Year End Wrap Up at CNJComics

It’s time for our annual wrap up email, where we thank you for all your support throughout the year, and express our gratitude for the success of this year’s holiday party and fundraiser. 


Quite simply, thank you. Thank you for choosing to shop here, thank you for telling friends about us, thank you for showing up and supporting our events. Sometimes the rallying call to “Shop Local” can be hollow, but we’re trying to show the actual value to that decision, to show how it can affect your community and your place in it. We have a lot of fun in this shop. Whether we’re brewing beer, working with local artists, buying comic collections, curating your weekly new comic selections. We all really (really) love comic books and what we get to do here. 

I personally will always love a good story, in any form. I feel we’re creating new stories here along the way that involve family, friends and again, community. The amount of friendships I see popping up from interactions at the shop reminds me of what we’re really selling here. The idea of bringing people together over the common respect of the medium. What this shop meant to me got an overhaul when I had children, and I can recognize the connection that comic books can provide between kids and their parents. When you love a story, when a story adds to who you are, you want to share it. You want others to learn from it. You want others to learn a little bit about you from it. We will continue to insure that our shelves are filled with these stories at all time. You tell me your ten favorite comic book stories and I know more about you than you could tell me in a day. My job is easy, to find the balance in things to keep the shop thriving, to take care of my employees and see that their lives are on track, and to meet the needs of my customers. Like anyone, I need to provide for my family, put a roof over their heads, and save for my daughters education. This is where the money goes that you choose to spend in our shop. So again, thank you. 

So, the holiday party / fundraiser went great this year, setting a record for money collected and meals created.

Through everyone’s efforts we were able to fund the creation of 13,200 meals for the Cleveland Food Bank, as well collecting 1,046 food items. This is only possible through the Cleveland Food Bank’s uncanny ability to turn one dollar into four full meals. 

The first people to thank are the artists who donated their time and talents to the cause. 

We had a record number of submissions this year, exactly one hundred. All pieces found their way to a good home at the party.

The best way to thank them is to say this:

Here is a link to all the pieces of artwork in a Facebook Gallery, and you’re find contact information linked to the pieces. 

Extra thank you to Erin Caruso for this year’s print, and Jameson Campbell for the beer label. 

Secondly, thank YOU for showing up and throwing tickets in the bags to make the whole thing work. 

I’d like to give a shout out to our two food vendors, who went above and beyond  with this year’s spread. I like to see other small business thrive, and I like to follow their stories on social media as well. Cassandra over at Fear’s Confections provides a never ending parade of social media drama that’s hard to look aways from, and has built up quite an amazing following and support system for herself and her business. 

Andrea Maile at the Burning River Baking Company is just starting to craft  her story, and it’s being built on the back of some really amazing bakery. Like seriously, the best. We look forward to seeing what she does in the future. She went out of her way to put together Winston Cookies and CNJ branded cupcakes, so if you’re looking to cater an event with some very specific ideas in mind, look her up. 

Thanks goes out to Jason and Justin Fitch from the newly formed P.O.P.C.O.R.N. for taking responsibility for getting those 1,046 food items to the right place. (Not the easiest task.) 

What is POPCORN? 

“POPCORN (Power of Positivity Community Outreach & Resource Network) is a non-profit organization that encourages people to help those in need by using the comic book/pop culture community as an approachable platform. POPCORN was founded on the belief that we can all make a difference with a little effort and a lot of love.”

Sounds good to us. 

If you couldn’t make it to the party you can see what it looked like through the eyes of Laura Wimbels, who came out and took pictures for the night. We’d also like to thank Macklin for bartending and congratulate him on his engagement. Not to Laura though.. 😉

Here’s the gallery of images from the party, many of which we’re using in this email: 

Thank you to my oldest friend Rick, for dressing up as Santa again and adding just the right amount of inappropriateness to the event. Oh yeah! Thanks mom, for 27 years of fun. The comic shop idea did turn out to be a good one. 

Then there’s these guys, who keep everything running like a well oiled machine when I’m not around. They’re the best at what the do and I’d debate that fact in an open forum. 

A special thanks goes out to Ben this year for putting together an artist database, which helps us to insure the artists get the credit they are due for their work. It’ll also make things easier for years to come, so good job Ben. (I heard those millennials like recognition more than anything, so I’m pandering a bit here.)

And you know what, let’s thank Jason just because he’s Jason. Out newest permanent addition turned out to be a pretty good choice. That also makes him the first on the chopping block if things go bad so keep shopping local! (See how we made that personal for you?)

Thanks also to John Woods, who turns my weekly hodge podge of thoughts and images into a well crafted email. (He’s listening right now…..)

And lastly, because I can’t do a yearly thank you email without saying thank you to my best buddy, Mrs. Dudas. Thanks for holding down the fort while all this crazy nonsense is going on. You’re the coolest, and you make me look cooler then I am. 

That’s a wrap 2017. Be safe on New Years Eve and we’ll see you next year!