While the summer usually takes students away from Oxford’s local establishments, one Uptown business has weathered the quiet storm.
Future Great Comics opened this past May and sells comics, records, collectible card games and board games, along with other products related to games and hobbies.
Brian LeVick, Future Great Comics owner, said despite the reduced number of students during the summer, the store has been doing well.
“[Oxford] hasn’t been a ghost town like people have warned me — I’ve definitely had a pretty good turnout from the people that stuck around,” he said. “I’ve been so busy [at the store] this summer that I haven’t had much time to do much other than stay in Oxford, so it’s been a happy surprise for me.”
LeVick also said he was happy to see people of all ages stopping by the store this summer, a marked difference from the store’s former Hamilton location.
“While people from their 20s to 70s went to the Hamilton store, up here it’s from young to old, entire families,” LeVick said. “Sometimes I see kids roll up to the shop on their bikes, and I’ll sometimes get a 78-year-old person that got back into collecting comics. It’s something that I think any comic book store owner wants to see — a wide variety of people enjoying comics.”
While the shop has done well this summer, many customers are predicting it will do even better once the student population returns this fall.
JS Bragg is the assistant director of Student Activities at Miami University and a regular customer at Future Great. He thinks based on student interest last May, the shop will explode in popularity once more students come back to campus.
“I am absolutely happy [for the shop], and I think that the best is yet to come,” he said. “We saw that at the open in the spring — during the launch, he sold out of almost the whole store.
It’s just going to be a steady flow once the students get there again, and it'll be nice to see how the place will continue to grow.”
In addition to students coming back to campus, some student organizations are already looking to partner with the shop to host novel events.
Isaac Nelson is a senior computer science major and the president of the League of Geeks, a blanket organization for comic and gaming clubs on campus. While he wasn’t in Oxford this summer, Nelson was excited to start planning events at the shop in the fall.
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“I’ve talked with [LeVick] about figuring out what [the League of Geeks] could do to support and coordinate with him on different events as well as about things that people are interested in in the community,” Nelson said. “We’re figuring out what sort of things he can sell so he makes money and people get the things they are interested in.”
Like Bragg, Nelson also thought the shop would do even better once students came back.
“I think it’s been doing well so far, and I certainly think it’s going to do well in the future, especially as people come back to campus,” Nelson said. “All my friends are like, ‘Oh, it’s really nice there’s a game store in town now to buy small things that are annoying to buy online,’ or they’ll stop in there for five minutes, or maybe plan to have a game night in a place that isn’t subject to all campus rules or regulations.”
The shop has an appeal to more than just student organizations, too — students like M. Bea Hosenfeld have quickly turned the comic shop into a regular hangout. A senior art education major, Hosenfeld said she liked the shop for both its products and layout.
“You can go through and browse easily, and I get manga, Pokémon cards and sometimes dice there,” Hosenfeld said. “The shop is well organized, but just chaotic enough where you can explore and find something new — it’s kind of like a happy medium between super neat and super messy.”
Hosenfeld is also looking forward to the shop’s growth once the fall semester starts this year.
“I think that when the other students come back, people will start to notice the shop more,” she said. “Word will spread that it exists, people will go in casually, and I think that eventually it could be a place where students could meet and play games and be this comic store community type thing.”