Published on October 20th, 2014 | by Chris Piers0
Destiny City Comics debuts in the Stadium District
Michael Fitzgerald opened Destiny City Comics on October 1, a Wednesday.
If that seems like an odd day to start, you may not read comic books. Wednesday is the day of the week when comic shops nationwide debut their new issues.
Located at 218 Saint Helens Avenue right next to King’s Books, the comic shop may be a bit more spartan than regular comics readers are used to but Fitzgerald assures me that is a function of it being brand new.
Where most stores will focus on a specialty such as an extensive selection of everything currently published, a deep back-issue collection or toys and comics-related merchandise, Destiny City currently offers a modest selection of Marvel and DC’s newest titles and a small but diverse selection of graphic novels and paperback collections.
Four large racks stocked with first issues of various comic book collections and graphic novels, and a stand of monthly titles dominate the space. Superheroes, non-fiction, humor—it’s a strong initial selection. The promising curation of the graphic novel selection displays Fitzgerald’s good taste and hopefully bodes well for Destiny City’s future offerings.
Fitzgerald says he hopes to create a store not just for comics readers but for locals and visitors who want to hang out and talk about art.
Speaking about his new shop, Fitzgerald says, “I want it to be a fun, colorful atmosphere where anyone can come in and chat about comics, where one might discover new items or experience some of the best pieces of literature out there. I hope it can be an artistic hub for Tacoma and a place where creators can showcase their wares.”
The shop is spacious but fairly spartan right now. With plenty of space to grow, I wanted to know what Fitzgerald planned to do with his space to bring in new customers.
Fitzgerald plans on organizing and hosting events as a way to entice new customers.
For example, on October 25 as part of the national Halloween ComicFest, Fitzgerald will give away comics and feature local artists and small businesses like Mark Monlux, Mark Brill, James Stowe, and Corey Macourek (all members of C.L.A.W); The Nearsighted Narwal; Spaceworks Tacoma; and the Shroom Brothers.
Also, Fitzgerald has some special deals: “I offer an everyday discount of 15% on all graphic novels and some subscription deals where the more titles you get, the bigger the discount. I plan on offering a selection of popular superhero books, acclaimed classics, and interesting offbeat works by independent creators. I’m particularly interested in stocking items by local Tacoma authors. And if I don’t have it on hand, there’s a strong chance I may be able to order it.”
On subsequent visits, I was pleased to see that Fitzgerald has added more shelving and his inventory continues to expand. As readers find Destiny City, Fitzgerald is identifying local tastes and working to help customers find their favorites as well as new books and authors.
Fitzgerald certainly knows about comics. He read Archie and superhero titles like Fantastic Four from a young age and spent several years as a teenager working in Read More Comics in Tampa, Florida. He later spent time as an editorial intern at comics news publication Wizard and more recently worked in the marketing department of renowned Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphics Books. And Fitzgerald knows Tacoma; he’s a University of Washington Tacoma graduate and frequent Post Defiance contributor.
He moved to the area three years ago and was able to realize his dream of running a comics store when R.R. Anderson, the owner of local business Tinkertopia, told him about Tacoma’s Spaceworks program. “I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try to apply to be in their creative cohort program,” says Fitzgerald. “If it wasn’t for being accepted and trained by the Spaceworks program, Destiny City Comics wouldn’t exist. While I was waiting on their list of available spaces, I saw the spot next to King’s Books had opened up and so I went for it and landed this sweet location.”
Destiny City is a welcoming shop with potential – an exciting addition to the bustling Stadium District; go check it out and go read some comics!
Destiny City Comics
218 B St Helens Avenue, Tacoma, Washington 98402
Open Wednesday-Sunday 12 – 8 pm
All photographs by Post Defiance co-creative director Kali Raisl