possibly manage over the course of a year, dependent on the books that are actually released.

Q. Why are you doing this?

A. We have a Graphic Novel Club aimed at adults, and a teacher who joined wrote us asking if our choices could be freely shared with her students. We had to admit that 100% of the choices would not be sharable, but that made us think that putting together a package aimed directly at the kids made a whole lot of sense!  Teachers: Always the smartest ones in the room!

Q. What if my kid hates the book?

A. You can cancel the monthly plan at any time, and if you’re dissatisfied with any of our choices just return the book, and we’ll give you a full refund.

Q. Can I give this as a gift?

A.  Yes! In fact that’s our main intent with this – introducing the joys of comics to kids you know all around the country.

Q. What if I wanted a bulk subscription for my school or organization?

A. We can accommodate you! Please contact Brian Hibbs directly at to discuss bulk subscriptions.

Hibbs' crazy week

I know that I am just about the worst owner of a review site, ever, but I honestly, genuinely have a solid plan to get back to regular reviewing once I get all of this Graphic Novel of the Month Club stuff ( squared away, that I think you're going to like a lot. I just want to recap what is likely the craziest seven days I have spent on the earth:

Last Friday morning, on May first, just inches past midnight, I took a major header when getting off the bus, requiring 10 stitches in my head, and five on my hand.  I'm fine, but wow.

This week, I have been featured in BOTH The National Review ( as well as Mother Jones ( -- all I need now is a Libertarian magazine and an Anarchist one, and I will have completed the political spectrum!

Comix Experience also got a "Best of San Francisco" from the SF Weekly for "Best Response To Rising Minimum Wage" (which makes me so happy because it wasn't prompted on my end like those first two) --

This week was ALSO Free Comic Book Day, which I spent (other than being in agony from the fall) providing on-street security for Darth Vader (they can't really see in those costumes) -- I love the 501st Legion ( -- it's weird "protecting" The Dark Lord!  The best part is at the Ocean street store, people are stopping, and gawking, and honking horns and being all excited, while on Divisadero with all of the Hipster tech people, like 90% of them strolled past without even looking up or reacting in any visible way.  Hysterical!

Also, I ran downtown to pre-purchase Avengers tickets because I was taking eight sixth-graders to the show. I waited for the subway to take me back home, and one pulled up with half a dozen cops riding on the front half.  I shrugged, got on the second half, and sat down and pulled out a book.  Then I looked up, and realized I was sitting across (on an otherwise passenger-less car) from Ed Lee, the Mayor of San Francisco. I realized this was my one and only chance to get The City to be aware of my situation, and Mayor Lee was extremely gracious to listen to me spin my tale. But, yeah, random private 15 minute meeting with the Mayor on Muni, and The City has already followed up with a few ideas of how they can help.

Then I ended the week yesterday with an appearance on Fox Business News, which you could watch here if you wished to ( (no embed, sorry)

Exactly at the one month mark, the GN club hit halfway to our 334 goal.  Now I'm counting down to hitting 200 exactly -- which we need (right now) 25 more people to hit.  Spread the word about!

And look for a cool new announcement on Monday!



Help Keep Comix Experience Alive!


San Francisco is about to raise minimum wage to the nation’s highest at $15/hour over the next three years – a 43% hike. While we at Comix Experience absolutely support a living wage, this unprecedented increase will put a huge pressure on small businesses like ours. To put it into raw numbers, given our current staffing (and we run very tight), we will soon have to generate an additional $80,000 a year in sales just to meet the rise.


Absorbing that kind of wage hike on our single biggest business cost (our talented people) is going to be a challenge. Historical rates of growth and the nature of selling comics (what we sell has a fixed cover price set by the publishers, therefore we can’t raise prices) means that it will be virtually impossible to raise that additional income organically.


Comix Experience is a healthy business, and has consistently been that way for all of the 26 years of its existence. However, like most small retail businesses, every dollar that is earned is invested directly back into the business. That means we will have to do something radical to generate the additional $80,000 in annual sales to meet this payroll mandate.


A Solution that Reflects our Core Values


Many other stores in San Francisco are obviously faced with the same issue, and each are approaching it in a manner that works for them. Some stores may choose to downsize, or cut staffing or even close all together. Others, like our compatriots at Borderlands Books, have turned to sponsorship to alleviate their issues.


When deciding what path to take to increase sales to meet the new wage requirements, we kept a few of our guiding principles in mind.


  1. Comix Experience would strongly prefer to figure out a way to let the market solve the problem rather than raw patronage. While we have no problem with a fund-raising type approach, for us creating a way to generate new customers and provide our loyal patrons with added value is better.
  2. Our solution would need to reflect the passion and curation we offer to you every single day. We don’t sell comics merely to make money from them – we sell comics because we literally can’t think of a better way to spend our days than communicating the boundless love we feel for great comics and their amazing creators! And we don’t just love comics – we really know them as well; we get the secret alchemy that makes the best comics so. Every member of our staff feels just the same way: We burn for comics, and we want to ignite your passion for the best that our medium has to offer!
  3. We want to build on our efforts to foster a build community through our stores. We seek to build a safe space so that regardless of your circumstance, regardless of your race, gender or creed, you’re welcome and participatory in your own fandom.


Therefore the path we’ve hit upon to try and save Comix Experience is this:


Comix Experience’s Curated Graphic Novel of the Month Club


Beginning in July 2015, every month the staff and I will use our passion and experience to choose the single best brand new graphic novel to give you. This book will always be either a stand-alone experience, or the first volume of a new series. As a member of the club, you’ll also be entitled to unique benefits that won’t be offered to anyone else:


  • A curated selection of the best new graphic novel each month
  • An invitation to a monthly live book club meeting and social event to discuss that book. We will record and stream the in-store meeting so club members all over the world can also participate.
  • We will regularly have the writers and artists of each of our picks participate in our monthly club meetings, (e.g. in person, speaking and doing a live event, or a video chat to answer questions).
  • For select in-person appearances at the store, you’ll receive an exclusive club-only invitation to attend a private after-hours event with the guest.
  • We will create a social media group for members to discuss the book internationally
  • Finally, we will provide you with nice swag (like posters or bookmarks) for the selected book wherever possible


Ways to Join the Club


  • Month-to-Month: If you would prefer to take it one month at a time, the price will be $25 a month, a tremendous value considering all the benefits we are offering.
  • Annual: If you are willing to commit to a full year, the price drops to just $20 a month! You can quit at any time for a full refund on your unused balance.


You can sign up today at or by calling either of our stores:

  • Comix Experience on Divisadero St. at (415) 863-9258
  • Comix Experience Outpost on Ocean Ave. at (415) 239-2669


Club FAQs


  1. When does the club start?
  2. We’re launching this today in order to start monthly shipping of books for July – the month that the first (and largest) of the mandated wage hikes kicks in.


  1. What books will I get?
  2. Some months we might send you a more expensive book (If we had started this in February, the pick would have been Scott McCloud’s excellent “The Sculptor," which is $29.95), while some months it may be something less expensive – but every month you’ll get an accessible, compelling, and thoughtful piece of graphic fiction, and the value will be equivalent to the average price of a graphic novel over the course of the yearly plan.


  1. What if I don’t live in the Bay Area – can I still join?
  2. Yes, absolutely! We’ll just have to add $6 a month for shipping and handling for domestic US priority mail. We haven’t yet figured out a “one size fits all” solution for international shipping, but if you’re outside the US and you want to participate, call or e-mail, and we’ll work out an individual shipping solution for you.


  1. What if I can’t make it to a meeting or I live out of town?
  2. We will also record all club meetings so if you’re out of town you’ll still be able to enjoy that benefit.


  1. What happens if you sell more memberships than you need to meet the wage increase?
  2. In order to fully cover the shortfall, we need to sell 334 memberships at the yearly rate. If we beat that goal then we will use it to pay our excellent staff more than the minimum wage hike requires. This means we could really use your participation.


Looking Forward to Having You as Part of the Comix Experience Family


Our belief is that there are a lot of people who like comics, like the store, or simply want to help keep San Francisco iconoclastic and support small business. Perhaps you just don’t have the time to get into a comic store every month to stay on top of new releases.


The comics medium is truly in a second Golden Age right now, but with so much top notch, innovative work being released, how can you tell which new releases are the best? We are going to provide that curated experience for you.


I urge you to join us. If you know someone else who would like to subscribe, I also urge you tell them about this service (or give them a gift subscription). Please help us spread the word! Each and every person truly matters in reaching our goal, and keeping Comix Experience alive to continue to take comics into a better place well into the future. On behalf of myself and the staff of Comix Experience, thank you so much for your support!


If you have any questions, please feel free to call either store, or reach out to me directly.


Brian Hibbs, Head Cheese,

Things that make me sad: the bookstore division Aw, lame.  Borderlands is a swell store.

What gets me the most is they're planning to shut down as a result of the new $15 minimum wage law, but they would otherwise be a going concern -- I, too, am super concerned about this law, as it radically scales up our cost of doing business is a way that really does little for us. Like Borderlands, we sell products with a SRP printed right on the cover and we can't "raise prices" in any significant way to cover increased expenses. Going from $10.74/hr in 2013 to $15/hr in 2018 is a massive increase in a very short time!

The thing is, a higher minimum wage is unlikely to sell any more comics (comics are kind of a luxury item, really!), and I'm not even sure that it's going to help the people it is intended to help anyway -- certainly neither of my managers live in the City any longer because they can't afford rents here, but they're STILL not going to be able to afford it with the new rates.  They're competing with Tech Boomers, who all get paid far more, and there aren't good City policies in place to build more affordable housing stock. And so the price of McDonalds will just go up, which is likely to hurt the person earning minimum wage more anyway.

I've used to be proud for years that we paid more than MW (and for my Managers, we still do), but thanks to the voters of San Francisco, that state of affairs is pretty likely to end before 2018, and that sucks.

San Francisco went chain bookstore-free a few years back, so it's even worse to see surviving indies get pushed out