Norwood Business Spotlight: New England Comics
Home of television hero The Tick.
New England Comics, located at 732 Washington Street in Norwood Center, has been in business for 30 years. Comics are not just for kids, and there are still avid comic book collectors in every age group.
Norwood Patch sat down with New England Comics, Allan Burns and Ralph Blaser, to find out more about the comic world.
Patch: How long have you been in business? How long in Norwood?
NEC: This coming June will be our 30th anniversary. Along with 27 great years in the town of Norwood.
Patch: How many other locations do you have?
NEC: We have eight locations around Boston: Quincy, Allston, Brookline, Brockton, Boston, Norwood, Malden and New Bedford.
Patch: Has the popularity of comic books decreased over the years?
NEC: The overall popularity of comic book characters, thanks to successful movie adaptations, TV and the internet, has never been higher. The fan base is incredibly energized and ravenous for anything comic book or even comic book related. With the technological advent of digital comics the reach of publishers has increased even more, allowing readers to sample characters and stories they might not have otherwise bought in the standard paper comic book format.
Patch: Marvel Comics is coming out with a new line of first edition comic books. Tell us about that?
NEC: MARVEL NOW promotional initiative was crafted to allow readers of all tastes and backgrounds to try Marvel's stable of characters from a ground level entry point. Putting creative teams, comprised of Marvel's best and brightest writers and artists, on to titles to shake up the status quo and go into different and exciting directions never before seen or read.
While also introducing numerous new titles, such as Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy, to an audience chopping at the bit to read these characters that are set to break out thanks to exposure from the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon show, or from their soon to be released movie. It's a great idea that has worked out well so far for Marvel Comics.
Marvel is also very big because Spiderman just died so they're re-doing all the titles as number 1 issues.
Patch: What is the age group of your clients? I'm sure it varies?
NEC: Average age group is between 18 to 35 years old, with a mostly 80 percent male to 20 percent female audience. Although that demographic has since shown evidence of changing in the last few years.
Patch: What other products do you carry?
NEC: We also carry a large amount of collectible card games, such as Magic, The Gathering, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. We have regular tournaments for Magic in our Brookline, Norwood and New Bedford stores. For a schedule of these events you can check our individual store pages at www.newenglandcomics.com.
Patch: Have you ever published your own comics?
NEC: Why, yes we have. We have been publishing The Tick comic since 1986. This character has been through a variety of mediums since including a cartoon series on Fox Saturday morning, a live action series starring Patrick Warburton and a vast amount of liscening for toys, costumes and even party hats. We will also be publishing a brand new issue as part of the Free Comics book day event on May 4th. Anyone can come in that day and get this comic absolutely FREE. We will also have many other publishers such as Marvel Comics and DC Comics to give away that day.
Patch: Tell us about the Tick character?
NEC: New England Comics has been the publisher of The Tick since 1987. The character was featured in his own animated television series on Fox. The series ran from 1994-1997. To date, there are over 100 issues of Tick comic books.
According to store manager, Allan Burns, Wednesday in new arrival day and is usually the busiest day of the week for comic shoppers.
New England Comics also buys old and pre-owned comic books from the 1960's to 1970's and older. They also trade paperbacks and graphic novels. Contact Tom, the main comic buyer at (617)770-1848.
You can contact New England Comics at (781)769-4552 or their website at www.newenglandcomics.com.