The Captain's Veranda by Joe Sarno


I made some statements in my newsletter two issues back, that brought some questions about the evolution of our store form some of our newer customers, and I thought I'd give a little history lesson. Our store opened December 4, 1971 at 47117 N. Harding Avenue and for the first year we were only open on Saturdays. At that time we called ourselves The Fantasy Shop, a name that was sort of hand picked for us by science fiction author Ray Bradbury. In a phone conversation earlier that year I told Ray that I was thinking of opening up a store, and couldn't make up my mind about the name, I suggested several including The Trivia Shop and The Fantasy Shop, and Ray thought that the latter was a great name. In early January 1973 we moved to 3905 West Lawrence Avenue and expanded our hours. Shortly thereafter I opted to rename the store The Nostalgia Shop, because we were selling a large array of items including Movie posters, radio premiums, tape recordings of old radio shows, big-little-books, pulps, sports and non-sports cards, and toys as well as comic books.

In the summer of 1975 we opened a larger store at 3816 West Lawrence Avenue and the smaller store reverted to The Fantasy Shop name. In October of 1977 we sold the small shop to George Breo who renamed it The New Fantasy Shop. In the spring of 1978 we joined forces with Metro Golden Memories to open a mega Nostalgis Shop at 5941West Irving Park Road. Combining the M.G.M./Nostalgia Shop stores was predicated on moving to a larger location that would accommodate both our large inventories. That move did not evolve, so in February 1980 I moved back to the 3905 W. Lawrence Avenue address, sharing the store with George Breo for a short while he relocated the store to the Belmont/Central Avenue area.

In August of 1980 we decided to change the name of the store yet again to Comic Kingdom to reflect the fact that we had become a Comic Book Specialty store, steering away form all the other paraphernalia we had been associated with the previous 10 years. It should be noted here that we were buying and selling comics and related items going back to at least March 1969 when we started The Fantasy Collectors of Chicago comic-swap meets, and that buying the Ostfeldt store in January 1970 gave me the huge inventory of material that predicated my opening a store. Then, finally we moved once again to out current location in November of 1987, and we've been here ever since. In December we'll be celebrating out 30th year in business.

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Originally published in the C.B. WEEKLY (Comic Book Collectors Bulletin) Vol 3 #69 April 25, 2003 copyright Joe Sarno and respective copyright holders 2003.