Local comic shop manages to stay in business despite pandemic setbacks – InForum
FARGO – Comic Junction in Fargo is approaching its 40th anniversary. Kip Marvig, owner and comic connoisseur, has been there for all the twists and turns.
Located right between a vape shop and a hair salon, up a moderate flight of stairs and around the corner is a hidden gem with endless avenues.
Marvig opened a shop in 1981. There was nothing like it in the area back then. His father was his inspiration to start the business.
“Whenever I bought comics, my dad would also read them first. ‘Just to make sure they were appropriate,’ that was the excuse he used,” Marvig said. “Reading comics gave me the love of reading, it got me started and gave me interest.”
He collects all kinds of items from all over the world, even collectibles dating back to the 1950s.
“There’s nothing in those boxes on that shelf that has an original cover price over 25 cents,” Marvig said, pointing out some of his treasures.
During the pandemic, Marvig has found various ways to keep the lights on, such as offering curbside pickup, keeping things clean and still, and patronizing regulars making their routine stops.
“When my vending machine was shut down, I didn’t get any new bills, I just had to pay rent,” Marvig said. “Of course my sales weren’t what they were last year, but they weren’t so bad that I had to file for bankruptcy.”
He will reach the milestone of 40 years in June. His passion for art and sharing this passion with others is what drives him. As in his childhood, he hopes that a comic, a novel or a magazine can inspire another young mind.
“There’s a thing called Free Comic (Book) Day, and we can buy cheap comics from publishers to give away for free, and I always order heavier for kids,” Marvig said. “I just want kids to love reading; nobody wants to read a textbook, they have to.”
For now, he’s thinking about the trip with the rest to write.
“You rode all the way and now you’re here, is it any wonder?” Marvig asked. “Yes, I want to keep doing this for as long as I can climb the stairs.”
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