Comics Plus has provided comic book collectors across Coastal Bend with a place to expand their collections for three decades.
The owner-run comic shop celebrated its 30th anniversary on Saturday with a shop-wide sale.
“I was hoping to make this my only job, or at least the one I’m retiring from, and we managed to do that,” said Comics Plus owner Jesse Mendoza.
Mendoza said opening a comic book store was never a lifelong dream, but after spending many years collecting comics, he decided to open the store after spending four years teaching in sixth and seventh grades had worked.
“I was collecting for about 10 years before I opened the store and my wife told me I should probably open a store,” Mendoza said. “I thought well, yes, that sounds like a good idea and so over the years I’ve become more focused.”
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The store opened in Kingsville in 1991 and moved to Corpus Christi about two years later. Comics Plus has called home three different locations since moving from Kingsville and is now exclusively on Everhart near South Padre Island Drive.
Mendoza said the only big change he has noticed since opening his store has been the increasing acceptance of nerd culture in pop culture.
“When we started it was more of a nerd thing or people didn’t talk about it that much or they talked about being fans and didn’t say it that much,” Mendoza said. “Now you see it everywhere. Everyone’s probably putting their Captain America logos or whatever on their t-shirts or talking about the movies.”
Over the years, Mendoza has said that his two favorite things to do in the store are getting to know his regular customers on a personal level and giving comic book fans a way to express themselves.
Jason Bond, a regular at Comics Plus, has been a loyal customer of the store for 25 years and said he was grateful to have a reliable store near his home for so long.
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“I think it was just kindness in the beginning. They were knowledgeable. You work with customers, if you want something, they give it to you right away,” said Bond. “One of the things I like about Jesse is his honesty and the fact that if there are comics he doesn’t like, or the art, or something he doesn’t like, he’s not afraid to tell you. “
As a loyal customer, Bond said his relationship with Mendoza and his family has grown into more than just the usual customer and supplier relationship.
“And I’ve seen his kids grow up from the time they walked around the store as toddlers to now they run the till, so it’s pretty neat,” said Bond.
Bond said he couldn’t imagine going anywhere else for his comics as he will always be impressed with how the store is run.
“It’s an independent comic book store that looks like a professional comic book store,” said Bond. “It’s one of the things I will always like.”
For more information on Comics Plus, please visit the store’s Facebook page.
Christopher Howley covers entertainment and community news in South Texas. Support more coverage like this one at Caller.com/subscribe.