In his quest to bring superheroes to downtown Gilroy, David Caldwell got a lift from some everyday heroes.
While hanging the awning in front of his new store, Caldwell was approached by a man and his young child, who volunteered to help with the effort. Later on, as the store’s opening date approached but product shipment was slow to arrive, Caldwell turned to a friend in Livermore, where he purchased most of his current comic stock.
The neighboring small businesses in downtown have gone out of their way to help make the store a reality, Caldwell said. His family also played a huge role.
Caldwell’s Comics & Cards opened recently at 7483 Monterey St., where collectors can purchase the latest comics, sports cards, action figures, Funko Pops and more.
“The people of Gilroy and the other small business owners have been amazing,” Caldwell said. “They’ve made me feel welcome from day one. It’s made me feel more and more confident that Gilroy was the right choice.”
Caldwell can’t remember exactly when his love for comics bloomed, but he got into the art form at a very young age with an interest in visual storytelling.
While his dream to become a comic book artist didn’t pan out, Caldwell purchased his first comic store at the age of 18 in 1981. He closed the shop after seven years for a position with a comic book distribution company, but later opened another shop in San Jose.
After shutting that store down, Caldwell spent the last 17 years with a flooring and carpet business in San Jose. But once he moved to Los Banos a few years ago, Caldwell said the commute got to be too difficult, and the idea of opening another comic book store popped up again.
He said he wanted to open a store in a city that didn’t have such an offering, as Los Banos is home to a long-standing comic shop. He eventually discovered Gilroy and settled on 7483 Monterey St. The store has been vacant since mid-2019 when Gilroy Medical Supply closed after owner Lisa Richards moved out of state.
Caldwell added that Richards has been “wonderful to work with.”
“She’s been amazing,” he said.
Caldwell, who cites Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four as his favorite superheroes, said comic books have been undergoing a renaissance over the past year of the pandemic.
“People have been focusing more on their hobbies,” he said. “The collectibles market has really been taking off.”
Caldwell’s Comics & Cards held a soft opening on March 27, and the owner said he will have “10 times” as much inventory coming soon.
The store is open Monday-Friday from 11am-7pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11am-6pm. For information, visit bit.ly/2PVUGkI.