Comic relief: Arkham store first of its kind


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Andy Alexander and Patricia Saenz pose inside their recently-opened comic book shop, Arkham Comics, located on 109 N. Sam Houston.
(Photo by David Lopez)

Comic books have proved to be an unmovable pillar of American culture, whose influence can be witnessed in the mammoth sales of superhero movies and comic conventions.

Comic book connoisseur Andy Alexander, co-owner of Arkham Comics, said he’s been in the business since 1986, when the shop’s original location opened in Harlingen, then titled, “Gotham Comixs.”

The shop is now located at 109 Sam Houston, relocated to the original roots of co-owner Patricia Saenz, Alexander’s niece, who has her own shop behind the comics portion of the store.

Arkham has an air of sophistication to it, not what many would expect from a comic book store.

Andy Alexander displays a “Wolverine” comic book at his comic book shop.

But that’s the sign of the times and the reason the store has been around so long, as Alexander explained.

“When I first opened, I would say that 80 percent of our customers were kids, and 20 percent adults. Now, it’s 85 percent adults and 15 percent kids,” Alexander said.

“The kids that grew up with me are now adults and they have continued collecting comics. I have lawyers, doctors, teachers, professors, everyday hardworking people who collect comic books because the myth of comics being funny books for kids, that idea is gone,” Alexander said. “Now it’s a collector’s item; you treat it as a piece of gold.”

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or make sure to grab a copy of the June 26-July 2, 2020 issue of the NEWS.


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