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Award-winning comic book writer Mark Waid announced on Monday that he was getting into the comic book retailing business. Waid posted a blog on the site of his digital comics initiative, Thrillbent, called "Mark Waid, Comics Retailer." In it, he discusses becoming an investor in Alter Ego Comics, a comic book shop in Muncie, Indiana run by Jason Pierce. Waid has been living in Muncie and befriended Pierce, who has had a number of plans to expand his business. Ultimately, Waid and his partner, Christy Blanch, decided to join Pierce as equal shareholders in Alter Ego Comics.
In May 2012, Waid launched the digital comics platform Thrillbent with the debut of his comic Insufferable (with art by Peter Krause and Nolan Woodward, the team behind Irredeemable). Since that time, he has put a lot of effort into growing Thrillbent to become a significant source for original digital-only comics. Thrillbent now hosts nine series as well as a number of short story comics. The site offers new comics free online (or in purchasable download) every week. Waid has maintained that he believes that both digital comics and print comics can thrive at the same time – and even help each other. Some have criticized Waid for what they believe takes customers away from brick-and-mortar stores. However, this doesn't really make too much sense since Thrillbent's titles are not available in print.
Not only will Waid be investing in Alter Ego, which can now expand and develop events in the Muncie area, he will also be working there like most other comic book store owners. This means that Mark Waid, comic book store owner, can now direct customers to a shelf containing books written by Mark Waid, comic book author. Additionally, Waid writes that he will be bringing his own stash of memorabilia to decorate Alter Ego, such as a scale-model of the Batcave. He will also be blogging about the process, problems, and success of running a comic book store just like he has been blogging about running a digital comics platform. Waid teased more related announcements for the future, so it will be interesting to see what sort of synchronicity he can build combining the print and digital realms of comic books.