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Local comic book store, 99 Issues, draws business

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JL3Chris Barnett, owner and operator of local comic book store 99 Issues, browses through his inventory of favorites.Those wanting to get their comic book fix now have a new destination of choice in Mobile, Ala. Since opening in March, 99 Issues, located on Old Shell Road, has been gaining popularity. The store also represents another independent business contributing to the local economy.
Owner Chris Barnett was inspired to open the store after a trip to a convention center with his children. After getting back into comics, he noticed the need for a place within the community for comic book fans.
“I thought it was sad there wasn’t a place for people to go that they were happy with,” Barnett said.
The store name 99 Issues is a reference to the popular Jay-Z song “99 Problems.” Originally the business featured 99 titles in its store, which complemented the name. Now the independent business has grown far beyond its original offerings.
The store features more than 200 new releases each month. It also carries several Silver Age and Golden Age books. There are both a couch and a flat screen television for guests to play video games as they wish. There are also several limited edition figurines, and inaction figures are on display. There are even a few one-of-a-kind items such as an original comic book autographed by Stan Lee and a figurine signed by Todd McFarlane.
Another great service offered by the store is subscription boxes. Readers can order all their comic book series in advance and have them placed in a separate box. By using this service, collectors can avoid missing an issue if it sells out.
Customers of all ages come to the store, but according to Barnett, the majority of customers are college-aged and up. This is partially due to the current resurgence in adult comics and graphic novels. Additionally, movies based on comic book characters are boosting sales. Currently, some of the most popular series are Deadpool, Spiderman, and the X-Men.
For people who are interested in comics, but maybe have never read one, the staff at 99 Issues can advise which series are well regarded. “Customers can talk to one of us, and we can kind of find out their interests,” Barnett said.
To find more information about 99 Issues, all are invited to visit them in the store or go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/99Issues.

Written by Timothy Borland | Contributing Writer

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