A 1,000-square-foot storefront in the NoHo Arts District will soon be home to comic books of new and old.
For more than 20 years Jud Meyers has dealt new and vintage comics around the world and on Nov. 10 he's opening Blastoff, named after his year-old online business, at 5118 Lankershim Blvd.
The Chatsworth resident said he believes having a comic book shop in the Arts District would meet the growing needs of those who reside in the up-and-coming neighborhood.
"They want restaurants, they want bars, they want supermarkets, they want gyms," Meyers said. "What didn't they have? They don't have a comic book store. Every neighborhood has got to have a comic book store."
How does he know? Paperback superheroes have made a comeback through big-budget action flicks and gained a boost in popularity through conventions like San Diego's Comic Con, Meyers said.
"Comics aren't pop culture anymore, they're culture," he said.
Meyers described himself as the geek that got beat up for reading comics as a kid, but he stuck with his passion and currently owns a pair of comic stores in the San Fernando Valley called Earth 2.
Some of his rarities will be put on display at Blastoff like superhero works by master artist Harlan Ellison, who has titles with an asking price as high as $400.
Other vintage titles on Blastoff's website include a $5,000 copy of Fantastic Four #1, a $3,500 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 in good condition and a $700 edition of the first time the Hulk faced the Thing.
At least one of the store's neighboring businesses says having such unique items available for viewing will generate more foot traffic in the immediate area.
"I'm assuming people would walk further down south from Magnolia just to check him out," said Patrick Lim, manager of computer repair shop MacHollywood. "It will definitely be a plus."
But in addition to a collection of hard-to-find titles dating back to the 1930s, Blastoff will carry many newer and cheaper titles like the latest issues of Batman and the Justice League, Meyers said.
"It's a family store," he said.
And even if a youngster can't afford a comic, Meyers said that boy or girl would be given a comic book free of charge, just so he can still share a bit of his lifelong passion.
"I have more comics than I can possibly ever do anything with in a lifetime. I'm giving them away," he said. "In my store, no child ever walks out without a comic book."
The complimentary title will be selected by Myers himself.
Blastoff is having its grand opening on Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Special guests will include:
Mark Waid (DAREDEVIL, KINGDOM COME)
Gregg Hurwitz (BATMAN, THE SURVIVOR)
Jim Krueger (EARTH-X, JUSTICE, THE HIGH COST OF HAPPILY EVER AFTER [Premiering at Blastoff!])
Scott Tipton (STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO)