Lubbock's Comics Connections: Awesome Books

It’s been way, way, way too long since we did one of these profiles of current or former Lubbockites who’ve gotten into the comics biz. For once, I’m going to turn the focus away from comics creators so we can look at some of the folks *selling* comics — namely, Awesome Books at 3009A 34th Street.

I’d actually asked Kenny and the gang for some info about the store all the way back last April. They sent me everything I needed, and then I went and completely forgot about it until last weekend, when I was checking through my transferred files on the new computer. So to make up for my embarrassing forgetfulness, here’s what they sent me back in April…

Awesome Books is the brain child of its three owners: Scott Cunningham, Kenny Ketner, and Derek Moreland.  The trio started planning the business in January of 2008, and it opened its doors officially in mid-June of 2008.

Each owner brings a different set of strengths to the business.  Scott is the book genius.  He worked at Book Alley for ten years, learning the ins and outs of the used book business.  After his time at Book Alley, he sold books online through ABE Books, which is also the online selling method for Awesome Books.  (These days, it’s essential for a used bookstore to have an internet presence, because so much business is lost to the internet before a customer even comes through the doors.)

Derek is the comic book genius.  He is a walking encyclopedia of the comic book world.  On top of that, Derek has ten years of retail sales and management experience, mostly through WaldenBooks and Hastings. (He also worked as a book buyer for Hastings.)

Kenny handles annoying little business details, advertising, scheduling, and crap like that.

Our journey to a functioning (though not yet profitable) business has been an exciting one, and we have been helped by friends and family along the way.  We also made use of the wonderful resources available at the Small Business Development Center.  Anyone thinking about starting a business should definitely take their classes and sign up for one-on-one business counseling.

Our plans for the future include growing the store and finding a way to crack open the racket that is college textbook sales.

Awesome Books isn’t the biggest used bookstore around, but it is one of the most geek-friendly. In addition to the large rack of used and collectible single-issue comics up by the register, there’s also a whole room in the back called the Nerdery that’s devoted to science fiction, fantasy, comics, and role-playing games. They’ve been enthusiastic supporters of all of the Lubbock comic conventions and expos, too.

Go check ’em out, man.

No Comments

  1. Kenny Ketner Said,

    January 26, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    Thanks for posting about our store, Scott!

    We plan to offer used NES games and other vintage games in the next week or two as well.

  2. Bert Said,

    January 26, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    Hey, I’ll have to check that out. I like the look already. 🙂

  3. digby Said,

    January 26, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

    I keep meaning to get by there and donate some books that I no longer have space for. Despite having been reread many, many times, they’re in very good shape and will probably sell. If they don’t, no loss to the guys.

    Maybe Kenny will help me find one of my childhood favorite books. {{fingers crossed}}

  4. voodooben Said,

    January 26, 2010 @ 8:19 pm

    Digby – we’re happy to help, and if we don’t have your book in stock, we keep “wish lists’, as well. If we ever get a copy in, we’ll be happt to call you. And heck yeah, an and all dontations are welcome!

    Scott – I’d like to add my sincere thanks for throwing some free publicity our way. 😉 You’re always a welcome guest in our store.

  5. Scott Slemmons Said,

    January 26, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    Thanks for all the great comments, you guys. The whole bunch of ya rock. 🙂