I recently found the website www.fangrabs.com. The site lets you rent comic books, graphic novels, and manga. Yeah, a rental service…for comic books. I was a little skeptical at first, but then I read further into. And I have to tell you the truth I’m sold on it. The service is affordable, and seems to be pretty unique. You sign up for the service and the books you choose are sent to your house. If your a person that’s trying to catch up by buying used comic, this will help you save some money. Are you interested in knowing more about it? Well you lucked out, because I had a chance to do an interview with John Barnhouse from Fangrabs. Checkout their website and twitter.
Check out the full interview below:
What is Fangrabs.com?
We are an Online Rental Service that is geared toward Graphic Novels and Mangas. You sign up, add books to your unlimited Online Rental Queue, and they are mailed out to you. Think of us as a Netflix or Gamfly version of the Graphic Novel & Manga world. And if you are not familiar with what a Graphic Novel or Manga is, they are in most cases collected works of a comic series in one large book. Manga is just a different art form of a Graphic Novel. Sometimes a Graphic Novel doesn’t come from comics but it is a story formatted with art and pictures.
What made you want to start a service like this?
I was actually in the middle of another project, and I needed to rent some graphic novels for some research. Buying something used off Amazon was still pretty high, so I started to Google where in the heck can I rent graphic novels. I searched high and I searched low. I did stumble across a bigillion text book rental services and 1 bookstore that you could rent regular books from. The book store had a very small selection of graphic novels, because they were geared more toward books. So a little light bulb went off. Why don’t I do that! I dropped my current project, and my Pops and I began working on fangrabs.com
What is the cost of your service?
We have 5 plans. Our starter plan which I named after myself, is called “John’s Choice Grabs”. It’s basically a list of books that we consider worthy reads. The goal with this plan is have an inexpensive a plan as we could offer for people to try. Then if they like it, they can try our Unlimited plans. We increase the choices in “John’s Choice Grabs” periodically, based on what our Unlimited Users rent from us. In the “John’s Choice Grabs” plan, you are limited to 2 books out per month from our short list of books (around 600 choices). This plan starts at $15.00/Mo
Our other 4 plans are unlimited plans. There are no restrictions, and the users have full access to our entire inventory. We are at 6,500+ books currently, and growing about 100 books per week. For 1 book out at a time it is $20/mo, for 2 books out at a time $29/mo, 3 books out at a time $38/mo, and 4 books out a time the cost is $47/mo. Again, these are unlimited plans and we pay for shipping. Cost may seem kind of high compared to Gamefly or Netflix, but people have to realize shipping is judged by weight and a book weighs a bit more than a DVD or a Disc. We also offer a discount if you pay 3,6,12 months in advance. You can view our discounted pricing for advance paying here http://fangrabs.com/rental-plans/
Do you just offer titles from the big two(DC/Marvel)?
Certainly Marvel and DC are the big 2 names to drop, but no we have much much more to offer than those 2. We have IDW,Image, Darkhorse, Vertigo, Viz Media, and a lot more. There is something for everyone young, old, guy, girl, mom, and dad.
Do you have any services that can help those that might not know what books to pick?
One of the cool things we added was a book list for Marvel and DC that is the correct order to read them in, composed of the major cross over story arcs. Basically, if you have been away from comics for 10 or more years (or new in general) those are great places to starts. If super heroes aren’t your thing, then I have tons of stuff to recommend. Or, if you are just at a lost in general, I personally would be more than happy to schedule a meet up online with you and walk you/help you. To schedule a personal appointment with me just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are some of your personal top comics to read?
Haha funny question! So many, so very many. The Sandman, Batman Year One, The Killing Joke, Watchman, Locke and Key, Morning Glories, Anything X-Men related, Spawn, Scalped, Bone, World War Hulk, Avengers Disassembled….I can go on and on, but those are some pretty darn good ones.
What is it that makes your service unique?
What makes our business unique is we want to work with the customer. We use the term “fan” around here, instead of “customer”. We want to work with the fans to make their experience truly unique and fun. Everyone is friendly with their neighborhood comic book store owner (or they should be, usually great people to talk with) and we want to provide that same experience in the online setting. We don’t want to sell you on “this” or “that”. We want to talk with you about what would be cool if….or…”Hey, who do you think would win in a duel Batman or Ironman?” Or, “Who do think is the hottest super hero?” Or, “I just read this really great 1 off you should check it out!” This is because we are fans ourselves and we enjoy these types of discussions. And we want our fans to also those same experiences.
- Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond (creativecloseup.com)
- Why Graphic Novels? (allisonsbookbag.wordpress.com)
- DC Comics ENEMIES & ALLIES Available in GraphicAudio… A Movie in Your Mind (prweb.com)
- DC Comics To Publish The DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels & Chronology 2013 In May (firewireblog.com)
- Atomic Books Comics Preview – May 15, 2013 (largeheartedboy.com)
- What’s Wrong With Reading Comic Books? (goodmoviesbadmovies.com)