Monday, June 28, 2010

As I had a few hours to kill in Red Bank, New Jersey this Sunday I decided to visit Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash (at 35 Broad Street). Of course, this is the comic store owned in part by Kevin Smith. I thought this might make for an interesting blog too. Before I go in, here's the exterior...

It's located on the main street for all the shopping and dining in Red Bank. Upon entering, the register area is located to your right and the current projects of Smith are featured heavily in a display ahead of you (Green Hornet, movie merchandise). Along the left hand side are the recent and new comics arranged alphabetically on the wall.

Here's a view looking back toward the entrance....

Further back the long and narrow storefront is a back issue section. The comics are displayed in a nice custom built file/shelf. The issue are mostly from 80's to early 2000's and are about $1.25-$1.50 generally. More expensive issues line the walls but tend to be signed or variant covers of recent issues. They use the reverse numbering filing system too, although alphabetical, the issues are put in order of most recent to least (#108 before #3).

At the rear of the store there are several display cases for both statues and busts and movie memorabilia from all Kevin Smith movies...

There are a lot of trades and hardcovers. They are arranged by company and by character. And although they didn't have the specific trades I wanted (Korvac Saga and Invincible Vol. 2), they had so many other ones that it was hard to limit myself to the budget I set for this visit.
This view looks to the rear of the store and shows the start of the trade section which continues along part of the back wall. In addition ,there is about six old fashioned spinner racks full of trades. There is a table set up back there which I assume is for signings and podcasts (mics were pushed off to the side and half hidden).

So that is a quick overview of Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book store in Red Bank, New Jersey. Check it out in person if you get the chance, especially if you are a Kevin Smith fan.
I thought I might do some more visits/reviews of comic stores, but that would be over fairly soon as there are only three other stores close to me. Also, I really don't have the time or ability (due to responsibilities) to go further afield so to speak. Which is disappointing, because I have a lot to say about what makes a comic store a GOOD comic store and a BAD comic store. i even came up with a criteria.
Merchandising- how organized, laid out is the product. A key part of ANY retail store.
New issues- display and promotion of current (within year sometimes) titles
Back issues- display, selection and organization of comics older than a year.
Other stuff- man does not live on bread and water alone, nor comic book stores just comics. But, I've seen stores where other product (toys, rpg miniatures)dominates to the point of comics being an afterthought.
So, how is J&SB's in my opinion...
Merchandising- B+, some clutter but maximum use of space
New Issues- A-, clearly organized and visible "new" and "recommended" signs
Back Issues- B, nice display and selection but I prefer going by in numerical order (#1,2,3)
Other stuff- A-, kept to a minimum and then only to comic related stuff (toys, statues) with the exception of the Smith movie merchandise (T-Shirts, hats, etc)
Guess that makes a B+

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