The Story of the Shop
If we go all the way back to the beginning I guess you could really say that Comic Toast began with my mother buying the Whitman 3-packs of Disney comics from the Bridgewater IGA when I was very young. It continued with several boxes of old Archie comics bought at a yard sale, and only really got going when, in September of 1986, I picked up a copy of Marvel’s G.I.Joe # 51, “Thunder Machine”. Within a year I bought the Amazing Spider-Man Annual # 21, the wedding issue, and that was that.
My first comic shop was Eagle Comics, run by Tom and Joni Harrison. Great people who loved comics, and who nurtured that same passion in me. I have never stopped collecting (I even got a job working in a comic shop in graduate school so I could continue to afford my habit), and upon returning to VA after 2 years of graduate school in Kansas I got a part-time job helping out Bob Dinsmore at Blue Ridge Comics. After 9 years of working for Bob, and endless dreams of what I’d do if I had my own shop, Bob retired. With the help of my amazingly supportive wife I was able to buy all the remaining merchandise from Blue Ridge Comics, and on September 1, 2009, Comic Toast was born. I continue to teach full-time and my wife does the books. We have a great staff of friends who keep things running when I’m at school, and the shop continues to grow and evolve each day.
Our vision for Comic Toast is that it will become a Cheers-like store, where everyone knows your name and everyone treats you like family. My wife and I are good friends with most of our customers, and we try to do group activities whenever possible. Some of the things on tap for the next year are: a birthday party for our 1-year anniversary, bowling night, a shop trip to the 2010 Baltimore Comic-Con, and a summer-ending pool party for customers and employees… Oh yeah, and somehow topping this years’ Free Comic Book Day! Though I’m not really sure how you top a Stormtrooper in a bouncy castle… but we’ll try!