In the past, I have written about the store’s attempts to capture more people’s attention. We’ve written articles about the day-to-day, celebrity events, comedy nights and more. Now, hurdling toward a year and a half of ownership, we take a moment to re-examine how well things have worked.

The one thing that we thought would work immediately has turned out to be the slowest burn. Since taking over, we have had many sales with huge discounts. Outdoor sales, 25 cent sales, Free Comic Book Day – and almost every time we were over-prepared.

We inherited a store whose clientele had not been accustomed to sales and discounts. For comparison’s sake, at our sister store Geoffrey’s Comics, when a sale is announced, it’s usually accompanied by lots of questions on Facebook and lines that can stretch 50-75 people deep before the doors are even open. When we had our first major sale after taking over, we had all hands on deck and maybe five people who came in during the first hour.

Over time, we have started to include more discounted items in the store. We instituted a dedicated 99-cent bin and discounted vintage comics at $1.99 and $4.99. Slowly, but surely, people have come to realize that we offer super competitive prices for books that they are looking for.

Before, we would have a dedicated group who would come and try to pick through our vast stock in hopes of finding what they were lacking. Now, having alphabetized everything and pricing it to move, we are selling multiples of what once used to go out the door.

Thanks to this, with time, we have seen our sale events grow in attendance, with more and more people asking when our next big event will be.

When it comes to major events, we can wholeheartedly say that they have been major successes. Whether it’s comic launch parties for Amandla Stenberg’s/Stranger Comics’ “Niobe” or for “Doberman,” from the producers of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” – we’ve been able to have huge events that bring people in, make them happy and have them coming back.

On a smaller scale, our comedy nights, now called “Comic Books and Comedy” will be celebrating their one-year anniversary on March 3. We’ve had comics who’ve done USO tours, been on Letterman and Conan, comics who were finalists on “Last Comic Standing” – it’s been a good year for the show. And, as always, every show I encounter someone telling me that this is the first time they’ve been in a comic book store. The crowds grow each month and we keep a dedicated group who come to every show.

We’ve even taken the store outside of its physical confines. In the past year we’ve been at the LA Times’ Festival of Books and at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Sci-Fi Convention. Both venues have been good for us, not only from a marketing and awareness standpoint, but from an operational standpoint. Being able to move new and old product to an eager audience has helped to cover us when things have gotten thin.

Where to go from here? Our biggest hurdle in the coming year will be getting on Los Angeles’ radar. We are the oldest comic book store in Los Angeles County and, as we found out recently, we are also the BIGGEST comic book store in Los Angeles County. How we can communicate that to people is something that we will continue to work on. As it stands, we currently have more brand awareness with tourists than our locals. That will be a major area of growth for us in 2016.

In the end, despite looking toward big events, like our upcoming Gallery opening for the 4 Amigos Collective (an all Latino artist group) – we’re going to focus more on the day-to-day operations. Wednesday, when new comics come in, will become a day of celebration. Customers will soon find discounts, sales, giveaways, raffles and more on a weekly basis – with ample parking space in our once crowded lot. If we can continue our growth, we can ensure that L.A.’s oldest and biggest store will be here to stay.

– By Mauricio Machuca