On a trip to Florida I drove past a unassuming strip mall in Port St Lucie with a simple “Comics” sign above one of the doors. I am so glad I decided to stop. Collector’s Comics is a treasure.
The store itself focuses on superhero comics and memorabilia–though they are happy to order non-super comics for folks looking for them. This is a true comic shop–with gaming notably absent, but for the comic reader there is a literal treasure trove of long boxes to raid. There is also a lot of vintage and new memorabilia, toys and statues. Everything is clearly priced and the prices were all reasonable.
The real attraction to Collector’s Comics is the people. Joe Vandergrifft was helpful, friendly and a perfect straight man to owner Keith Mallow’s tongue in cheek banter.
Keith is the guy you hope to run into at the bar at a convention. He’s been in comics for 37 years and you know he has stories. He’s in the Sinestro Corps, for gawdsakes!
Collector’s is also an engaged shop. They reward each A on report cards with free comic books–a bonus book if you get all A’s! They do signings and events and they reward their customers with a Belly system as well as a “Reward wheel” if you spend $50 or more. Keith is also the man behind Heroes for Heroes, which sent 500K comic books to men & women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to Yelp, customers of Collector’s Comics are happy campers, with the only real critique being that it isn’t as big as Midtown in NYC. That a customer made life-sized Cap paper mache statue standing behind the register lends credence to the idea that customers love their LCS.
I love comics, and in a climate where the “bad guys” get a lot of attention, I love stumbling into a shop where the people are genuinely nice and are as excited about comics and nerd culture as I am and welcome me in without reservation. If you find yourself on the Treasure Coast, cruise on into Collector’s comics. You won’t regret it.