Asylum Comics moving downtown

SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times Jordan Lowe, owner of Asylum Comics, sorts through some new arrivals at the store’s current location on Muskingum Drive Tuesday. The business is moving and will reopen at 212 Third St. next Tuesday.

After a seven-year stint on Muskingum Drive, Asylum Comics is moving back into downtown Marietta.

“I like this building, but it’s just a little too far removed from downtown and activities like the Merchants and Artist walks,” said Asylum Comics owner Jordan Lowe.

The Muskingum Drive location will close Thursday and the business will reopen Tuesday at 212 Third St., next door to NAPA Auto Parts.

“It’s not quite double the space (of the current location), and there’s a lot of floor and wall space,” Lowe said. “There’s also a room in back that’s being renovated for artist presentations and signings, our Free Comic Book Day and other activities.”

Lowe started Asylum Comics as a combination comic book and video rental shop in the 200 block of Second Street in 2005. He later dropped the video business and in 2009 moved to the Muskingum Drive location.

“The comics world has changed a lot since 2005,” he said. “There wasn’t a comics store in town, and there weren’t as many comics being made into movies at that time.”

But Lowe said since companies like Marvel and DC Comics have moved their characters onto the big screen, the comics business has enjoyed some growth.

“Now it’s a lot more mainstream and has broadened from a narrow audience to a much larger clientele,” he said.

Customers are a mix of older folks who have been following the comics for many years and younger generations who may have been recently introduced to comics through motion pictures.

G.I. Joe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are two titles followed by longtime Asylum Comics customer Logan Vannoy.

“Those are my regulars. I’m on the subscription list for when the latest issues come out,” he said. “But sometimes I’ll take another comic that grabs my interest. Jordan always keeps his supply of comics fresh and interesting.”

Asylum Comics offers a large variety of the most recent comics as well as a huge collection of back issues going back 25 years or so. The store also has comics-related toys and collectibles.

A related business, Second To None Graphics, specializing in graphic design, printing and comic art, formerly housed at Putnam Commons, will also be relocating next door to Asylum Comics and will open Tuesday at the Third Street site.

“We’ve been working out of my home since leaving Putnam Commons in February, and we’re very excited,” said Second To None Graphics owner Michael Easton.

“I think this will be a great location with room for expansion and plenty of parking in front and back,” he said.

Nathaniel Maciag, who recently purchased the building in which the businesses will be located, has been a business partner with Easton for about a year now.

“And I’ve been a purveyor of Jordan’s business since high school, although I’m more of a casual purveyor of comic books,” Maciag said. “Michael and Jordan have collaborated on comics projects, and I definitely think this will help Jordan’s business.”

Lowe, Easton and Maciag agreed that the new location could benefit from its close proximity to Marietta College, within a block of the main campus.

“We wanted to be within walking distance of the college,” Lowe said.

In addition to the store’s annual Free Comics Day, Lowe said Asylum Comics would continue to sponsor the River City Comics Con, a summer celebration of all things related to comic books and comics characters.

The date and location of the 2017 convention has not been determined, but Lowe said it always brings a host of comics enthusiasts from across Ohio and surrounding states.

“It’s a real family event and helps keep comics in the public eye,” he said.

Business move

– Asylum Comics is moving to 212 Third St. and will open at that location on Tuesday.

– The store will close at its current location on Muskingum Drive Thursday.

– Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Sundays and holidays.

– Asylum Comics has been in business since 2005, and was originally located in the 200 block of Second Street before moving to Muskingum Drive in 2009.

– Owner Jordan Lowe said the new location provides more space for comics and collectibles as well as a large back room area for visiting artists and other events.

– Second To None Graphics, a comic art and graphic design business, will also be relocating next door to Asylum Comics at the Third Street site.