As a kid, I spent my share of time in comic book stores; my brother was a big fan of comics and often was tasked with bringing along his little sister.
That was eons ago.
While comics never really died out, it seems that even in this age of everything electronic, they are having a resurgence. Even in places where some people – like me – might not realize it. And that’s what led Sean Beck, a lifelong comics enthusiast, to open Invincible Comics on Orangeburg Avenue in Modesto.
“Comics culture is everywhere,” he said. “You see it on TV, in movies; a lot of these things are based on comic books.”
When I asked for an example, he mentioned “iZombie” on the CW network. This just happens to be my son’s favorite show, but neither he nor I had any idea it started as a comic book.
Still, though, with everything going digital, is there a market for ink-and-paper books? Definitely, Beck said.
“Can you read a comic book digitally?” he asked. “Sure, but you won’t have the same feeling as holding it in your hand.”
Invincible Comics is aimed at reaching both the casual reader and the avid collector, with rare editions signed by such legends as Stan Lee. Beck said it was important that he carry a variety of titles and publishers, including titans DC and Marvel, but also focus on independents.
“I wanted to make sure we had a broader spectrum,” he said. “Something for people who want drama, something for people who want science fiction.”
Though the art gets a lot of the attention, the story is important.
“The art draws you in, but it’s the story that keeps you there,” Beck said.
Beck said he hopes to bring in artists both from the local area and from around the country. And he plans events around cosplay functions. Though the store is not focused on gaming, as some are, there is a room with tables and chairs in the back for enthusiasts of Pokémon and Magic the Gathering.
There’s also a section for younger readers. “Since I am right across from a school (Roosevelt Junior High), I wanted to have a kids section. It’s a family-friendly place.”
I know one young reader who will be making a visit soon. He lit up as soon as I told my son “iZombie” started as a comic book. “Can we get it, Mom? Please?”
Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
Nice work by the folks at my old stomping grounds, Century Center. According to an email from Danielle Fraoili, manager of the Round Table pizza parlor there, the businesses at the Oakdale Road shopping center got together last month to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
With promotions, a car wash and raffles, the businesses raised more than their goal of $2,000 in August. That’s certainly going to help make some wishes come true.
And finally, Modesto Junior College invites students and graduates to the Fall 2016 job fair, set Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the outdoor area next to the Center for Advanced Technologies on East Campus, 435 College Ave., Modesto.
According to a press release, the twice-yearly job fair “provides employers with an opportunity to recruit and hire MJC students and graduates, and is completely free of charge to equal opportunity employers with current openings for full-time and/or part-time, hourly or salary based employment opportunities. No jobs based on commission-only pay are permitted.”
Job seekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes.
Employers who are unable to attend but have employment opportunities they would like to advertise to MJC students can go online to www.mjc.edu/employers.