Capp’s Comics was the first comic store I ever experienced. I recall being amazed at its very existence, as well as the selection of comics available. There was a long row of tables covered with stacks and stacks of new comics. There was an aisle-length upright, double-sided rack of new comics. DC and Marvel on one side, Image and other smaller publishers on the other side. There seemed an endless selection of comics in boxes along the outer walls of the store. There were comics and the walls.
I’d never seen such a place. They had recent Superman and Batman comics, like what they’d have at Waldenbooks or Finast. They had older issues, including issues I’d missed years before. They had early issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, and they even had some of the Mirage-published issues.
After being introduced to Capp’s, Waldenbooks and Finast seemed second-rate. I preferred to get my comics at Capp’s…and over a period of several months, started going there more and more (thanks to Dad driving me, and buying my comics for me).
It wasn’t too long into going to Capp’s that The Death of Superman was announced. The store owner was offering a pre-order deal…you could pre-order however many copies of just "the death" issue, or the whole story. Dad pre-ordered 2…one for us to read and one for putting away. You could also choose to pick the issues up as they came out, or at the end–we opted for "at the end."
That’s how it happened that that day in November 1992, the family had one of our quiet nights in–and Dad and I both read the entirety of The Death of Superman in one sitting. Since the issues had been pre-ordered (and, I believe, pre-paid-for, too) we had no hassles with getting any of the issues.
I became a definite "regular" at Capp’s. Dad would take me most weeks, and I’d get a few comics. The latest Superman issue, definitely, and a bit of whatever else I was following at the time.
In 1999 when I went off to college, I started a pull box, and maintained that throughout my college career, even when I wasn’t following much.
And it was with a definite heavy heart of disappointment that I discovered one evening in early 2004 that the store had closed its doors permanently, after several years at a new location.
The comic shop was a regular part of my life for almost 12 years…at the time, that was almost the entirety of my comic-reading/collecting life. I went to that comic shop nearly ever week for nearly seven years, and on a regular basis those next five.
Now, occasionally I’ll bump into the store owner at local one-day comic events, and we’ll chat briefly; the usual sort of pleasantries.
Capp’s Comics was my first comics "home," and remains one of the most significant comic shops that’s been a part of my life.
NEXT WEEK: Comics & Collectibles.