Whether you’re a fan of Batman, Superman, Black Widow or Wasp, or get a kick out of discovering comic books from your childhood, chances are Gareth Gaudin has something you’ll enjoy.
And if you’re looking for some summer reading during the dog days of COVID, there’s a chance you can snag something unique and potentially rare, for the bargain 1975 price of 25 cents.
Gaudin, a professional cartoonist and the owner of downtown retailer Legends Comics for 28 years, has been buying people’s entire collections on spec that whole time. While a number of those books made it out onto the shelves of his store, and others were cherry-picked as higher-value books, the majority were stored away in boxes in a warehouse Gaudin rented to house extra stock.
He learned earlier this year – pre-COVID-19 pandemic – that the warehouse was being converted into condominiums, and by July 1 he knew he had to start lugging the boxes over to the store to sell the comics off.
Except he underestimated how much room the boxes would take up and now they line the aisles of the store.
“Today I’m putting out 5,000 Batman comics from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s,” he said Wednesday morning, the second day of selling old comics for a quarter. “There’s a lot of nostalgic comments being thrown around.”
Having been a collector since the 1970s, he’s enjoyed the high points and survived the down times in the collectibles market. These days he’s looking at his massive comic collection differently.
“I’m getting out of the mentality of keeping these things for when I have time to sell them on eBay,” Gaudin says. “This just seems like a fun way to move them out and make people happy.”
Rather than encouraging a big rush down to the small store, a situation that might make social distancing challenging, he wants people to know the clearout will likely be happening for a month or more, with tens of thousands of books on hand.
The store is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 633 Johnson St. Call 250-388-3696 for more information.