Lost Fresno comic book stores

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Do you remember the Country Boys Market with its wooden floors? Walter Smiths was the place to go for clothes on the Fulton Mall. Penny Candy had great blacklight posters and don't forget Whitie's Pet Store on Blackstone. What vintage retail do you remember growing up in Fresno?
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chicagojeff
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Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by chicagojeff » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:59 am

I lived in Fresno from the late 70's until the early 90's and the comic shops that I remember were fairly popular at the time. 1. Wonderland Comics. At the old location on Blackstone (south of Olive?) next to the tatoo parlor and across from the Wienerschnitzel. I know that he moved to the Tower District later on and I don't know if they are still there. As a kid growing up it just seemed like the coolest place in a real historical part of downtown Fresno. 2. Alpha-Omega comics which had a location across from Fresno State in what became a Kinko's. They moved to Shaw and Chestnut for a couple years. 3. Collectors Paradise in the Tower District on Olive. They moved out to Cedar and Shields for a couple years. 4. The Comic Den in Clovis on 5th. One of my favorites growing up, and it was such a small shop. I later ended up going to high school with the owners daughter.

Those are the four main comic shops that I remember growing up and I know that there are others, those just seemed to be my favorites. There was a mega shop off of Blackstone and Shaw that opened about the same time that I moved. Also, one in Clovis on Shaw and Minnewawa by the movie theater. A nice small shop opened on Chestnut just south of McKinley. I was glad to see these stores open and offer the the same fun and memories that I had for a future generation of comic fans. But nothing will replace the fun that I had going to those stores as a kid. Anyone else remember some comic shops or used book stores from that time that I have forgotten?

tomc
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Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by tomc » Tue May 25, 2010 10:18 pm

I remember all those shops! I grew up in Fresno, too, and as a kid in the late 70s/early 80s frequented most all of those.

I remember Alpha-Omega on Blackstone. If I recall correctly, the two owners split and it was one of them who opened up shop as Wonderland in the Tower District. I was in town during the holidays last year and it was still there on Van Ness.

I loved Comics Den -- remember it being such a small shop, too!

Collector's Paradise was the name of a shop near Shields & Cedar, I think - the one in the Tower District on Olive was called Comic World. That was my favorite!

I also remember buying comics off the spinner rack at the old Christenson's grocery store (where the Sunnyside library now is) and at the Zip-n-Go that was across from Easterby (where I attended elementary school).

There were a couple of small local comic conventions I went to in the late 70s - one was at the old Tropicana Hotel off the 99, and later one at Fresno State.

I remember some used book stores as well - Tobey's Books on Belmont near Cedar and the Book Stall on Blackstone -- it was in an old house. Used to be pick up old pulp paperbacks there.

Grampa Jack
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Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by Grampa Jack » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:06 am

I seem to remember one on Olive Ave. in the Tower District. If memory serves me, it was close to San Pablo Avenue. I bought a collector's edition of Superman vs. Spiderman there.

I used to have a great collection of comic books. I had made deals on good books from the time I was about 9 years old. They were all in nice plastic bags and stored in an old steamer trunk in the attic. When I came home from the Navy, I had planned to sell them off to help finance my college tuition. I went up in the attic and they were GONE!

I asked my mom about them, and she said that they had sold them at a yard sale. She did not know why I was so upset, most of them she had gotten close to cover price on them..... in fact one guy gave her a 'whole $5' for some old Superman comic.... that I had appraised for over $2000.

I never had the heart to tell her just how much the collection was valued at.... especially since I should have let her know before I went in the service.....

Long time Fresnan

Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by Long time Fresnan » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:38 pm

As I remember it,the Couple who owned Alpha Omega(her name was pat) got married. A guy who used to work there opened Collectors Paradise, then a guy from Bay area bought Alpha Omega from the couple and renamed it Sierra Comics and it moved up to Shaw and Willow, then over to Manchester Center then fizzled out. Does anyone remember Marie who worked there? Last I heard she was applying for the FBI, she used me as a reference, but never heard if she made it or not.

Big J
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Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by Big J » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:33 am

Collector's Paradise is still around, it moved to Bullard & First in the Save Mart shopping center back in the early 90's.

NettiesKid
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Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by NettiesKid » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:15 pm

Wonderland Comics is still around. I first visited Wonderland in the mid 80's when it was still located on Blackstone, about a block south of the Der Weinerschnitzle. I was selling chocolate for my grade school and figured I'd have some luck with Wayne, the guy who owned the comic shop, because he was a pretty hefty guy. I did too. Sold several bars. But I was blown away by the comics. I'd never seen so many in one place before. Wonderland became a regular stop for me everyday on the way home from school. I used to buy the grab bags. Fifty comics with various defects (usually torn or missing covers) for 3 or 4 bucks.

Wayne moved his shop to the Tower sometime around the early 1990s. I'm not positive about the exact year. But I do know he's still there selling his comics. Another comic shop I used to visit was Sierra Comics, also on Blackstone (a block north of Suzy's Adult superstore). I bought a ton of baseball cards and Dungeons & Dragons stuff there, before they closed up shop. Nowadays I visit Heroes on Shaw and Neil's Cards & Comics on Chestnut (Neil's is an older shop).

shornk
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Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by shornk » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:17 pm

I remember "Ed Zapata's Comic Den" very well. The owner was very friendly and his daughter ran a video rental store business in the comic shop. He had four or five of the giant Shogun Warrior robots on display over his counter for a long time there. Really had a lot of atmosphere in such a small space.

Stitch

Re: Lost Fresno comic book stores

Post by Stitch » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:35 am

I used to walk up to Alpha Omega/Sierra vista by CSUF when i was in fourth grade. Men, g.i. joe, others. It was a big deal once a month to visit. I would never have allowed my fourth graders to make that trip now.

The times, they have changed! :(

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