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Meet the Wonder Women Behind Central City Comix

Curious about the latest Marvel or DC comic book adventure or searching for that one issue to complete your collection of vintage Spiderman comics? Or maybe you are looking for something a bit deeper – perhaps a graphic novel of science fiction, fantasy or literature. Then look no further than Central City Comix – they have something for everyone!

Located in the middle of Surrey’s downtown core, this unpretentious, friendly store has shelves lined with comics from industry giants Marvel, DC and Image as well as lesser known independent titles. Catering to fans, and collectors as well as casual readers, Central City Comix carries the latest comic books, magazines, toys and collectibles for all ages. And if you can’t find what you are looking for instore, then they will try their best to order it for you.

Co-owners, Elisa and Tanya together have over 30 years of experience in the industry and their shop has been in the same Surrey location for nine years. Their friendly manner and expertise has garnered them a fitting reputation in the business of comics and collectibles.

Elisa started her career by working at Golden Age Collectables in Vancouver where she learned the business from the ground up. Through her love of the genre and her extensive network of like-minded professionals, she decided to strike out on her own and opened Central City Comix in 2008, and persuaded Tanya to join her in the enterprise.

Tanya’s background is in accounting, but she has always had a love of comic books, so the leap into the business was inevitable. Tanya takes care of the day to day business and bookkeeping of Central City Comix, but is also knowledgeable in all things comic book related.

In answer to the question: is there a best-selling product in the store — Elisa quips “Well, this is a comic book store but I just bring in the products I love and they usually sell.”

Establishing a successful business in the comic book retail industry has been no mean feat for the pair, especially as women in a predominately male sector. But as Elisa says “there is an old boys club mindset in this business, but that is slowly changing with more women developing an interest in the genre.” She points out that connecting with other comic book store owners throughout the lower mainland has helped to overcome those barriers and has built a strong and mutually beneficial network. The two women also foster their business and customer relations through participation in various shows and conventions such as Comic-con.

Asked if she has seen a change in the industry because of social media, Tanya remarked that relationships with customers has become more interconnected through social media platforms such as Facebook.

The women say that staying connected with their regular customers whether through their Facebook page or through store wide promotions is key to their continued success. Store events, such as their annual Free Comic Book Day held the 1st Saturday in May, also keep clients’ interest and attracts new customers.

Describing their clientele, Tanya explains that they have a core group of dedicated comic connoisseurs as well as new fans whose interest is sparked by TV shows such as The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory. There is also a strong independent comic scene in Surrey that brings people in.

Central City Comix’ main focus, of course, is comics — the store carries all the latest popular titles as well as related merchandise such as trending action figures, collectibles and more. The staff is committed to helping their customers find exactly what they want or discover something new.

With their extensive knowledge and their love of the genre, Elisa and Tanya are the go-to experts for all things comic book related. Visit Central City Comix in person at 10221 King George Boulevard or check out their Facebook page for more information.

Catherine Johnston
Catherine Johnston is a Marketing Coordinator with a love for all things social media. She enjoys crafts, cooking, exploring the Lower Mainland, and is big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is passionate about reading and has been a member of the Novel Thinkers’ Book Club for 20 years. You can read her exploits on her personal blog or follow her on Twitter @CateGJo