Tucked away amidst the busy buildings of the Miracle Mile, like a book on a shelf, sits Al’s Comic Shop.
Opening its doors in 1979, this house of stories has been a part of Stockton for 38 years.
The store attracts customers of all ages.
Children, college students, lawyers, and parents all find themselves drawn to a common interest. Owner Al Greco finds he doesn’t need to advertise, because the comic book fans seek out sources to facilitate their hobby.
Greco has seen costumers come and go, but some true believers have made Al’s Comic a regular part of their routine.
“It’s all the same people that started when we started back in ‘79,” Greco said.
Regular customer Brett Munoz has been stopping by for more than 10 years.
He enjoys the store’s lack of pretense and says “it’s always a friendly place when you walk in.”
The store’s location allows it to catch the eyes of new customers.
“When I go to Empresso, I always stop by if it’s open,” said comic book fan Chris Richardson. Comic books weren’t Greco’s first journey into business.
Originally running a trucking business, he first got exposure to comics when his son began reading them at age 5.
Eventually his wife started reading them, and soon Greco would come to share his family’s hobby.
Greco enjoys the versatility of comic books.
Different customers enjoy different stories and relate with different characters. People enjoy different aspects of the product.
Some are more interested in the stories, some prefer the art, some enjoy the lessons they can take into their own lives.
Greco offers a wide variety of comics and feels there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The store has new releases, classic arcs beloved by fans, and previews of upcoming series. Greco’s favorite part of his job is selling customers a story he’ll know they’ll love.
“It’s like selling them entertainment,” he said.