The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award recognizes store owners that support comic art through the industry and the community at large. In 2013, Legend Comics & Coffee was selected as one of seven finalists amongst their international peers in New Zealand and Chicago to name a few. In 2014, they were selected for this prestigious award.
Their story began when the owner recognized the need for a better space that allowed for graphic novels to reach a broader audience. For this reason, AO was hired to plan/design their new space.
In addition to increased square footage for retail activities, the new space added a coffee shop to their offerings. The removal of a significant portion of the wall between the two bays in the building allowed for flexibility and visibility to either space. The efficiency of the layout increased space for new comics by more than 200-percent, archived comics by 40-percent, and trade books by 90-percent.
The open plan also provides space for special functions and community engagement which brings new people to the industry. In addition to gaming events, the store hosts a monthly creator’s workshop, weekly trivia night, poetry readings, book signings, and an open Mic night.
The new space was completed within budget and, in the first year, retail sales met the owner’s five-year revenue goal.