Comics Alternative Interviews: Christina Merkler

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“We’re kinda drug dealers”

Over the past three and a half years, the Two Guys with PhDs Talking about Comics have interviewed a variety of artists, writers, editors, publishers, educators, and scholars, but in all this time they have not yet interviewed someone from the retail side of comics culture. Until now. In this episode, MerklerDerek talks with Christina Merkler, the co-owner of Discount Comic Book Service, one of the largest online retailers of comics (and, in the spirit of full disclosure, an official sponsor of The Comics Alternative). They begin their conversation with a little background history, Christina describing what it was like when her husband, Cameron, came up with the idea for the business and decided to start with an all-online shop. What began as a small Internet-driven service out of their home in 1999 eventually turned into a brick-and-mortar store, multiple online storefronts, and the growing multi-state operation that it has become today. Christina describes how now, with the DCBS remaining in Fort Wayne, IN, and the InStock Trades warehouse being in Memphis, TN, the Merklers feel like they’re all over the place and constantly on the go. But they’ve no plans to rest on their achievements, and instead, are at work on future growth plans. Derek also asks Christina about the competition they’ve had over the years, the ins and outs of pricing, their relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors, their attempts at getting into the digital comics business, the decisions that go into their monthly specials, and their strategies for good customer relations. In all, his conversation with Christina is a revealing look at the store-front business side of the medium and the many details of how, literally, the books by the creators the guys discuss every week get into the hands of the readers.

After listening to this interview, be sure to head on over to Discount Comic Book Service and InStock Trades. And when you do, please send them an email and tell them that the Two Guys with PhDs sent you!




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Zone 4 #317: All-New, All-Different Shattered Empire in Fairyland!

Zone 4 comes at you LIVE once more as Brant, Chris and Lisa discuss some All-New, All-Different Marvel books, some new DC books, I Hate Fairyland, Twilight Children, Star Wars, and more!

Some SPOILERS for this week’s episode of The Flash! Sorry about that!…

Video Version:

Comic Book Savant Episode 139: Six Year Anniversary Show

This week is a time to celebrate and reflect as the show celebrates it’s six year anniversary! I will talk about some recent comic news, upcoming plans for the show and recount some of my favorite moments and shows from the past six years. Enjoy!

F BombCast 151: Piñata Party

If You like comics than this is the episode for you. We talk comics. We talk TV shows about comics. We talk ordering comics. We even talk about Curious George..wait what?!?!?! Besides comics we have a slight discussion on the 1967 TV series The PRisoner and Hammer Studios. Kevin Hates the Justice League TJ Loves the Red Hood, and everyone loves DCBS. Whispers and Walking Dead is discussed. as is the problem with pre ordering. Lastly Swamp thing is brought up to speed and has entered TJ’s top favorite DC books.

Download here on iTunes, at or listen in the handy dandy player right here

Too Old to Grow Up! – Episode 54 – Talking with Shawn Pryor of PKD Media

Independent comics publisher PKD Media broke onto the comics scene about a year ago at the 2008 Pittsburgh Comic Con.  We talk with PKD Media’s Shawn Pryor about their first year, how thier first book “Mercury and the Murd” has been received, and thieir latest offering, “PKD Media Presents #1.”

Show Notes:
PKDMedia Presents #1 at DCBS
PKDMedia Presents #1 at Heroes Corner