For comic book collectors, Dewayne’s World is the place to be every Wednesday. That’s the day DC Comics releases its newest weekly comic. It is also "battle" day in the side room of Dewayne’s World.
Dewayne Chase, owner of Dewayne’s World, started his "comic" journey around age 10. He was fortunate to turn his passion into a business and started working in the comic book industry in 1985 at a local comic book store. He opened his own store in 1993.
Located at 459 E. Sullivan St., Dewayne’s World carries a large variety of comic books, collectible comics, role-playing and fantasy board games, action hero figures, unpainted gaming models, and most anything else related to comics or superheroes. And if Chase doesn’t have an item in stock, he makes special orders three times a week.
While Chase and most of his clientele grew up reading comic books, he said the market has fallen off with the younger generation. The majority of Dewayne’s World customers are 18 and older. Although he has a huge and loyal customer base, Chase would like to see comics become popular again with the younger generation.
"Comic books are always an inexpensive, fun escape. With superheroes like Superman, Batman and the Green Lantern, showing a child a comic book is a good way to get kids interested in reading," he said.
Long-time Dewayne's World customer Rickey Rolen agreed. "I learned to read before starting school by reading the comic books at Woolworth," Rolen said. At age 59, Rolen is still reading and collecting comic books and currently has a collection of more than 12,000.
Comic books have been around since the late 1800s and with heroes like Superman and Captain America grew in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s. Collectors and speculators created a comic book market resurgence again in the 1990s but, instead of increasing the comic book market, Chase explained those same speculators drove down the demand for comics.
Many of today’s collectors speculate DC Comics was trying to recapture that 1990s market when it reset its entire comic book inventory back to the beginning in September of this year. "Every weekly issue is meant to be a starting point for a new reader," Chase explained. The new DC Universe features multiple genres, including westerns, modern war comics and a number of horror books. For those who grew up reading comic books, DC Comics has brought back many of the favorite writers and illustrators like Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza.
Whether DC Comic re-energizes the comic book market or not, Dewayne Chase has made and continues to make a living doing what he loves most - comic books. He attributes his success to good customer service. "If I don’t know the answer to something comics-related, I will try to find the answer. And if I don’t have a certain product in stock, I do special orders," he said.
And the best customers have their own box in the store where Chase stashes the Wednesday DC Comic release. For more information or to get your own box at Dewayne’s World, call 423-247-8997 or visit the website at http://www.dewaynes-world.com/ or check out his Facebook page. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.comments powered by Disqus