The foundation of ComicBook.Com is comics. While we love to cover all aspects of pop and geek culture, our roots lie in the comics community and the plethora of characters and stories that have sprung from it. If you speak with anyone in the comics community about what has made the medium successful in North America, you’ll quickly discover one answer that stands far above the rest: local comics stores. They are the bedrock of comics in the United States and Canada, supporting fans, communities, and conventions with open doors and a dedicated staff.
This year on ComicBook.Com we are highlighting this important aspect of comics and culture by taking a look at one local comic store each week. These are stores that embody what it means to support culture and community. We hope you can visit some of them throughout 2017.
Some places are defined by where they have been and others are defined by where they are going. Visionary Comics in Riverside, California belongs to the latter of those two categories. The store opened just over one year ago in May of 2016 and in that brief span of time has seen so much support that it is already prepared to move. It is a local comics store defined by big dreams and big hearts with plans to become the heart of the comics and geek community in this California community.
Visionary Comics is owned and operated by Jazmine and Nestor, two comics lovers younger than the staff at many other stores. They opened the shop intending to create a space where anyone could gather to relax, hang out, and enjoy their favorite hobbies. “[We also wanted] a space where we can hold classes and events” says Jazmine. That plan has come together quickly over the course of 12 months. The shop holds weekly movie and gaming nights that attract a big crowd, especially within the current location’s small space.
Events hosted at the store have ensured lots of good word of mouth spreading around Riverside and beyond. People who come to Visionary Comics tend to fall in love with both the store and its owners. “We try to make sure every event is special and that everyone is having fun” says Jazmine. One of the key goals of the store when it opened was to be more than a retail space and these events have shown people they’re welcome to spend time at the store just like a second home.
Between Tuesday and Saturday, it’s a guarantee that either Jazmine or Nestor will be in the shop. They take their role as curators of both comics and community seriously. “Nestor and I are accessible to every customer. So if there is any feedback, they come straight to us, and we will listen” says Jazmine. Whether it’s a request to carry a new comic or an idea for a new event, Riverside residents can be sure Visionary Comics will do what it can to help.
Click ahead to see what the future holds for Visionary Comics and how…