Holiday shopping season starts Friday, and while Time Warp Comics might not have something for everybody, the locally owned store might have everything for somebody on your shopping list.
"We are stocked. We have more than ever," says Wayne Winsett, the owner of Time Warp Comics. His store specializes in comic books but also carries toys, role-playing game equipment and clothing. "We just bought 14,000 action figures from a collector in Wyoming. 'Star Wars,' 'Spawn' and other really hard-to-find stuff."
Although many people will be waiting in line for doorbuster deals on Black Friday, they might not be going to Time Warp.
"You know, people were going to the big box stores and not us, so we stopped doing deals on Black Friday," explains Winsett.
His store and other local small businesses offer something else to start the holiday shopping season. For the past five years, Time Warp has concentrated on an event called Small Business Saturday.
"We do a mix-and-match deal. You can buy comics, action figures, graphic novels or anything and get 20 percent off. Regular back issues are a buck apiece," explains Winsett. The big event isn't just to make money. "We always need room. Sales clear out the store and help us stay with the competition."
As for the rest of the year, Winsett says Time Warp is consistently gaining new customers, mostly because of movies and TV shows. "This is a great time to be a comic retailer."
Five comic book-based films were among the top 10 grossing movies in 2016, according to boxofficemojo.com. Next year will usher in even more.
Winsett is happy with the movies. "I'm easy to please. I see good in everything. I saw 'Doctor Strange.' Twice. 'Batman vs. Superman' wasn't great, but it's out there and keeping us in the public eye."
He says that each movie impacts sales differently.
"Usually, they're temporary spikes in sales. Believe it or not, after 'Civil War,' Black Panther got really popular. People wanted to know more about him and are still buying his comics."
However, one of the biggest sellers is a character that many people never heard of until his movie came out this year: Deadpool.
"Deadpool is a real anomaly. He was popular with teenagers and fans before the movie came out because of a video game. Then after the movie came out, women came in. What can I say? Ryan Reynolds is a hunk," Winsett laughs. "Deadpool has been snowballing downhill. He does really well. Graphic novels, toys, shirts. You name it and you can find it pretty easily. But Deadpool is actually a tough sell. It's way more mature than the others. Lots of language and violence. There's not a whole lot of stuff to buy except if you're 18 or over."
If you are looking for a hot item for the fanboy or fangirl on your shopping list, "New Mutants 98" is the first appearance of Deadpool and has become a hot collector's item.
"Everybody's selling them now," says Winsett. "They are not cheap books. They're high in demand." Time Warp has two copies at the moment. One is priced at $200 and the other at $400.
On top of a fully stocked store, Winsett says he has a tractor trailer full of back-issue comic books. "We're packed to the gills," he says. "We have so much, I'm trying to figure out what to do with them."
Time Warp will be closed on Thanksgiving, but it's open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Small Business Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The store's hours and more information can be found at Time-Warp.com.