Local comic book store reopens with new manager and business plan

Main Street business Joe’s Comics has undergone numerous changes recently, the most notable being the change of signage from “Joe’s Comics and Video Games” to “AuctionIT4Cash.com.” Soren Thomas became the general manager of the store on Monday Oct. 27, now named Legion of Comics. According to Thomas, the new sign should be ready within the upcoming week.

AuctionIT4Cash.com refers to the origins of the store, which operated as part comic book store, part eBay drop shop. This didn’t last long, however, and the store became a comic book and video game distributor.

Thomas plans on changing this and focusing solely on comic books, adding that the store will no longer be working with Trailways of New York bus services, a company that provides direct transportation daily from Main Street to locations around New York and Canada.

“Now, with the change in management, we’ve eliminated the games and we’re back to 100 percent comics, with some books,” Thomas said. “There are trade paperbacks and hard bound copies of classic comics that come out that make it more affordable and give someone a good reading copy.”

He noted that his store owns almost one million comics, some located within the store and others kept in a nearby storage facility.

“[This is] on the positive side for the comic collectors because a lot of the shelf space for some of the classic back issues stuff that we have, we weren’t able to shelve,” he said. “Now that we have the wall space and the breathing room, we can get our really good books out there for people to enjoy,” he said, noting that they cater to people who buy new comics but also sell back issues for those interested in the classics.

Thomas said he is very excited about his new position.

“Joe’s Comics was here for nine and a half years,” he said. “I was fast friends with the owner and Joe [Watkins] when they opened the store and it was just kind of natural to step in.”

Although Thomas didn’t cite exactly why the change of management occurred, this follows the arrest of previous manager Joe Watkins on Oct. 16 for driving with a suspended license and possession of a felony weight of cocaine and a small amount of marijuana, according to The Genesee Sun and Livingston County News.

“I got my feet wet last week––we were pretty much closed but I was working with the previous manager and owner to reconfigure and get things back on an even keel,” Thomas said. “We’re excited about evolving, getting some new customers and keeping the comic book needs of Livingston County filled.”

One of the ways the store is evolving is through subscription services. Through this service, customers can order their comics on the Internet. The orders show up on the store computer, allowing the employees to order the desired comics directly from the distributor.

The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for Wednesdays when it’s open until 7 p.m., because of “new comic day.” Thomas said he is happy about his new position, stating that he loves talking about comic books with others.

“It’s fun. It’s time-consuming, but it’s a real joy,” he said. “It’s literally like being a kid in a comic store; it’s awesome.”