Originally Published: February 18, 2014 6:02 a.m.
PRESCOTT - Superhero movies, such as the upcoming film, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," have created something of a renaissance for comic books.
And according to comic book specialist Seth Luck, the popularity of good old-fashioned print comic books, in this age of digital books, has proven quite resilient. Luck himself collected as kid, and got into specialized comics in adulthood, such as the Sandman trade paperbacks written by famed English author Neil Gaiman.
"You're able to use your imagination in a way that isn't possible in other ways, to see worlds that don't necessarily exist anywhere else, and it's all laid out in nice, concise panels. Comics are classic. They allow you to pick them up at any point and you're right back in that world you love," Luck said.
Luck takes his passion for comic storytelling to work with him every day at the Peregrine Book Company, where he oversees the massive collection of comic books sold at the downtown business. Known as the store's "resident expert," he catalogues every issue, takes special orders and stocks comic books on a daily basis.
"I don't know everything, but I do know more than your average bear," he joked. "It seems like there's a good base of comic fans in Prescott. I see a lot of traffic through here."
Comic books, he said, are just as important to literature as any other form.
Luck oversees over 5,000 used comics, all priced for a single buck if printed before 2012. Comics include a number of classic Marvel and DC titles from the 1970s and 1980s and those are just the comics found in the store. Luck is also working his way through a mountainous back stock of more than 30,000 comic books. He removes duplicates, organizes titles and fills stock at the store.
"There's definitely more new stuff to come over the years," he said. "The comic section is one of the biggest sections at the store because we can pack so much stuff into it."
And comic books are proving to be a popular commodity in Prescott. The store sells trade paperbacks, single edition comics both new and used, Manga comics, superhero figures and toys, and more. In the year since Peregrine Book Company opened their doors, Luck estimates that over 1,000 comics have already been sold. When comics sell, he delves into the back stock for replacements.
"We keep moving them out. There's no telling what you will find," Luck said. Popular comics, he said, are about what one would expect.
"Superman seems to move the most. Robin also moves. There are a lot of Robin lovers out there. Batman also sells, of course. Everybody loves Batman," Luck said.
The store's treasure trove of titles range from classic editions of Marvel Team Up, to The Avengers, The Amazing Spider Man and the X-Men - and from old Star Wars comics, new Walking Dead comics, to Green Arrow, Superman and Wonder Woman. Besides Marvel and DC Comics, fans can find Vertigo, IDW, and Image Comics as well.
In addition to their large collection of used comics, Luck said the stores also sells approximately 220 brand new titles. Special comic-related events also bring comic fans to the store, he said, and those events occur frequently. The Peregrine is already preparing for national Free Comic Book Day in May. The Peregrine Book Company is located at 219 N. Cortez Street.
Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier