Comic Shop Owner Is Giving Away The Store – Literally
What if someone could just hand you your dream job? It may seem like something out of Willy Wonka, but that’s exactly what Carmelo Chimera is trying to do.
For 8 years he’s been the owner of Chimera’s Comics, a chain of comic book stores in Chicago’s south suburbs. And he’s giving one of his stores away – for nothing.
“I believe people can do extraordinary things, but life gets them down,” Chimera said. “People make decisions based on fear. And I want to take that fear away.”
Chimera is holding a contest to give away his Oak Lawn comic book store. “People have been coming up to me for years saying they’d love to own a comic book store,” said Chimera. “But most people don’t do it. They blame lack of time, lack of money, lack of opportunity. I want to take all that away and give someone their dream job.”
“I think the attraction of a comic book store is that it can be whatever you want it to be,” added Chimera. “It can focus on toys, games, movies, classic comics, kids comics – the possibilities ignite the imagination.”
Anyone can apply for a small application fee, but applicants must answer one question: what makes a great comic book store?
“This is not a raffle, a drawing, or a gamble in any way,” said Chimera. “It’s entirely merit based. I will choose the winner based on their essay responses. And I will read every response.”
The contest runs from February 1 to February 28, or until Chimera receives 2,000 responses – whichever comes first.
Chimera said the decision to give away his store wasn’t easy. “I’ve been spreading myself too thin for years,” said Chimera, who owns two stores, has a full-time job, and has recently started publishing comics.
“Writing and publishing is my passion,” said Chimera. His first graphic novel, a superhero coming-of-age story called “Magnificent”, was released earlier this year after raising nearly $8,000 on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. His next project, a horror graphic novel called “Cellar Door”, will be released later this spring after raising over $12,000. He’s also a co-founder of the international comic industry event Buy Indie Comics Day and he’s planning his own Chicago comic convention.
“It was time to admit that I was holding back the store,” said Chimera. “I’m doing too many other things. But to the right person, this store isn’t a distraction. This store is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Hopeful applicants can apply at www.chimerascomics.com/win-comic-book-store.
The Prize: Chimera’s Comics Oak Lawn, 4915 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453. Must be a minimum of 500 entries for the giveaway. No more than 2,000 entries.
Dates: February 1 – 28
Entry Fee: $25