Archive for Awesome Books

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.

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The Super Friday Linkdump!

My List o’ Fantastic Links is getting increasingly large and unruly, which means it’s time for y’all to get ready for a whole bunch of wonderful links to click on! Huzzah, it’s the true meaning of Christmas!

  • First, an announcement: This Saturday, August 8th, Awesome Books at 3009A 34th Street here in Lubbock will host local author Sherrie Spychaj for a book signing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sherrie’s book is called “Staying Safe: Helping Victims of Abuse,” and it’s full of information that could save your life or the life of someone you know. Come on down and check it out.
  • “Weird Al” Yankovic’s new song is a tribute to the Baddest Man in Showbiz.
  • Who here doesn’t love awesome dinosaurs? Right, y’all need to read “Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs” by Leonard Richardson, who is also awesome.
  • Project Rooftop has the winners in their latest contest to redesign Wolverine’s costume.
  • Hey, wanna see Daredevil strip down to his skivvies? Sure ya do!
  • The most addictive site on the ‘net? Other than “Hero Sandwich”? It’s TV Tropes. Just surf through a few of their categories, and you may never be able to escape.
  • And finally, the best Rickroll in history.

There, that should destroy any chance you’ve got to have a productive workday…

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Wedding of the Millennium!


Via the Duffster: Kenny Ketner’s gettin’ hitched!?

(For those of you not in the know, Kenny helps run Lubbock’s Awesome Books, home of many used books and some used comics and other used things that are available for purchase. I owe them another visit — it’s been a month or two since I stopped in…)

Anyway, here’s how it apparently went down:

After duck-feeding, we walk over by the lake. We are hugging each other and I say “Hey Sarah,” and she starts laughing and says, “Hey Kenny.” I say, “Wanna get married?” and she says “Yes.” Then I ask her if she said “Yes” just to make sure (her voice was muffled the first time around). I joke like I am going down on one knee and she laughs and stops me. Instead, I hand her the ring from my coat pocket.

Then she takes her ring she got for me (told you she figured it out) and gives it to me.

We both got each other simple silver bands. No pre-planning there, it just worked out that way.

After a while of chatting and hanging out by the lake, we head back to the car. I reveal a box of Ring Pops that I ordered online and give them to her. They are in case either of us lose our rings during the engagement. 🙂

Silver wedding bands and ring pops? Kenny, comic geeks are supposed to exchange Green Lantern rings. Pff, amateur.

(Congratz, obviously)

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New Geek-Friendly Bookstore in Town!


(Not their actual logo, but I couldn’t find a sample online, so I made my own.)

But yes, Lubbockites, there’s a new used bookstore in town called Awesome Books, at 3009A 34th Street here in Lubbock. They had their grand opening today, and I finally got a chance to stop in.

It’s a great place. It’s small — actually, it’s very small — but the selection seems pretty good. No one goes to used bookstores expecting to find everything under the sun anyway — you go because you can find books there that you won’t find anywhere else. And for its size, I think the selection they’ve got is pretty good — a little bit of everything, from kids’ books to Westerns to new age to horror.

But this is definitely a geek-friendly store. They’ve got a small selection of used and collectible comics, and a whole room in the back that they refer to as the Nerdery, devoted to science fiction, fantasy, comics, and roleplaying games.

My brother and I picked up some nice bargains. I snagged an old second-edition D&D Monster Manual for just a buck — the spine was shot to pieces, but man, I’ve wanted that since I was a kid. Plus, I got a Ray Bradbury short story collection that I’ve somehow missed in all my years of collecting Bradbury books, so good on me. Some of it’s amazingly inexpensive, and some of it’s a bit higher, but those are for rare books that you’d drop yer jaw thinking that anyone had them at all.

Go see ’em. They’re good folks, friendly folks, and they deserve your business.

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