After five years on High Street in downtown Muncie, Christina Blanch and her son turned a new page and moved Aw Yeah Comics to a location on Charles Street in hopes to get more walk-in traffic.
“It was a hard decision to make,” Blanch said. “It’s a lot of work. We had everything established there. The space was lovely — we had high ceilings and beautiful floors, but this feels more cozy to me. I am more comfortable here.”
Blanch, a huge Star Wars fan, said her love for comic books began at a young age.
“I love the art and the mixture of the art and the prose,” Blanch said. “It tells a completely different story than you can tell with any other medium.”
Additionally, Blanch said she likes how “current” comic books are because they are written and published once or twice a month, unlike books which can take years.
“I like how they reflect current events,” she said. “I call them cultural mirrors because you can look back in the ‘60s and ‘70s and ‘80s and see what was happening in society.”
Rob Weidensall, Blanch’s son, said he was first introduced to comics such as Spider-Man and Batman by his mother. While he enjoys comics, he said his mother’s passion surpasses his own.
“You’re not just reading the words, you’re taking all of it in,” Blanch said. “It has all the synapses in your brain working differently, so, it’s just a completely different feeling that you get than watching a movie.”
Throughout the course of the five years Blanch has owned Aw Yeah Comics, she has moved the business twice and expanded the comic selection she is able to offer visitors, including the comic she cowrote with Chris Carr, “The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood.”
“We had all these stories our students told us, and so he and I decided we should write a book,” Blanch said. “I said ‘I kind of want to write a comic because I’m doing some comic critiques, and I’m reading some things that I don’t think are right, so I think the only way I can really critique a comic is to have written one.’”
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During her time on High Street, Blanch said she had her eye on moving to the Charles Street location for awhile.
“Downtown is basically a small T-area with a little bit on the edges, and we were out of that zone,” Blanch said. “So, for all the Artswalks and things like that, we just didn’t get the traffic.”
Weidensall said the moving process was “organized chaos” because there were thousands of books to move within a short period of four days.
“It was thousands and thousands of books to move, among all the other merchandise, but the community was great. So many of our customers and friends came in and just helped us do that,” he said. “Without them, we would not have gotten all that stuff moved in the three-and-a-half days we did it.”
Weidensall said there is already more symbiosis between their store and the surrounding business, and that has helped bring in more customers which was the goal of the move.
“It’s a better location, better building. The neighbors have been fantastic so far — we actually feel like we are a part of the community,” Weidensall said. “It’s an absolute win.”
Contact Hannah Gunnell with comments firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@hagunnellNEWS.