In addition to presenting Concord Micro-Con, Chris Rigo also has retail space with over 7,000 comic books for sale at The Depot at Gibson Mill.
Chris is the “beard” behind Beardy Weirdy’s, and he is one passionate comic book collector. Collecting since he was 8 years old, he has amassed more than 20,000 comics in his personal collection.
- 🤯 He prides himself on having the largest selection of back issues for sale in Cabarrus or Rowan County at his retail location inside the Depot at Gibson Mill. He is always in the market to purchase collections and welcomes people to call or text him at 704-242-1119 if they have something to sell. He also sells retro video games and pop culture collectibles.
Rigo also prides himself on the fact that he sets up at more conventions/events than any comic book dealer he knows in the Southeast. Between Chris and his significant other, Sara, they set up at 48 events last year… that’s one almost every weekend!
Chris started setting up at conventions with his friend Josh Almond in 2015, and in 2017 they held their own convention, Concord Micro-Con, at Church Street Comics. Due to the growth and popularity of the event, they moved to Cabarrus Brewing Company in the Spring of 2018 so they could have more space for new vendors.
Micro-Con was canceled in 2020 but returned in 2021, mostly outside. By 2022, the event had grown so large that they used both the inside and outside areas of the brewery, including the mezzanine.
- Concord Micro-Con returns on May 6th from 12-5pm this year with comic books, toys, video games, artists, beer, and FREE ADMISSION!!! Chris plans to have over 50 vendors and will expand even more with the Kettle Room space for additional new vendors.
Charlotte has several conventions that Chris has attended since he was a kid and now sets up at. The Charlotte Comicon was the first show he set up at and is his favorite. However, he also sets up at Heroes Con, which is one of the oldest and largest independent comic book conventions in the United States.
While comic books have been popular in the past, they were not considered a mainstream form of entertainment. However, with the renewed popularity of Marvel and DC comic movies, comics have found a large new audience, and the industry has grown significantly. Chris has seen a huge surge in comic book interest and says, “There has definitely been an up-shift in purchases.”
- 🦸 He is also seeing a resurgence of younger comic book collectors. Traditionally the comic book market, at least for vintage comics, has been primarily people in their 30s to their 60s. New data suggests that, currently, 13–29-year-olds buy 57% of all comics. Chris says that The Amazing Spider-Man is the most desired/collected comic book series.
According to experts, Marvel is one of the biggest comic companies. They have long been a leading name in the industry and a top rival of DC. And the success in the cinematic universe has inspired even more growth. By the time 2021 wrapped up, they held 31.7% of all sales [technjury.net].
In 2021, Chris Rigo said he saw the highest record-breaking prices he had ever seen in the industry. The reason for inflated prices, he says, is there was more money circulating.
- The outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in surging online activity among the global population, which has led more people to consume comic books during their leisure time [Fortune Business Insights].
Chris said, “There weren’t any conventions going on, so everyone was [buying and selling] online.” The comic book industry continues to boom. The global comic book market size was valued at 14.69 billion USD in 2021 and is projected to grow from 15.35 billion USD in 2022 to 21.37 billion USD by 2029 [Fortune Business Insights].
Comics aren’t Chris’ only interest. As a former alternative rock band member of Sugar Glyder, Chris has a passion for music and performing, and he is a local music legend!
- 🎤🎸 He enjoys being around other musicians and is the host of Open Mic Night at Cabarrus Brewing Company every other Thursday. Signups begin at 6:30pm with performances running from 7:00 to 9:30pm. There’s a variety of performers including singers and musicians. The next open mic night is April 6th. Stop by and join in the FUN.
- 📚 FUN FACT: The Library of Congress hosts more than 140,000 comic books, which means it has the largest comic book collection in the world.
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