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The Buchtelite

Rubber City Comics: Hidden Gem of Akron 11-17-16

74 E. Mill Street

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

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Are you a self-proclaimed comic book nerd? Stop by Rubber City Comics (RCC) in downtown Akron to expand your collection. You deserve to treat yourself because it’s almost finals week.

The comic book store was started in Quaker Square back in 1976, but the name of the business and the location changed multiple times due to changes in ownership, according to RCC employee Robert Lemasters. 

When RCC finally left its Quaker Square location, the new owners sold all of RCC’s merchandise back at a 90 percent discount. 

Scott Malensek, current owner of RCC, owned The Stew Pot Kitchen in Akron. His customers, which turned into friends, needed a place to store the contents of the comic book shop and used the back of The Stew Pot Kitchen. The collection continued to grow and needed a new space. 

Rubber City Comics is unique because they focus on their subscribers. There is no fee to become a subscriber and the process is simple. There is a signup form on rubbercitycomics.com. You let the store know which comics you want and they put all of your books in your file. Subscribers also get a 10 percent discount which Malensek said no other store in the area does. Extra copies of the book then go on the shelves. Some of the books don’t reach the shelves if they are needed for subscribers because subscribers have priority at Rubber City Comics. 

And don’t think this means there are a lack of books in store for you to browse. There are multiple crates with 10 sections each and each section holds about 200 books. I don’t do math, but that is a huge stash of comics waiting for a new home.

Know someone with a stack of comics going to waste or have some yourself that have been collecting dust? This comic book store offers a consignment program where the seller sets the price and RCC does the hard work of selling the comic. If a seller is unsure of a fair selling price, just schedule a consultation and the employees with help determine a price based on condition and the current market. 

Malensek said his customers call it “daycare for grownups.” 

“It’s like being at a bar with no beer,” he said. He wants the shop to be a place where customers can chat with one another and “enjoy the pop culture of the past 50 years.” 

The store has old and new comics and they do not focus on a specific genre so there is something for any comic nerd here. Customers can also find a variety of action figures, super hero Pop! dolls, and other books.

RCC officially opened the doors in March 2016. Malensek said they “haven’t seen a bad month yet.” 

Akron Comic-Con weekend from Nov. 5 to 6 was a huge successful for the business with the event taking place across the street at the John S. Knight Center. Some of the books that customers brought in to sell just before Comic-Con weekend sold for a few thousand dollars. “Journey Into Mystery,” which was Marvel’s Thor’s first appearance in the comic books, recently sold for $4,500. 

“I haven’t regretted it for a minute. I really like coming into work and everybody really seems to enjoy being here…,” said Malensek.

Some of their newest releases include “Deadpool #22,” “All New Wolverine #14,” “Deadpool Back In Black,” “Amazing Spider-Man #21,” “Doctor Strange #14,” “Justice League #9,” and many more. See more at rubbercitycomics.com.

 

Hours of operation:

Monday: 12 to 5 p.m.

Tuesday – Wednesday: 12 to 6 p.m.

Thursday: 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Friday: 12 to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 12 to 5 p.m.

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The editorially independent student voice at The University of Akron since 1889.
Rubber City Comics: Hidden Gem of Akron 11-17-16