Talking comics and YouTube with Lucy Myatt
Liverpool's Lucy Myatt has the dream geek job - she runs the excellent Level Up comic and retro games store. Not only that, she oversees THREE successful YouTube channels and has recently published her first novel. Despite all of that she found time to have a chat with us...
Lucy started her career working in Game in Liverpool at just 19. She worked her way up to management but soon felt it wasn't for her. "I grew to hate the industry politics" she told us, "I started selling second hand DVDs at a car boot sale and built my business up from there."
It's a testament to Lucy's determination that Level Up has grown so quickly despite the prevailing economic winds - "I remember reaching the 5 year milestone for my shop and really being overwhelmed with how much of an achievement that is through a recession". Yet retail success clearly wasn't enough and on top of her business and her successful video channels she's even found time to pen her first novel, the self published Peek-a-Boo.
Lucy's YouTube following is impressive, but success comes at a price. It's well known that trolls stalk the video website's comments section and she isn't spared their attacks. In a recent interview with BBC News she went into more detail but she has shared with us her novel way of dealing with the unsavoury comments.
"I remember seeing my first dislike on a video once and it completely crushed me. I find weird little tricks like believing it's an ex who can't get over how happy I am so they're stalking me and dislike everything. Its a silly little lie that fuels my ego, but it helps." Over time she has learnt to come to terms with the online attacks telling us that "you just naturally find a thick skin, I have been called horrendous things on there just for not liking a movie trailer and now I just laugh at them."
Why not check out Lucy's main channel TorAthena - we've made it even easier for you by including the video below which gives you a good idea of what to expect.
Lucy is a regular on the convention circuit and is making a name for herself as with her great cosplay too. She's one of the hardest working people in the comic retail industry and we're in awe at just how much she has achieved in a few years.
Check out our full interview below...
Hi Lucy, thanks for taking the time to chat to us. Firstly, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I'm Lucy Myatt, AKA TorAthena. I own a retro game & comic book store whilst running three YouTube channels.
When did you decided you wanted to set up your own business? Did you have any previous experience in the industry?
When I was 19 I started working in Game. I worked my way up into management which helped me learn how to run a store but I eventually grew to hate the industry politics. I started selling second hand DVDs at a car boot sale and built my business up from there.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
I remember reaching the 5 year milestone for my shop and really being overwhelmed with how much of an achievement that is through a recession. That however, was recently topped by the fact I wrote and published my first book.
What challenges have you faced in setting up Level Up?
The biggest challenge has always been finding the money to stretch where I need it to. Buying good stock when its available. Finding money for rent when I have nothing in the bank account etc. Finding stock is the second hardest as I only sell second hand items so I cant just order good stuff I know will sell, I have to wait for customers to bring it in.
You have a dedicated following on YouTube, but as we saw in the feature on BBC News, it hasn't been plain sailing. Do you have any advice for budding YouTubers on how to deal with the trolls?
I remember seeing my first dislike on a video once and it completely crushed me. I find weird little tricks like believing 'it's an ex who can't get over how happy you are so they stalk you and dislike everything.' Its a silly little lie that fuels my ego, but it helps. Over time though you just naturally find a thick skin, I have been called horrendous things on their just for not liking a movie trailer(!) and now I just laugh at them.
What do you see as being the next step in your career?
My next step would be to integrate my shop better with my channel, ordering new comics in and being able to sell them as I review them. I am currently trying to find a way to move more away from the physical side of the shop and being able to work online more.
Have you got any tips for new comics we should be keeping an eye on? Any exciting authors?
Mark Millar is one of my all time favourite writers, everything he does is gold and his work gets better and stronger. Image is my favourite publisher and I always insist people pick up their number ones because they have so much diversity and they have a very fair pricing policy with first issues and volumes, plus, no adverts like Marvel or DC.
Which comic book character would you most like to be?
She-Hulk without a doubt. She's smart, funny, broke the fourth wall before Deadpool and she is my favourite colour. Green.