After seeing several local comic book stores close, Louis Meyer decided to open his own store, only to face a similar fate. Now he’s sustaining a comic delivery business with just three employees and no rent payment.
Louis Meyer, owner and founder of Game On! Comics, moved to Springfield from Cincinnati when he was 19 and worked for years as a photographer for Olan Mills and later a professional magician with Child Time Magic.
He’d been a fan of comic books since he was a kid and kept having to find new comic book stores as the old ones closed. When Nova Comics in Springfield closed, Meyer already wanted to open his own business, so he decided to open a store and hired the former employees of Nova Comics.
Based in Vienna, Game On! Comics opened in 2011, but Meyer faced similar problems that other stores had before and couldn’t make enough money to stay open.
After his wife suggested he move the business online, Meyer says he thought: “We’ve got such a solid customer base already. What if we convert them over to, like, a pizza delivery system for comic books?” With a sign magnetized to the roof of the delivery cars, it’s not hard to see how the connection could be made: They deliver fresh comics right to your doorstep.
Meyer closed the physical store in October 2015 and immediately started his delivery system. He was confident he could make the switch. “The good news was that all the expenses went out the window,” he says. “There’s no rent, there’s no employees (besides his two drivers), and this is the kind of business I can run by myself. I don’t have to be open at particular hours.”
Meyer has shrunk his operation down to just him and two delivery drivers. “Every Wednesday morning I meet my delivery drivers and they take all of the deliveries for that [week].” He receives the weekly shipment of comics to his house and sorts them for delivery.
Subscribers can add or drop comics from their lists online. There is no membership cost, so subscribers are only charged for the comics they buy and a $6 delivery charge, which they can spread out by limiting the amount of deliveries they receive per month (weekly, biweekly or monthly) and adjusting how often they get deliveries (weekly, biweekly or monthly), which allows them to fully customize their subscription experience and to have the newest comic releases on their doorstep when they get home the same day they’re released at comic book stores around the country. Deliveries are made all around NoVA, from Great Falls to Manassas to Woodbridge to Alexandria, with Meyer already shipping some out-of-state mail deliveries.
With over 100 subscribers, Game On! Comics already has a loyal and solid base. Meyer has had lots of praise from comic book fans in the area and says he rarely loses a customer.