Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Hard Goodbye

I'm guessing from the title most of you very clever Outpostians will get the gist of what this blog is about. I'm going to save you the time by telling you the end first.I will be leaving as owner of the Comic Outpost as of April 1st 2009. My sixth anniversary incidentally. The store has been sold to my good friend Roger Yan and will be run by the more than capable Russel Burns, who has been my manager for the last few months. I still will have a stake in the business for the next 2 years in a depreciating aspect. I'm not walking away completely. I will be working every Wednesday and filling in for guest appearances from time to time. Behind the scenes I will still be handling the look of the shop, events, cons, Internet and a little P.R. The look, feel, policy's, and attitude of The Comic Outpost will not be changed in anyway. Roger would like to keep it the way it is. That's what he paid for. This deal has been in the works for some time now, but for obvious reasons I could not say anything until now so I apologize for surprising some of you with this.

Now to question of why I sold the store. The main reason is time. For those of you who are not aware my household owns 3 business'. The Comic Shop and 2 hair salons that are blowing up in a good way thanks to my rockstar wife. Along with two kids this is not an easy task. In every thing I do I go all out. I live my life like Iggy Pop preforms. I don't feel I've given my all unless and the end of the show I'm bleeding and missing my pants. Metaphorically speaking. Given my new responsibilities coupled with the success of our other business' I have to put my focus on them. Why am I leaving a profitable, successful growing Comic Shop? The timing and the price was right.We just won best of the bay on A reward I am proud of considering our competition. We went from having 2 events to 9 major events in one year and it's better to sell on the way up than on the way down. Go out on top baby(or at least looking at the peak.)  

The economy really has nothing to do with my decision. The shop is motoring. Our numbers continually go up. As far as the future of the industry. I think it's bright. The material, for the most part, continues to get better and more diverse. As far as retailers go, there is a lot amazing established stores out there along with some fresh minded new young retailers which I was proud to be a part of. Shops like Isotope, Neon Monster and Secret Headquarters in L.A. are the future and that is a good thing. Look what I did. a guy from San Diego rolls into to San Francisco and buys a comic shop that has been stagnant, in a city I haven't lived in for a year and turned into something fun, real and profitable. The best advice I could give if your interested in getting in the business. Before starting something from scratch, see if someone is willing to sell. Having that customer base, no matter how small. Something to build on. Overtime, gut the place and make it your own.  

Before I sign off there is a few people I must thank for this wonderful ride. First of course is my wife Melissa who talked me into buying this store in the first place. I had a lot of help from fellow retailers. Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience, THE most knowledgeable, gracious and generous guy in retailing. I never considered him a competitor. He's just a friend. Then there is Jamie Newbold of Southern California Comics, my other good friend, confidant, and back issue adviser,and Frank at Amazing Fantasy who would always pick up the phone when I had a Diamond rant. My good buddy Darick Robertson who shares my passion for the art of toys. The Outpost would probably have not been around after the birth of Logan without the help of Harry Maldonado. you know how I feel about you Harry. I love my dead gay son. All of my brilliant employees. Mike Baker, my first who came up with "We Have Issues", Cara Breslin, Chis Ortiz, Russell Burns, Tamara Funes, Anthony Rivera and of course Raymond Chang who is literally a fixture of The Outpost. Last but not least of my friends whom some May call customers. I won't. We are more like a family and without you, none of this would be possible and I'm forever grateful. Thank you for allowing me to live the dream.  

The Comic Outpost is designed to be worth the trip whether you buy something or not.Nope, no cards or games,no porno comics, no bad attitudes or pretentiousness. What it does have is Comics, super hero comics, Indy comics, kids comics, passionate customers, passionate employees,walls of wonder, and a piece of my heart.  

Looking forward to the future and my future endeavors
Message ends,  


Gary Buechler 
The Comic Outpost 
"We Have issues" 
2381 Ocean Ave. San Francisco, Ca. 94127