The comics were Ashland’s passion and remain a staple for the store. He said he currently owns between 600,000 and 700,000 comics.
“It was my main goal when I opened the store,” he said. “I started buying collections and would take what I wanted and sell the rest to other local stores or a garage sale or whatever. And then I started buying stores, and I ended up with way too many comics. I couldn’t move around my house anymore, so a store in Albany convinced me to open.
Ashland’s start coincided with the early ’90s comic book collection boom.
People who had no interest in reading most of the headlines were getting as many copies as they could with the idea of a big paycheck at one point.
“When I started it was the best-selling comic book, but it wasn’t healthy. People would come and buy 100 copies of the same book. Now we have thousands of copies of these books that we bought back at a dime or a dime each, ”Ashland said.
“It was ‘Death of Superman’, ‘Spawn’ # 1, ‘X-Force’ # 1, ‘X-Men’ (1991 series) # 1, all of that. It ended up blowing up the market. When you sell 3 million copies of a book and there are only 700,000 people who actually want to read it, the math doesn’t really work.
“Spider-Man” and “Groo the Wanderer” have been among Ashland’s favorites over the years, but he doesn’t have a title that he follows regularly after “The Walking Dead” ends.