From X-Men to The Avengers and all of the villains in between, the past few years of comic book-based Hollywood blockbusters prove it: Comic books are officially cool again.
This is good news for Grand Rapids native Don Myers, who, after more than 40 years as a dedicated comic book fan and collector, is celebrating the grand opening of his very own store, The Comic Signal
, on Feb. 27.
“The story telling within comic books — I realize it’s different from the novels, but it’s still a form of storytelling, and I’ve seen how important that form of storytelling has been over the past 40 years, but I think we’re seeing how important it is now in the larger culture, too,” Myers says.
Myers bought his first comic book in 1974 at the still-standing Argo’s used bookstore in Eastown. It’s been about 42 years since then, and with a personal collection that totals out at almost 30,000, Myers said it seemed like a good time to realize a longtime dream of opening his own store.
Located at 4318 Plainfield Ave. NE, the 2,500-square-foot comic book shop
didn’t require a whole lot of physical rework, though all of the cosmetic renovations were done by Myers and his father, including a handcrafted solid wood cashier’s table handcrafted made from reclaimed wood the pair found on other family-owned property.
“I did want to find something in the Northview area,” says Myers, who has lived in Grand Rapids since he was in third grade. “…I’ve always been in this neighborhood, and I wanted the store to be in my area, in my neighborhood, my community. Also, as far as the market goes, everything comic-book wise is located closer to downtown.”
Boasting a huge variety of comic books and related memorabilia, The Comic Signal has also announced a partnership with local artist Justine Dillenbeck, whose unique pyrography pieces include characters from popular comic book movies and video games like Thor
Myers initially connected with Dillenbeck through his daughter, who graduated with the ArtPrize artist from nearby Northview High School.
“I was able to meet her at one of her shows and that’s where I first saw her work and was just amazed by it,” Myers says. “The detail she puts into her artwork with her woodturning projects was astounding to me, as well as beautiful.”
Dillenbeck will be one of a handful of artists in the store drawing custom superhero sketches for those attending The Comic Signal’s Feb. 27 grand opening event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with featured activities including a kids costume contest, a raffle for free comic books, and an opportunity for photographs with the heroes themselves — or, at least, actors that look a whole lot like them.
Myers said The Comic Signal's grand opening will bleed into the following day for those who can't make Saturday's festivities, with Feb. 28 operational hours from 1-5 p.m.
“It’s just so energizing,” Myers says. “Even though we haven’t opened yet, it’s been such a fun experience for me so far.”
to visit The Comic Signal
online or find The Comic Signal on Facebook
for more information on the new Plainfield Ave. store and its upcoming grand opening event.
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Don Myers
Comic book store prepares for February opening in new Plainfield storefront