Comics! Remember when you were a kid and comics were the answer to everything? Still throbbing from a visit to the dentist? Comic. Need to kept occupied during a flight? A few comics. It’s the school holidays and your parents have run out of things to do with you? A lot of comics!
For many, the obsession may not have ended in childhood. These days, a passion for comic books can be worn as a badge of honour. Many celebrities boast that they have big ones – comic book collections, that is.
Probably the biggest of the lot was movie star Nicolas Cage – his entire comic book collection sold at auction for more than 1.5 million dollars. TV presenter Jonathon Ross doesn’t have one as big as Cage’s – but he’s an avid collector too.
If you want to find out more about the fascinating world of American comic books then a visit to The Hive Mind in Plymouth’s West End is a must.
Proprietor Stacey Goff is a self-confessed comic book fanatic. Now aged 35 his interest in comic books goes back to the age of 15 when, as a fan of the movie Aliens, he discovered that publishers Dark Horsehad launched a series of comics based on the movie. He was hooked!
Stacey said: “My local shop in Exeter kept back my favourite adventure comics and I’d travel week in week out from my home in Axminster to get them.”
It soon became clear that just one title was not enough for this budding geek and so his love for Spiderman was born. From there he discovered the wonders of X-Men, Hulk and others and his passion just grew and grew.
After moving from East Devon to Plymouth some 10 years ago he wanted to carry on collecting, but arrived just after the closure of the city’s main comic book shop. “I was distraught,” said Stacey, “but then I heard that a couple of the staff were opening up a new shop selling games and comic – and I quickly became a regular customer.
“I ended up helping out at the shop and in 2012 took over the comic book side of the business completely, re-naming it The Hive Mind as a nod to the Aliens title that started it all,” added Stacey.
His new larger shop at 2, Frankfort Gate opened just a few weeks ago and has literally thousands of the most popular and collectible comic books in stock ranging in price from just 50p. He imports latest issues from the USA, with Spiderman, Batman, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk among the favourites.
The Hive Mind also stocks a big collection of sophisticated grown-up board games including favourites such as Walking Dead, Games Flux and ‘the insanely popular’ Magic the Gathering.
The Hive Mind’s customer-base embrace all age groups and includes a growing number of regular customers who subscribe for copies of their monthly titles. Stacey said: “We encourage comic book collectors to take out subscriptions for their favourite titles. It gives them total peace of mind and means they won’t miss any editions.”
The Hive Mind is always looking to purchase and exchange, offering a 10% discount on all orders of graphic novels. “We will beat any new graphic novel price compared with other outlets,” said Stacey.
The Hive mind’s opening hours are 10am to 5pm Mondays and 9.30am to 5.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. Visit Facebook: The Hive Mind Plymouth for all the latest news. Tel 07847 508104
The Hive Mind 2, Frankfort Gate, Plymouth PL1 1QD