Sometime in September of 1988, beginning my second year of college, I walked into Ralph’s Comic Corner in Ventura, CA after driving back from school, and found out that regular Ralph’s employee Ray was about to depart his employment there. “Hey, can I have his job?” I asked Ralph half-jokingly.
Thirty years later, here I am, in my own store, still selling comics! Guess I liked doing it!
It doesn’t feel like it’s been thirty years that I’ve been doing this (though my opinion may change on the days I’m struggling with the monthly new comics order). But it’s still a long time to be doing anything…I’ve seen the ups and downs of the industry over the last few decades, watched customers who starting into the shop as children grow up and have children of their own, made friends with the many people who passed through the doors.
I was there for the deaths of Superman and Robin (SPOILER: neither death stuck), I was there for the huge comics boom following the first Tim Burton Batman movie, I was there when people lined up around the shop to buy the first Image comic book Youngblood. And yes, I was there for pogs. Well, look, what can I tell you.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’ve done this a long time. And I hope to continue doing it for another thirty years…it’s been an enjoyable and rewarding job, and a lot of the reason for that is you. The customers. Some I’ve know that entire time. Some I may have only just met this week. But your enthusiasm for the medium and for the collecting hobby is always so welcome, and I am endlessly grateful that so many of you embraced my new venture when I opened my new store in Camarillo almost four years ago.
You’re the reason my store has been such a success, and the main reason I look forward to opening my shop’s front door every day. Oh, “I love comics” is the other reason, of course. I mean, you love comics too, you can’t blame me.
Thanks to all of you for all your support over the years, and to my family, friends, and girlfriend for putting up with this peculiar endeavor of mine!
See you at the shop!