Janet and Luis Vargas, owners of Comic Den in Kew Gardens, were not only fascinated by the magic of comics, they also wanted to spread their passion to everyone in their neighborhood.
Janet, once a stay-at-home mom, became a full-time comic store owner 20 years ago when her husband decided to open up a comic shop. Natives of the neighborhood, the couple opened a cozy 300-square-foot shop that carried the latest comic books.
In addition to taking care of the business, Janet also needed to take care of her two young sons, one who was less than a month old when the store first opened, since her husband was a full-time electrician.
“I brought my son to work when he was only 15 days old,” recalls Vargas. “Pretty much everyone in the neighborhood knows my sons.”
She worked everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., leaving in the afternoon to pick up her older son from school. The two young boys growing up in a wonderland-like comic shop is probably what most local residents and comic book fans remember about Comic Den.
After two decades, the shop has a loyal clientele and a wide range of the newest comic releases.
“The Walking Dead, Star Wars, and Buffy are some of the most popular,” said Vargas. “But, we also have a kid's corner with comics such as SpongeBob and Sonic.”