Well, this might be fairly big news.

§ September 15th, 2014 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 104 Comments

So in about a month, I will be leaving the employ of Seth’s Games and Anime/Ralph’s Comic Corner. And shortly thereafter, in late October or early November, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will be opening my own store: Sterling Silver Comics.

I’m not leaving out of acrimony or any other negative issues…it’s simply long past time that I start doing my own thing, and after a very, very long time of planning and searching, a place finally opened up in a location I really like, and I jumped on it.

I’ve already done a lot of work in preparation, but there is a lot of work to be done still. I still sort of feel like I’m not entirely, well, ready to do this, but if I waited ’til I was 100% ready, I’d probably never do it.

In the near future, I’ll have more details about the business, like, you know, exact location and contact info and such, but in the meantime, here’s the barebones “coming soon” page on the website, with links to my equally barebones Twitter account and my somewhat barebones eBay listings (but only because I’ve sold a bunch of stuff in the last couple of days and haven’t had a chance to replenish).

Anyway, for those of you who still tolerate reading my site, I should warn you that, for the next month or so, posting on this site will be very light while I focus on getting my new store up and running. I won’t disappear…you can always find me on the Twitters, and I’m sure I’ll post occasional updates here on how things are going. Don’t expect an End of Civilization post, though, or at least much of one, either this month or the next. I like doing ’em, but making sure I’ll be able to make a living must take precedence, otherwise my civilization will come to an end.

I’m remarkably nervous and excited; this could be a great new direction in my life, or it could be an expensive way of finally getting me out of comics retail. Hoping more for the former than the latter, obviously, because I don’t want to pass my dotage wandering from neighbor’s house to neighbor’s house asking to borrow a cup of food. But I’d like to think after two and half decades in the comics industry, I know a little something and that I can use that knowledge to build a successful and profitable business.

Well, we’ll see. Wish me luck, pals…I can certainly use it.

I’m going to miss the old shop, and my regulars, and my coworkers, but this needs to be done.

Oddly enough, even after paying for the business license and clearing the zoning and buying fixtures and all that stuff, it all still seemed somewhat abstract to me until I sat down to write this post.

It almost feels real now.

104 Responses to “Well, this might be fairly big news.”

  • C. Elam says:

    My not going to bed when I should has somehow left me leaving the first comment. Or at least, close to it, depending on anyone else showing up. Anyway…

    Congratulations! You are a capital guy, and extremely knowledgeable about the business of comic book selling. I wish you all the success!

    …And you know, I am on the verge of changing direction in my OWN life, so this was a nice kick in the pants that it’s something that needs to be done. So, thank you.

  • JIM Evans says:

    Wow, congratulations! That is a big thing. Good on you.

  • Phil says:

    Good luck, Mike.

  • Bob Temuka says:

    Good luck with the new store, Mike! It’s only right and proper to be nervous about this kind of thing, but change is good, especially when you take charge of your own destiny like this….

  • David G says:

    Good luck Mike. I look forward to hearing about your new adventures.

  • Smicha1 says:

    Wow, what a great adventure! Congratulations!

  • Tom W says:

    Good luck, dude

  • Ed says:

    Best of Luck to you Mike

  • Jay from Tennessee says:

    Best of luck and give us a chance to support you–you earn it every post. As for it only becoming real after you’ve written about it: I work with a number of writers and they all say the same thing. Feeling that way confirms you’re a writer, my friend.

  • philfromgermany says:

    Good on you and best of luck!

  • Ben says:

    Best of luck Mike!

  • Old Bull Lee says:

    I’m a little nervous for you too, but more confident than nervous. Good luck!

  • Alex says:

    Congratulations and best wishes, Mike. This will be a very exciting venture and I wish you the best of luck!

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    Congratulations on this big decision and best of success to you in your preparations now and once it’s opened!

  • Thom H. says:

    Awesome news! Best of luck! I look forward to hearing about your new adventures to the extent you’re interested in sharing them.

  • Bully says:

    Congratulations, Mike! Wishing you all the best of luck and success and I WANT A JOB PLEASE

  • way to go monsieur, im sure it will be a great shop. pretty bold too, i guess cali has more nerds per capita than ct, i would never dare open a shop here. GOOD LUCK!

  • CinqO says:


    I have some X-Force #1s if you need some initial stock….

  • ArghSims says:


    Congrats, Mike. Hope I can visit the shop someday. Definitely will peruse the eBay listings.

  • G23 says:

    Not in the Cali area, but if I was, I’d come visit with some business for you. Best of luck, internet pal!

  • Scott Rowland says:

    Wow. The best of luck to you! I don’t get up to your neck of the woods often, but I look forward to visiting the new shop.

  • rubber cat says:

    Congratulations and good luck!

  • D. Latta says:


  • Kevin Boyle says:

    Congratulations. I had always kinda figured you would “inherit” your current store someday but this is just as good if not better. I can’t wait to make a trip down there to be a customer.

  • Cathy Leamy says:

    Man, I am insanely psyched for you! Congratulations!

  • Robert in New Orleans says:

    All the best in your new venture!

  • Rob March says:

    As a longtime customer and (I hope) friend, I sincerely wish you success in your new venture. I, of course, will be giving you my custom, so you won’t get rid of me that easily.

  • Adam says:

    That’s pretty amazing.

    I know you’ll be busy, but I’d be pretty interesting in reading even short blog posts on the triumphs and tribulations of someone attempting to open up a small business, especially a comic book store.

  • Jaime Baker says:

    Congratulations Mike. I’ve known you since you first started working for Ralph and over the years you have become the backbone of the store. You have become a wealth of information whenever I throw a question your way whenever I get out of the loop. Good luck on your new adventure and if you ever need help organizing and keeping things in order,(something I think you are big on)please let me know and I would be glad to help out. My childhood dream of working part time in a comic book store would be kinda cool. See you soon :))

  • JRC says:

    well hot dang! best and lucks to you.

  • Adam Farrar says:

    Congratulations! Best of luck!

  • chasdom says:

    Congratulations and good luck!

  • Mathew says:

    How exciting. Congratulations, Mike!

  • philip says:

    Good on ya, Mr. Sterling. Very exciting news. I’ll be sure to pay you a visit next time I’m down Central Coast way to see the folks.


  • Teresa says:

    Congratulations! I hope it turns out to be a great and profitable adventure.

  • Casie says:

    Wow! This is fantastic news! I’m so happy for you, Mike! You’re the perfect person to have his own shop! Your kind spirit and genuine love for comics is contagious and I look forward to being one of your regulars. Congratulations and good luck with your adventure time! :)

  • David Campbell, Man o' War says:

    Congratulations, my friend! This is your DENSITY.

  • Pedro de Pacas says:

    Congratulations Mike!

    But don’t neglect your blog too much – you’re on my shortlist of favourite comics bloggers – you’ve got the touch! I don’t know what sort of numbers you get, but I’m sure you can use the site to power traffic to your business, perhaps even establish some sort of mail order system. You are a famous talking head in my books!

    The best of luck!

  • Wriphe says:

    I’ve never been to your current store (I live on the other side of the country, and that would make for too long a commute to pick up my books on Wednesdays), but if your real life persona is as charming and conscientious as your online persona, I’m sure you’ll have nothing but positive returns in your new venture. Good luck!

  • lankyguy says:

    Wonderful news! Best of luck!

  • Jerry Smith says:

    Mike, best of luck! If I’m ever in your area I will be happy to stop by and spend some well-earned dollars. But don’t leave me blogging alone!

  • Tim B. says:

    Best of luck.

  • Daniel McG says:

    This is fantastic news! Congratulations and best of luck to ya!

  • Suckmaster Burstingfoam says:

    Great news! Congratulations and good luck.

  • Congratulations and good luck, Mike.

  • dave says:

    Cool! Best of luck; you’re the best retailer

  • Great news, Mike! Best of luck and success to you!

  • Rich Handley says:

    That’s great news! Best of luck, Mike.

  • Dario Delfino says:


    Best of luck!

  • ExistentialMan says:

    Added to my bucket list:

    Make the trip from Ohio to Cali to visit Sterling’s Silver Comics!


  • Casey says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am for you. I really wish I lived out in your part of the country, so I could spend hours flipping through your stock without buying anything.

    Best of luck, Mike!

  • IT says:

    Congratulations, and I’m fond of the clever name too!

  • caleb says:

    But can a comic book shop that ONLY sells issues of Swamp Thing and assorted Swamp Thing merchandise make it in this harsh business environment…?

    Seriously though, not to, like, jump on the bandwagon or anything, but best of luck to you and your exciting, terrifying new venture.

  • Michael says:

    Awesome news, and Morgan and I wish you the best of luck!

  • Synonymous says:

    Good luck! You’ve more than earned it!

  • William Burns says:


  • Chris Gumprich says:

    The industry needs more comic shop owners with brains in their heads. Congratulations, Mike. I know you’ll do well.

  • Kurt Onstad says:

    Hmmm…What can I say that hasn’t been yet?

    Congrats! I look forward to visiting the “Kurt Onstad Memorial Speedball Back Issue section” next time I’m in town.

  • Shelly S says:

    Congrats and good luck! It sounds exciting.

  • CP Bananas says:

    A man I’ve never met opening a store I’ll probably (unfortunately) never visit.

    And yet I’m so happy! Congratulations and good luck!

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Sterling Silver Comics”

    Not “Sterling-Swamp Thing comics”?

  • Corey Blake says:

    Congratulations! Good for you! Looks like your new store might be sorta close to me. Would love to stop in. Good luck!

  • Phil says:

    Good luck to you, sir!

    (long-time reader, first-time poster etc)

  • May the Maneki-Neko grant you good fortune.

  • Dave-El says:

    Way to go, Mike! If things get tough, just remember: WWSTD or What Would Swamp Thing Do. Although I’m not sure if Swampy has much experience in retail. Also I just realized that WWSTD can also stand for Warily Ward-off Sexually Transmitted Diseases so maybe that’s not a helpful mantra after all. Forget I said anything. Well, other than…”Good luck, Mike!”

  • esteban says:

    Congratulations! Truly a momentous occasion!

  • Crowded House says:

    Alright Mike! Moving on up in the world! Now all the Diet Coke, pogs, and Swamp Thing merchandise will be yours! Here’s hoping the set-up goes relatively painlessly and your store is a big success! Good luck!

  • John says:

    Congratulations and good luck Mike. I’m excited for ya

  • Roger Green says:

    Leaving the nest. Scary, yet invigorating, I imagine. You’ll do well, I imagine.

  • Walaka says:

    Mike: Sorry to be late to the party, but yesterday was the first day of the quarter and a but hectic.

    I have always had half a mind to visit you when I am on one of my occasional visits to California. When your own shop is open, that will be a definite.

    Best of luck, and don’t worry if the blog cools off a bit. We’ll all be here waiting when you get back.

  • Bruce Baugh says:

    Ooh! Very best wishes, Mike. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

  • Lene Taylor says:

    Congrats, Mike! I will definitely visit your shop next time I’m on SoCal!. I’m sure you will run your store the way Kirk ran the Enterprise – with lots of coffee, yelling, and aggressive pointing at underlings.

  • Rob S. says:

    Wow, congratulations and good luck! Hope you survive the experience!

  • Jason-L says:

    Let me add my voice to the chorus wishing you the best of luck, and hoping you succeed. I do also hope you keep posting updates to the blog when you can!

  • swamp mark says:

    hope you’re still reading these replies. way to go Mike! show them how it’s done, pal. also, my condolences to Ralph’s. they must be freaking out.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “because I don’t want to pass my dotage wandering from neighbor’s house to neighbor’s house asking to borrow a cup of food”

    Or trying to trade back issues of MAN-THING for food!

  • ensiform says:

    That is great! Good luck! If I am ever in your area I will come by, ask for you by name, look you in the eye, and say, “Nice BLOG, Nerd.”

    I mean, I will buy comics from you.

  • John H. says:

    Hey wow!! Congratulations, and good luck!

  • googum says:

    That’s awesome! Now, maybe you could hire someone–or better yet, get an unpaid intern!–to blog for you…

  • Tony B. says:

    Congrats and good luck Mike!

  • adam barnett says:

    Kudos to you for having the courage to follow your path! Best of luck!

  • Sir A1! says:

    Thumbs up! Waaaay up!

  • Jack says:

    Wow, big news. Good luck on the new store, Mike. Maybe someday I’ll find my way out there to it and buy some books from you.

  • Bigmountain says:

    Best of luck, Mike. I’ve been long time reader of the site, and I came by the shop a couple of times when my travels brought me close enough that I could make the side-trip. I will definitely look to visit the new shop when it opens.

  • I may be late to the party but I hope not too late to congratulate you on such a momentous occasion!

    Like some others may have, I had half-assumed (maybe half-ass-edly) that you may just “inherit” (or eventually buy-out) your current place of biz, but starting afresh is a TRULY fantastic plan!

    You have the knack, you have the knowledge, (and to quote from Ghostbusters; “…got the tools and the TALENT!”) – not to forget the personal charisma and charm to run a successful venture.

    Over the years, I’ve often thought of starting MY own shoppe. I’ve got more comics and merch than most stores (not counting my PERSONAL “keeper” collection) and all I needed was a good location… but alas the wife and I kept moving to middle-of-nowhere woodsy locales and not many squirrels and raccoon read comics (EAT ’em, SURE!).

    I also am on a change-of-life (or more like a return-to-what-worked-before-the-bottom-dropped-out) and have nothing but sincere admiration for someone who takes that small step for “a” Man, but a GIANT LEAP for MIKE-kind!

    Go get ’em, fellow THING-of-MAN!


  • Congratulations and best of luck. I found your site while searching for info on how to run a store prior to opening mine. With your unknowing tutelage to get me started, I just celebrated my 8th anniversary.

    So have fun. The stress does go away. You already know how it works. Now you get to write the checks.

  • Bill D. says:

    Congratulations, Mike! Best of luck.

  • Signal Watch says:

    many congratulations! I have no doubt you’ll do an astounding job!

  • stavner says:


  • gabi losoncy says:

    Congratulations Mike! I can’t wait to make cross-country purchases from what I expect to be the greatest comic book store ever.

  • Tony Chavira says:


    I’m with everyone else. All of my comics will be bought from you now on. Just let me know how/when.

  • Decker says:

    Good luck! The world always needs passionate, thoughtful people to make things better.

  • Jo says:

    Super excited for you! And I’m fairly certain we’ll be customers as you are the only person in the world who understands my pull list. LOL.

    Also, if you need a part time helper….? No really! I always wanted to work part time at Ralph’s (never could call it Seth’s).

    Very excited for you!

    Love, Jo

  • H says:

    Congratulations! And you know that you can always count on me to buy and copy of the Iron Man “Spores!” issue you get in stock.

  • Dylan Rice-Leary says:

    This is great news! Really looking forward to your new venture. I’ll put the word out in Ojai & at Bart’s Books (Matt will be psyched). When will you be accepting applications/resumes?

  • Sarah says:

    Congratulations, Mike, and good luck!

  • Tom Mason says:

    Congratulations and best wishes! I’ll stop by and spend some dough next time I’m in town!

  • swamp mark says:

    had to get this to 100 comments. hope it is the most comments ever. all this good will should help to calm the jitters. wtg again.

  • Teaflax says:

    Congratulations and best wishes from Sweden!

  • MrJM says:

    Happy belated best wishes!

    Happy early congratulations!

    — MrJM

  • Kiel Phegley says:

    Good for you, sir! Break a leg!