New comic book store opens downtown | News … – Williamson Daily News

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Updated: December 18, 2022 @ 9:41 am
Zachary Roberts, owner of E-Z1 COMICS in Williamson
E-Z1 COMICS in downtown Williamson.
BOTH PHOTOS: E-Z1 COMICS in downtown Williamson.

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Zachary Roberts, owner of E-Z1 COMICS in Williamson
E-Z1 COMICS in downtown Williamson.
BOTH PHOTOS: E-Z1 COMICS in downtown Williamson.
WILLIAMSON — Collecting is a family tradition for Zachary Roberts, and he has followed in his father’s footsteps to open a comic book store in downtown Williamson.
E-Z1COMICS opened its doors Dec. 5, but the physical location has been years in the making. Roberts said his father Jerome owned the last comic book store opened in Williamson in the 1990s on the west end, and now 30 years later Roberts has decided to put his own spin on the business.
“It’s a family thing,” Roberts said. “Most of these books are my dad’s, and then some of my collection and personal inventory I’ve been investing in. My dad has been a collector. He was the last person to open a comic book store in the city of Williamson and that was 30 years ago.”
Roberts said he’s looking to help fill the gap in the market that has been left in southern West Virginia.
“We’re always talking back and forth to check on prices and always asking what the people want, what kind of comic book characters, what they’re really looking for,” Roberts said. “We just want to try to meet the area’s needs as far as that as we don’t want people to have to go travel for this stuff. The market is very vast and there’s a lot of new things that are out there and highly collectible. But it’s good if we can keep it local.”
Roberts said the characters found in the comic book pages are timeless icons, but that sometimes these books hold a bigger place in the hearts of those who read them. He said he’s had the opportunity to meet many talented artists from southern West Virginia who found their niche through a childhood of reading comic books.
“These characters are timeless, and they always will be,” Roberts said. “There’s always going to be an appeal to these characters. And sometimes it’s about helping kids. Some kids struggle reading, they don’t have an interest; but if you could find something for them that is a super hero or a character and maybe that will have an appeal. And not only that, but they’ll look at the artwork and they’ll begin doodling and you don’t know what that’s going to inspire.”
Roberts said he was inspired to get into the business after attending a comic convention in 2016 in Cincinnati. He was there with his father to meet Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, and while there was inspired by the booths he saw and told his dad he thought they could do something like that.
Roberts said that the COVID-19 pandemic put some plans on the backburner, but they were able to set up at a few conventions in 2018. The goal, however, was always to open a store in his hometown area. Roberts said one of the real inspiring forces to show that something like this could do well in the area was the inception of WillCon and conversations with its organizer Jim Pajarillo.
“It’s not like people didn’t like comic books and this stuff for 30 years in Williamson,” Roberts said. They just had to go elsewhere to grab their books or to buy, sell, trade, anything else…We’re just excited to be here for the community.”
The shop will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday each week. It is located at 204 Logan Street.
The focus will be to buy, sell and trade comic books, collectibles and toys. Roberts said he will do consignment for those interested in selling what they have without having to go through online sellers like eBay.
HD Media reporter Nancy Peyton primarily covers news in Mingo County.
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