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Comic Store a Dream for Rosemont Resident

Gene Farley runs a comic book store in Sacramento.

When Gene Farley grew up, he went to college, got married, bought a home, and bought his teenage hangout.

The Rosemont resident owns Comics and Collectibles, a comic book shop on Fruitridge Road in Sacramento.

"It's pretty sweet for the most part," Farley said. "It's good being your own boss but then all the responsibility is on you."

He's owned the store for around 15 years, about the same amount of time he's lived in Rosemont. He said when he was a kid, he regularly visited another store until it moved to Rosemont, then started hanging around Comics and Collectibles.

For Farley, comic books are a childhood hobby that turned into a fulltime passion.

"I've been reading them since, like, fifth grade and just haven't stopped," he said.

He said being a small business is tough–he recently laid off an employee–but business is steady.

"You can't walk into Amazon and say, 'Was this book any good?' But I can tell you," he said.

Farley said technology hasn't changed his business much, except that his subscribers–who have certain comics saved for them every month–are listed on a laptop instead of on three-by-five cards.

"The guys that opened [this store] figured out how to do it right," he said. "Most of my success has been in not screwing that up."

The store, which recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary, is one of the largest and the second oldest in Sacramento, Farley said.

Chris Williams is a subscriber at the store, and came in recently with his 6-year-old son to pick up a handful of new comics.

He said his son is just learning how to read, but he's already taking an interest in the characters in Williams' comics.

"If this can be a gateway to helping him learn to read, I'm all for it," Williams said.

Farley said comics have a wide audience. His regular visitors, which make up 60 percent of his business, range between 10 years old and more than 80 years old. He has one subscriber who he thinks is homeless, and another who is a deputy treasurer for the state.

"More and more, people are realizing that nerdy people are ruling the world, so I don't think it's as stigmatized."

In honor of Small Business Saturday (this week, Nov. 26), Comics and Collectibles will offer half off on back issues. The store has also added 8,000 extra comics to its $2 bins.

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Editor's note: Farley's is a blogger on this site. Read her posts here.

Bob White November 25, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Hey, Cody: Fruitridge Road is about 7 or 8 miles long. How about a clue as to where the store is located.....
Kevin Woodard November 25, 2011 at 08:09 PM
10 second Google search, Fruitridge and Freeport.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) November 26, 2011 at 03:15 AM
Hey Bob, the map on the right side of the page has the store's location (1904 Fruitridge Rd.). I forgot to add that address into the body of the story, but I'll do that. Thanks for the comment.
Bob White November 26, 2011 at 03:59 AM
Of course, I know that... Cory got my point. Nowadays I see too many newspaper articles and, especially, TV pieces that do not cover the basics of good journalism and I was just reminding Cory that "where" was forgotten.
Brad November 26, 2011 at 06:34 AM
I think they also do a number of events on the weekends including artist showcases, and a number of other cool events. I remember the shop over on Bradshaw well, and of course the one that use to be in the Plaza way back. So many good times, so many hours there after school and during the summer. I'm sure I'm not the only one to realize that just about every major action blockbuster in the past decade or so has come from comic books. Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Fantastic 4, Avengers, Capt. America, 300, V for Vendetta, Road to Perdition, X-Men, Wolverine, Sin City, The Walking Dead, the list just goes on and on, and even Superman is getting a reboot next year or so. I wouldn't mind a more Miller-esque Daredevil try, and looks like Marvel may be looking at expanding its "lesser" knowns like Dr. Strange and Vision. An Iron Man/Vision crossover could be awesome if you ask me, but who knows what they are planning to do with. But, I'm pretty sure we are gonna find out. Not bad considering some of these publishers were BK back in the 90's. Wow, if only had I had the money. Look at what they pulling in from their properties. Loving it! Hollywood is stale, comic books are saving them now. Go figure.
Amanda November 26, 2011 at 04:55 PM
****CODY
Pam Farley November 27, 2011 at 06:31 AM
Thanks for mentioning those, Brad! We just did an art show and also hold Warhammer and Magic tournaments frequently. Owning the store is lots of work and lots of fun. The kids we met when they were in Junior High are now graduating college and getting married! And regarding the movies: there's soooo much potential, isn't there? I would love to see some Dr. Strange action or even a Franklin Richards kids' movie. Granted, I'm biased, but I'd prefer a superhero action movie over Saw #549 any day.

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