Red Dot Geek

Red Dot Geek: How Sri Lanka Finally Got a Comic Book Store

If you've ever been to a comic or game store, you know it's more than just a place to buy things. You'll see the store manager arguing with the Annoying Guy (about an unknown movie with dead actors). There's the teenagers in the back who are always too loud and don't really buy anything. Then there's the person with the nice job, who would rather spend more time in the store, instead. Comic book stores are community anchors. Each grows the other. It's a good deal. 

I love the blockbuster superheroes. But, if you want to get to know their characters, you’ve got to read the comics.
— Sulakshana Soysa, Red Dot Geek

As such, its surprising that Sri Lanka developed a comic book culture, at all. Comics at regular book retailers have always been expensive, and with limited selection. Marvel and DC movies mainstreamed comic book IPs, but not reading them. Piracy created access, but also consumers who didn't like paying.

Could a comic book store start in Sri Lanka, and succeed?

Sulakshana Soysa, founder of Red Dot Geek,  thought so.


"We Should Start this in Sri Lanka"

"I love comics," said Sulakshana. "I love the blockbuster superheroes. But, if you want to get to know their characters, you've got to read the comics." As a comic book reader, Sulakshana didn't much care for the challenges involved. "They were hard to find, and always expensive," he said. "The latest comics weren't available, at any cost."

Like many readers, Sulakshana would have to buy his comics online, or go abroad. In a comic book store on one such trip, the idea came to him and his partner. "We thought 'wow, we need this. We should start this in Sri Lanka.' "

They discussed the idea between themselves, and did their research.  In 2016, they saw their moment. "DC Rebirth was about to happen," said Sulakshana. "The reboot of the DC universe. It was now or never." 

And so Red Dot Geek was launched.


Overwhelming Community Support

One of the first thing that strikes you about Red Dot Geek is how popular they are in the community. Here's their satisfaction score, on Facebook:

Even the trolls are nice to them. If you read the testimonials, you can see why.

Early this year, Red Dot Geek took another big chance, and brought Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) to Sri Lanka. Community members volunteered at their booth, and they invited Lanka Comic Con to coordinate activities with them. with them.   

"We're still taking risks," said Sulakshana. "But we think it's worth it because so many people are helping us. We're always thankful."

A Brick and Mortar Store

Sulaksana's biggest priority is opening a brick and mortar, retail store, in Colombo. Him and his partner (who has asked to remain anonymous) are also planning more FCBD-style giveaways, like Halloween Comic Fest.  

Red Dot Geek has also broadened it's range to action figures, board games, and posters. You can meet Sulakshana and the rest of the Red Dot team, at the Asus Lanka Comic Con 2017. 


Free Comic Book Day, and the Geek Art Show

Free Comic Book Day... 

Local comic store startup, Red Dot Geek, is bringing Free Comic Book Day to Sri Lanka. They'll be giving away 2000 comics. Everyone gets 2 free (till they run out). Be early!


... And The Geek Art Show...

We'll also be having an art show, just for Sri Lankan Geek Art. Artists will be both displaying and selling their work. 

Feautured artist will be: 

Aishwarya Tennekoon
Prabath Wijeyantha
Orlando Magic (performance art) 
Shanya Kulasekera
Druon De Silva
Kalath Warnakulasuriya
Lakal Chamikara Priyantha
Ruwanthi Sulanjali
Nipuni Rio Manuthunga
Vishwa Thishakya

If you would like to exhibit or sell your art at the Geek Art Show, please use this form


... And Other Stuff

With the LARP Guild, make your own armor, and test it out in a foam weapon fight. Fight for honor, fun, or to be dastardly. 

Paint miniatures with Paintedfigs. You've seen these around. Come and learn how its done.

We're also having a small cosplay design challenge. Make a costume to time, with the available materials. 

Where is this happening? 

At the JDA Perera Gallery, on the 6th of May. Don't drive, there isn't much parking there. 

Info here, and you can follow the Facebook event page, here.