Over at TCJ, Patrick Rosenkrantz interviews four of comics finest indie retailers:, Meltdown, Desert Island, Quimby’s, and Counter Media. Although Rosenkrantz warns not to take this snapshot as more than that — he pointedly offers “no pie charts” — it’s still a valuable look at four stores that are passionate about their business and how they survive.

Meltdown operates in 14,000 square feet of retail space at a high rent address. Its carries all the latest comics, games, and graphic novels, along with a wide range of children and adult apparel, two display galleries, a comedy theater and after school classes in making comics. “We hope to be a nerd hub,” said Dominguez. All we need is a super hero knitting circle. I’ll do it. I’m down. We’re the Death Star of this shit, man. People have to come to us. We’re a destination store. We’re deeply embedded into our neighborhood, our community.”

Meltdown concentrates on its core customers and does what it can to encourage a continuing crop of comic consumers, said Dominguez. “If someone thinks that they’re going to make a buck as a hobbyist in consumer society, then they might as well close down now. It’s retail. We’re dollars and cents. The goal is to sell, not to show off your collection. It’s crazy – the wanting to create your own way of making a buck. I could go work for someone else, but I would die in a week. That will never happen. So I have to maintain and make sure by all means necessary that we continue to grow, adapt and cater with our core product, which is comic books.”