Interview Series with Gemini Comics Supply Founder - Bryan Kelly

     This interview series is with the founder of an extremely well known brand that just about every comic book buyer and seller is familiar with.  As a seller and a buyer, Gemini Mailers are the standard for shipping books safely and effectively.  At the end of last year I reached out to a number of different comic suppliers with interview requests.  I was pleasantly suprised when Bryan wrote a reply personally.  It was exciting to be able to learn more about him and do this interview!

What got you into comics?
  • The X-Men cartoon series!  I was 10 when the show first aired and it was my introduction to the Marvel Universe.  I thought Gambit was the coolest.
Favorite childhood memory about comics?
  • The early 90’s were exciting times for a kid starting out collecting comics.  I won’t deny I was enthralled by the speculation boom and overhyped storylines.  I don’t remember doing much reading at that time, but I would spend hours and hours trying to draw the characters despite being terrible at it.
Tell us how you came up with the concept for Gemini Mailers.
  • The Gemini ‘Flash’ Mailers were actually just intended for use in my own modest online comic shop.  I thought that the market for online retailers was so competitive that I needed to carve out my advantage on shipping.  I received a similar product for a book and decided to modify it for use with comics.  The USPS Priority Flat Rate program was relatively new and I wanted to capitalize on the rates; which were phenomenal back then.
    Biggest mistake you made when you started up Gemini.  Any advice to those trying to start their own product for collectors?
    • My best advice is to be flexible and set attainable goals at first.  I didn’t set out to start a comic supply business.  I was selling the mailers I was using to keep the cost down and because the minimum order quantities were a lot more than I could actually use.  Gemini is actually the product of my failed online comic shop.
    What’s your favorite character or title to collect?
    • I have moved so many times over the years that my collection emphasizes quality over quantity and I generally collect Silver/Bronze key issues.  Regaling my childhood favorites, my collection is pretty heavy in X-Men and Spider-man 1st appearances.  However, as an adult reader, I prefer independent titles.
    Next big thing for your personal collection?  Your grail?
    • I’ve had my eyes on Amazing Spider-man 129 for a long time.  I had a nice copy years ago and regrettably sold it.  Periodically I ‘window shop’ for it on eBay, but haven’t pulled the trigger.
    Most unique or favorite thing in your collection?
    • I have a gorgeous copy of House of Secrets 92.  Periodically I take it out and show my kids, but they are still too young to be properly awed.  The Alan Moore Swamp Thing run is one of my favorites of all time, so I couldn’t let this one get by.
    Raw or Graded? Why?
    • This will probably not be the most popular response, but only raw for me.  Grading is inherently subjective and I prefer to make my own assessment rather than rely on proprietary evaluation criteria.  I have just observed too much inconsistency in grading to really give it a lot of credence in my personal collection.
    Best find or score?
    • I had a bulk box full of ‘How to Draw Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ that I was literally using as filler until I realized that it was an extraordinarily rare, low print run, early TMNT publication.  Individually, they weren’t worth a ton, but I literally had hundreds of them.
     What's the future look like for Gemini?
    • We are looking to expand our product selection in 2021 and will soon be launching several new products.  Many of these products are familiar (e.g. long and short storage boxes and larger capacity mailing boxes); however, we took what was on the market already and made them stronger, better, and cheaper.

         A huge thank you to Bryan for the interview!  It was awesome to be able to connect with a fellow collector/entrepreneur in comics.  As always if you have any recommendations on future interviews, please leave a comment!

    If you haven't, check out Gemini's all new site here

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