Superheroes Are Everywhere, And That’s Great By This Newtown Comic Shop

NEWTOWN, CT — Comic book store owners are starting to feel like they were born under a red sun.

Superheroes, a mainstay of comics since the art form took shape in the 1930s, have become a fixture no matter what screen you’re watching. This particular superpower has meant big bucks for movie studios and streaming services that are only now beginning to trickle down comic book store cash registers.

Matt Bania, owner of Cave Comics in Newtown, told Patch that releasing a new movie or TV series featuring a character based on the comics is not a guarantee that it will start immediately. to sell more copies of this character’s book, but it has certainly been portion. Sometimes the on-screen versions of superhero exploits draw new comic book readers to his shop. Other times, past clients succumb to the hype and pick up favorite Hollywood characters they skipped over the first time around.

Bania made it an easy proposition. Along with weekly new releases, its store features more than 3,000 books from DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, IDW, Boom, and other publishers, dating back to the “Silver Age” of comics.

Business is up in all areas, but there is no single reason for it, Bania said. Even COVID-19 helped. Although sales fell with each new wave of infection, they also rebounded each time the hospitalization rate fell.

Although comics are its bread and butter, Cave Comics offers a wide selection of ancillary nerd material. Bania said the pandemic lockdown culture has driven a new clientele to board games, role-playing games and miniatures such as Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer 40K, and interest in these has not decreased alongside the coronavirus positivity rate.

That interest will be strong this Saturday, when Cave Comics celebrates Free Comic Book Day, an early May Saturday tradition that has been sidelined for the past two years by COVID.

How many savings are “free”? Bania cited $3.99 as the average price for a 2022 comic.

Free Comic Book Day is a joint promotion between comic book retailers and publishers, who share the cost of “free” books. It’s money well spent, according to Bania. Most comic n00bs “tend to come back” and buy more books, he said, and almost anyone who walks through the door on Saturday to glom a free comic won’t leave until they buy more books or other merchandise that catches their eye.

Leaving nothing to chance, Bania recruited legendary (and local) artist Jerry Ordway, famous for his work on ‘The Death of Superman’ and ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’. Ordway will sign at Cave Comics from 1-3 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day.

Bania told Patch that legacy warhorses like Batman, Spider-Man, and Hulk are Cave Comics’ most popular titles, but Marvel’s Moon Knight has recently seen a surge in sales, likely due to the new Disney+ series. .

Cave Comics, entering its 33rd year of business at 57 Church Hill Road in Newtown, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

Daniel K. Denny