Creators Workshop member Eugene Rose manages the Stafford, Virginia-based Treasure Chest Comics, which recently won a Diamond Daily Award at New York Comic-Con! Their Reading Raiders program, with t-shirts featuring art by Gannon Beck, received recognition for encouraging comic book readers to check out new titles.
The initiative works like a library. Subscribers must pick a minimum of three titles to buy every month and pay a monthly subscription of $5. They receive a discount on their choices and are allowed to check out books for two weeks.
“Reading Raiders was constructed to promote reading in the community and give people a way to read books like Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Locke & Key, creator-owned titles, and various Kickstarters that we’ve backed,” says Eugene.
“The shirts are a way for the customers to put in a little extra into the library. Every sale from the shirt goes into buying more books for the library. With a loyal customer base, we can highlight benchmark moments in comic history, lift up the comic book making craft with our books on how create comics, and support more crowd funded ventures.”
Eugene began working at Treasure Chest in 2013, when it was still a small action figure and clothing kiosk at Spotsylvania Mall. He moved up to manager a year later. In 2015, the business moved to a storefront and launched the Reading Raiders.
“I have been good friends with the owner, Frank Dixon, for many years, and has shown me what it means to follow your passion. He personally painted the store and hung all of the decorations,” he says.
His love of comics can be felt right when you walk in the door. I’m truly fortunate to have met this man, being his employee is a breeze because of his leadership.”
Such strong management and promotional artwork caught Diamond’s eye.
Eugene says, “The t-shirt design was a big factor in getting the award. Frank, along with Gannon Beck, worked out what the design should be over many months and the final product shows the love for comics and the store that they both share.We received $200 in inventory credit and we’ll be receiving a custom made award specifically for Treasure Chest Comics.”
“Frank, Gannon, and I were all at the store when we found out, nothing could suppress our joy! We leaped up, giving each other high fives! This year has paid off in multiple ways and this was a physical manifestation of the success the business gained.”
The Comics Experience community congratulates Eugene, Gannon, Frank, and the Treasure Chest team!