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Monday, March 16, 2015

Star Clipper Returns: Comic Shop Resurrects With New Downtown Location, Owners

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 7:00 AM

Page 2 of 2

Star Clipper has been dropping a few hints at its superhero-style rebirth online:
Trujillo admits the timing of Star Clipper's rebirth may seem cliche to comic book fans wary of Superman-style resurrection tropes, a marketing ploy to drive readership to the superhero's "last" issue. Indeed, in a January 21 cover story, the Riverfront Times wrote that for Star Clipper, "there is no miraculous regeneration in the near future, no alternate dimension from whence the shop will emerge stronger than ever just in time to celebrate another Free Comic Book Day."

Turns out, there is an alternate dimension for Star Clipper to emerge victorious for Free Comic Book Day, and that dimension is Washington Avenue.

"We never meant to fool anyone," says Trujillio, adding that he decided a month after that RFT feature story to sell the name. "It was a very natural evolutionary progress."

Unverferth adds: "Our feeling was, it still could be very meaningful to bring it back."

Meaningful, indeed -- especially to the Star Clipper supporters who crowded the store in its "final" two months to mourn their loss. Trujillo said the outpouring of grief from customers took him totally by surprise.

"I expected there to be some outpouring, but the degree and level and volume, they really exceeded any expectations I had," Trujillo says. "I know all the metrics about the store. I know all the regular customers we have, I know how many people are in our database and how many people shop with us multiple times a year. But how attached such a huge proportion of those people were to the store was a surprise. You can run the numbers, but their emotional attachment to the store was more difficult to judge."

Say, "Bye," to Star Clipper's location in the Loop. - JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Jennifer Silverberg
  • Say, "Bye," to Star Clipper's location in the Loop.

Before the deal to sell Star Clipper was inked, Unverferth says he and co-owner Favello were having a hard time picking a name for their store.

"We had a whole long list of names," Unverferth says, listing St. Louis Comics and Washington Avenue Comics as two potential options. "Nothing was exciting. Nothing was really fitting in."

For awhile, Unverferth considered calling the store Arch Nemesis, a name Trujillo disliked.

"One of the things that Star Clipper was and being in a location like where you're going to be on Washington Avenue, you have to be open to the casual person just waiting down the street," Trujillo says. "And if you're called Arch Nemesis, they're not going to know. I mean, Star Clipper? They're not going to know either. They might think it's a hair salon. But Arch Nemesis, I think, comes across as too weird and nerdy."

In true superhero fashion, Unverferth says, Trujillo sold them the name Star Clipper in the nick of time. "He was saving us," Unverferth says.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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