YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) – This year marks the 32 years of Fan-Quest Comics & Games, and it is one of three comic book stores here in Yuma.
The store was founded in 1990, around the Modern Age of Comics, where we were introduced to Spawn, The Crow and Watchmen.
Not only that, we had seen different iterations of classic heroes like Superman, Batman and Spider-Man.
Fan-Quest owner Diane Hillegass sat down with us to discuss the 32 years of the store and talk about a possible shortage of comic books.
“It’s been really good. We have a lot of people that come here that have been coming the whole time. So, we have a lot of regular customers. We are on our second and third generations,” Hillegass spoke.
Not only is the store dedicated to comic books and graphic novels, it’s also for the gaming community.
The types of games included role-playing, cards, board games and miniature gaming.
In addition, Hillegass also special orders comics.
However, there is a catch.
“There are some special issues that are limited. When they get announced, we get people that want them, so we take a waiting list. But, if they are very limited, they sometimes allocate us and we can only get what they send to us,” Hillegass explained.
This allocation ponders the question: Is the comic book industry suffering a supply shortage?
“We haven’t had a problem with being able to get our regular orders. They said because of the paper shortage that they may cut back on the number of variants they put out,” Hillegass said.
The recently released limited-edition reissue of the JLA/Avengers crossover is a prime example as the distributor, the Hero Initiative, had 7,000 copies in total.
Fan-Quest only received two copies.
The reissue is in honor of George Perez, the comic’s lead illustrator, who is battling cancer.
While the store only received two copies, Hillegass remains hopeful.
“If there’s a lot of demand, they may go back and print more. We keep our waiting list just in case they do go back and print more, then we’ll know who wanted them, and we’ll be able to get it.” for them,” Hillegass spoke.
While the comic book industry going digital is another possible factor, there is a third factor as to why comic books are suffering.
“Because of the way the economy is going. With the gas going up and food going up, [the customers] spending amount that they can spend on their fun stuff is decreasing. The first thing they’re gonna cut is their comic books,” Hillegass spoke.
Combined with the pandemic, Hillegass says several stores across the nation closed down.
However, Fan-Quest kept thriving during the pandemic, now 32 years strong.