Welcome to the triumphant return of Behind the Counter, where we spotlight the stores that supply us with objects of our various obsessions.
For this installment we have another international entry, Pulp Fiction, from beautiful Long Beach, California USA!
I was first introduced to Pulp Fiction through their online store – CheapGraphicNovels.com. I was doing some research into which online store I could use to buy some back issue trade paperbacks at reasonable prices and CheapGraphicNovels stood far and above the competition. Not only did they have an awesome selection of trades available, but their prices were unbelievable! Brand new trades at 30, 40 & 50% off! The shipping is very reasonable, fast, and the books are always well packed and arrive un-damaged.
That alone would ensure my custom, but what really keeps me coming back is the customer service. The man in charge of the online orders is Max, and as long as he is working at Pulp Fiction, I will continue to buy from there. He is 100% committed to his customers and has always provided me personally with the best customer service. So here is the man himself, take it away Max!
When did you first open?
We first opened our brick and mortar store Pulp Fiction in 2005 and began working on the website CheapGraphicNovels.com in the fall of 2008 and officially launched it in the fall of 2010 if memory serves.
What compelled you to enter the comic industry?
Working with/around something you love is everyone’s dream I think. In most of my previous jobs (even the more menial ones) I’ve tried to at least work around things that I have a personal interest in even if the job itself isn’t that great.
What makes your store unique?
What sets us apart is our prices and selection. Whether in our store in Long Beach, CA or online at CheapGraphicNovels.com, you’re going to find the biggest selection and lowest prices (99% of the time) on trade paperbacks, hardcovers, graphic novels, etc. On top of that, we make a point of staying on top of all the goings on in the world of graphic novels and collected editions including keeping tabs on what books are going out of print, what books are upcoming including approximate release dates, saying knowledgeable on printing and binding processes as well as the content itself, etc. In my experience there aren’t many shops you could call to find out if a particular book has glued or sewn binding.
I always love talking shop with other hardcore collected edition collectors like myself whether it be via e-mail, phone, or in person. It’s fun to geek out over which books are bound the best, which companies are doing better than others in collected editions, what books are coming out in the future, etc. My passion, hobby, and job are all wrapped in one.
What do you dislike most about your job?
Honestly there’s nothing I really dislike about the job that I would mention publicly. I would think that working with comics all day every day I may eventually burn out on reading them but it hasn’t happened yet!
What do you think is the future of comics?
I’m always very optimistic and get frustrated with the pessimistic outlook of some. I think there probably will be a time in the future when books aren’t physically printed anymore but that time is way, way, way off in the future. I could see the monthly 20-page comic book disappearing in favor of digital only but I feel there will be a market for nice, printed collected editions for many years to come. So far digital sales have only served to bolster and boost physical sales and I see this trend continuing.
If we’re talking specific runs/series, my all-time favorite run is the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne X-Men (but I love everything that came after that too). Other favorites include Whedon/Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men, Ultimate Spider-Man, Planetary, Preacher, Y the Last Man, Kevin Smith/Brad Meltzer/Judd Winick/Phil Hester’s Green Arrow, Morrison’s New X-Men, Bendis’ Daredevil, Brubaker’s Daredevil, Simonson’s Thor, Robinson/Goyer/Johns’ JSA, Powers, Invincible, The Walking Dead….I could go on and on and on so I’ll just stop there 🙂
What are you reading right now?
Too much! I read over 100 monthly series, plus lots of collected editions I have piled up. In my heart I’m a Marvel zombie and I read 99% of those books (but I generally think they’re actually really good. I’m not just reading them because they’re Marvel!). I enjoy about half of the DC New 52 but I think they’ve made some serious missteps creatively which is very disappointing to me. As far as other monthly series I read, nothing can beat Saga right now; it’s simply the best book on the stands. A close second would be The Manhattan Projects from Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra. I also really enjoy all of the Mignola-verse (Hellboy, BPRD, etc) books and I read all of the Star Wars comics (although some of these aren’t nearly as good as others). Again, just too many to name and I could go on and on.
Any future plans you want your shoppers to know about?
Just continuing to improve the site! We did our big upgrade/relaunch last fall but we’re still playing with the layout and working on many more improvements including creating resources for customers interested in trying new series such as info pages and blog posts. We want to try to replicate the experience of coming into the store as closely as possible where we can recommend books to readers looking for something new.
So there you have it. Pulp Fiction is an awesome store and their online store can’t be beat for price and service. As Max mentioned they have recently upgraded and it’s great. It’s easy to navigate and they’ve just introduced Pre-Ordering. If you’re a local you can visit the store and take advantage of their amazing prices, awesome level of industry knowledge, trade ins and as far as I know, they’re the only comic shop that has the option to borrow comics. What an awesome idea! Check them out and make sure you tell them NCP sent ya!
Name: Pulp Fiction
Proprietor: Michael Lerner
Address: 1742 Clark Ave, Long Beach, CA USA, 90815 (Google Maps)
Phone: (562) 986-4154
Online Store: cheapgraphicnovels.com