New comic retailer advocacy group named after a snake

Dennis Barger, owner-operator of Wonderworld Comics in Taylor, Michigan, announced on Facebook the formation of a new comic book retailer organization, the Comic Book Retailer Alliance, or COBRA for short. Here is the original Facebook post:

My frustration with much of what is going on in comics has at least in a large part been set in motion for a reversal. When the Beatles wrote “I get by with a little help from my friends” they had no idea the level of people that would one day join forces like a modern day superhero team to form a comic book organization like no other. This group of retailers are unsurpassed in their knowledge of the industry, fortitude of character and strength of their voices. It is my pleasure and honor to team up with Randy Myers, Dominic Postiglione, Larry’s Comics, Jetpack Comics, Jesse James, Chandler Rice, Aaron Haaland and Richard Nelson to start the Comic Book Retailer Alliance. An advocacy group for the protection of the local comic shop (lcs) and the for a future in print comics for all creators. Way more information to come.

There’s already an established comic book retailer advocacy group, ComicsPRO, but according to past Facebook comments made by Dennis Barger, ComicsPro is only looking out for themselves, whatever that means:

MY HERO Brian Hibbs, champion of retailers everywhere, has made a bold move (finally). He has come to the conclusion that ComicsPRO the “professional” retailers group founded by many of the biggest names in comic retailing is only looking out for themselves. I came to this conclusion 4 years ago and let the one year that I paid for lapse. They think that retailers cow-tieing to digital comics from ComiXology is the answer. I think groups like Comic Retailers who will NOT sign up with ComiXology or iVerse is the stance we should be taking. They say DC is our friend and Marvel is our enemy, they are clearly misguided. Brian has (as he usually does) restored my faith in him.

Dennis Barger

To some comic book shop retailers, individuals like Dennis Barger, digital comics are a threat to their very existence. When he’s not complaining about variant cover comics that he believes are too sensualized, Barger complains about digital comics. For instance, here’s something he posted recently on Facebook:

ahhh noooo ComiXology is still broken…guess what, my paper and staples didn’t get hacked, my bags and boards protected your passwords from getting hacked, my trade paperbacks aren’t going to attempt to spam you forever…how long before a hack wipes out your account and you have to conveniently rebuy everything? you are propping up a paper tiger that is giving you nothing in exchange that you can’t get for free on a bit torrent site. I SELL COMICS, Comics by comiXology for iOS sells 1s and 0s that can be taken away from you at a moments notice….good luck with that

ComiXology, the major seller of digital comics, recently suffered a security breach and as a precautionary measure urged users to change their passwords. ComiXology may have experienced a data breach, but at least they don’t run the risk of being condemned.

Like my local comic book shop.

Atomic Comics, located in downtown Hagerstown, was condemned by the city back in April of 2013. It still operates, sort of. There’s a note on the door (along with the official notice from the city inspector declaring that the building is not suited for habitation) instructing would-be customers how to get for their comics. The notice from the city stays in the window all the time. The note from the owner comes and goes daily.

Even before Atomic Comics was condemned, I hadn’t shopped there in years. It was freezing in the winter, hot in the summer, and smelled like cigarettes, dust, and Austin Powers action figures. If it weren’t for digital comics, I probably wouldn’t read comics, at least not the monthly floppies. I read most of my comics in the collected format, purchased exclusively from Amazon.

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