If your favorite fictional characters wear capes, you may have a new hangout in Canyon Country.
Cruzin’ Thru Comics just opened on Sierra Highway and has a cozy location where you can immerse yourself in stories about superheroes and other animated books and collectibles.
“Our main focus is comic books, but we sell graphic novels, hard covers, toys, statues, posters and superhero artwork,” said Johnny Cruz, who owns the store with his wife, Gloria.
The store’s most popular items involve Marvel characters Spiderman, Wolverine, Carnage and Venom, but DC Comics isn’t too far behind with Batman and Joker, especially after the recent “Joker” movie.
A technician with AT&T for 20 years, Johnny Cruz got interested in comics as a hobby, which grew to become a side business.
“We mostly have been doing conventions and sales online,” he said. “I felt the need to open the store because I have so much inventory.”
Johnny and Gloria have attended and worked at conventions outside the SCV such as the San Diego and Long Beach Comic Con trade shows. Locally, they are a part of Valley Comic Con in Valencia this month and the Santa Clarita Toy and Comic Expo at College of the Canyons on March 8, 2020.
The couple chose to open the business in Canyon Country because the only local comic stores are in Newhall and Saugus.
“It’s a tough business because everything’s online, but there are benefits to a brick-and-mortar store,” Johnny said. “We’re open for local buyers and customers that want to come in and actually look at the items they’re buying. It’s a permanent place for people to go.”
Cruzin’ Thru Comics already has some “regulars.” Some of their clients bring in merchandise to sell.
“I do a lot of wholesaling too – a lot of my customers are dealers as well,” said Johnny, who’s been selling on ebay for more than a decade. “It’s very reasonably priced. And we have it set up really nice. There’s a TV monitor to play movies. There’s no gaming at the moment, but it’s a very nice place to buy comics. People love it.”
The store and its layout will continue to evolve. For instance, the couple plans to install a little two-seat sofa in the front of the store.
“It’s been a bit hectic, a lot of work setting it up, but everything went fairly smooth so far – fixtures and signage,” he said.
The main collectors or buyers of comics are between the age of 20 and 30, Johnny said. But their customers are wide-ranging in age. He has found that people who collect comics are young kids up to seniors in their 70s.
Both Johnny and Gloria grew up in Santa Clarita and attended Saugus High School. They and their sons now live in Palmdale.
Stay tuned for a grand opening celebration later this month. “We’ll possibly have some free books, maybe some raffles, free food and drinks,” he said. “And I might have an artist come by to do sketches.”
Cruzin’ Thru Comics is located at 17812 Sierra Hwy, Unit D in Canyon Country. Call 661-210-7746, email Cruzinthrucomics@yahoo.com or visit Facebook.com/Cruzinthrucomics.