Alan Gill has a genuine passion for comics and spreading that love onto everyone he meets. His love of comics began when he was a child, first reading then collecting everything he could get his hands on.
Meet Alan Gill – Owner & Creator of Ultimate Comics, NC Comicon and Oak City Comic & Toy Show
Alan Gill has a genuine passion for comics and spreading that love onto everyone he meets. His love of comics began when he was a child, first reading then collecting everything he could get his hands on. This led to selling comic subscriptions and hand delivering them in the early 90s.
Before launching a career in comics, Gill joined the Navy. He was stationed in Washington, DC working as a cryptographer. Being in the Navy taught Alan a lot about discipline, teamwork, inspiration, recruiting, accountability, reverence and what it means to really give 110%.
Gill Opens His First Comic Book Store
In 2003, Gill decided to set out on his own and become a small business owner. He opened his first comic book store he named Ultimate Comics and around the same time opened a TCBY franchise. He found owning a franchise took away from the time he could be spending at the comic book store. By the end of 2006, Gill sold TCBY franchise and focused all of his time and energy on Ultimate Comics.
Dedicating all his time to Ultimate Comics has paid off and has grown into a huge retail and web based store. Not only does it offer virtually every comic series out there, but they also sell figurines, memorabilia, posters, pop figures and so much more. It’s a one stop shop for everything comics.
Launches North Carolina Comicon
The North Carolina Comicon started in March of 2009 in an outlet mall in Morrisville, N.C. “Our dealer room and our artist alley were separated by a Baby Gap, I think,” Gill chuckles. Over the next few years, the NC Comicon grew into the huge scale, fan-favorite, multi-event convention it is today.
Along the way Tommy Lee Edwards became a co-owner as well as the show’s creative director, and though the show may have grown out of the outlet mall and into the Durham Convention Center, both men are intent on keeping their convention an intimate, local affair.
Most recently in 2014 they have created the semi-annual Oak City Comic and Toy Show in Raleigh, NC. Both events are growing at insanely rapid rates! This year marks the 6 year anniversary for the NC Comicon, and both men agree they’ve pulled out all the stops for the November 13-15, 2015 show. With new announcements every month leading up to the 2015 convention, fans are clamoring to find out what else is in store for this year’s show!
Valuable Life Lessons Lead to Success
By applying valuable life lessons he learned in the Navy to his love of comics, Gill went on to create Ultimate Comics, one of the nation’s largest comic distributors, NC Comicon and the Oak City Comic and Toy Show. Alan stated that he attributes most of his recent success to the surge of comics in the media, Disney’s acquisition of Marvel and the production of quality movies, television shows such as The Walking Dead, and the growing public popularity of mainstream comics. Other successes are his online presence and reputation and hiring good staff at his stores.
Alan Gill is a client who has successfully combined his love of comics with a career that he shares with everyone who has an interest. We enjoy supporting Alan and his business adventures and we are thankful to be a part of his success story.
PADGETT NC ASKS THREE WISE QUESTIONS
1. What advice would you give if you could go back to when you first started?
Alan! I am you from the future, listen up! You need to research and find a better location and stress the importance of excellent customer service to your staff. Go and create an online eBay and Amazon store and get comics listed online! MOST IMPORTANTLY call Padgett NC right now, their number should still be 919-544-9060, you need a good accountant AND business advisor to handle all the numbers, it’s dragging you down and you’re going to save yourself a lot of headache. Have them help you make the hard financial decisions and do some real accounting instead of just trying to wing it! AND don’t ever hire anyone named Lee to work in your warehouse.
2. Why did you decide to go out on your own and start a business from the bottom up?
I wanted to be my own boss and be in control of all aspects of my business.
3. If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
I’m too busy for lunch!
6120-A Farrington Road
Durham, NC 27517
Grand Opening August 1st 2015
Ultimate Comics Raleigh
1301-C Buck Jones Rd
Raleigh, NC 27606
November 13-15, 2015
Durham NC Convention Center
301 W. Morgan Street
Durham, NC 27701
Sunday, August 16, 2015 – 10am – 5pm
3415 Wake Forest Rd
Raleigh, NC 27609