CROWN POINT | What could be more fun that working in a comic book shop?
Dave Ulanski, manager of the newly-opened Amazing Fantasy Comic Shop at 1926 N, Main St, said he loves his job.
“There is a real sense of camaraderie,” Ulanski said. “It’s a fun place to work in an entertainment-type of industry. It’s a hobby that you can discuss with people who have the same interests. It is a cool laid-back environment.”
Ulanski has been reading comic books for longer than he can remember.
“I used to hang out at the local comic shop,” Ulanski said. “One day they handed me a broom. It became my part-time summer job in high school in 1989 and I have been here ever since.”
Amazing Fantasy Comics Shop carries a full line of comic books, T-shirts, graphic novels (which combine five to six comic books), related collectibles and card and board games. Translated Japanese graphic novels are popular, Ulanski said.
Prices are affordable, Ulanski said, with new comics averaging $3 to $4 each. However, Ulanski said back issues of comics can be expensive, selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Graphic novels average $15 to $20.
One of the most popular games, HeroClix, involves collectible miniature figures and centers around the world of superhero comic books, especially the Marvel and DC universes. Players construct teams of comic book heroes, villains or characters from various video games series such as “Street Fighter,” “Gears of War,” and “Halo” and engage in a turn-by-turn battle on grid maps based on various storyline locations.
Weekly HeroClix tournaments are held at the shop on Saturdays. Participants in the role-playing game cover a wide range of ages from 7-years-old to adult, he said.
Also popular and in high demand are the companion comic books to the TV show “Walking Dead.”
“We have the entire collection of back issues,” Ulanski said.
Classics comics are still in demand including “The Avengers,” “Batman” and “Spider-Man.”
“We try to have a little something for everybody,” Ulanski said.
Ulanski said when business started to dry up in Calumet City, the company began scoping out new locations.
“We wanted to stay far enough away from other similar establishments,” Ulanski said. “We wanted to go east and looked at St John, Hobart and Crown Point. Crown Point seems like a strong economic area. With no shops to compete with, this is where we landed.”
Ulanski said Crown Point has a great sense of community and other small business owners have stopped in to check out the store and offer support.
Ulanski said Amazing Fantasy Comic Books also publishes. He said he has published written, illustrated and edited comic books.