HI De Ho Comics

Today I wanted to share my experience with the comic book store “Hi De Ho Comics”. Hi De Ho Comics has been in business in Santa Monica CA since 1975 and has moved locations once. Upon arriving, the building itself looked bigger than your average comic book store as the ceilings were extremely high and there was even a full second floor they could put to use. At first glance when entering the store, though it seemed like a big structure, there did not seem to be a plethora of comic book shelves. Yes there were hundreds, if not thousands of comics but in the space they had it felt almost empty. The store seemed under construction and after speaking with one the employees I found out that indeed the store was under construction and that they were in the midst of trying to build out the second floor. Not only was this a comic book store but there were also tables stretching across the entire first floor with Magic The Gathering card game tournaments occurring. I found it so interesting on a beautiful Sunday in Santa Monica there are people who would rather hang out in a comic book store playing card games. It felt like I was in a completely different realm, and one that I did not necessarily feel most comfortable in. I usually find myself to be very easily acclimated to all situations, and I have to admit, even with my fondness with comic books, I felt out of my element. There were smaller circular tables in the store as well where there were customers and even an employee reading their comics and occasionally stopping to chat regarding them. This was not my first comic book store experience as I have been to others in the Los Angeles area, but Hi De Ho Comics was the first comic book store I had been to that had a lock up case of collectable comics. These were first editions mostly, and some value pack comics. In addition to having comics, they also had in stock various action figures for sale as well as trading cards and t- shirts. I spoke with an employee named Steve and asked him a couple questions concerning the store. I asked how long he had been working at Hi De Ho Comics and he said just over a year. Steve mentioned how he loved working there and the reason he started to was because he found himself to always be in the store anyways exploring for new comics and old when the idea struck him that he could do this for money. I happened to be wearing my Captain America t-shirt when I arrived and after talking for a little Steve asked if Captain America was my favorite super hero, to which I responded “ I really just like the shirt”. He looked disappointed and I remember not thinking that it was because I said Captain America was not my favorite but because I seemed disinterested in a comic in general. He seemed to be passionate about this store and it made more and more sense to me after speaking with him that this store really was his happy place. Some people are into going out and playing sports and meeting new people like me, but for Steve, he was completely content with his graphic novels and comic books. We were joined by Eddie next who was one of the owners of the store and after speaking with him briefly he began to tell me the plans he had for thee future which included events like stand up comedy, and live shows for anyone to come see. I felt like this was a great idea to get the locals around the store to become more involved and show support for a local shop. This was one of the few businesses that I have been to where everyone from employees to customers were nice people. It seemed like it was a community when you walked in and I remember being greeted immediately, which made me feel as though these employees actually care. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with this comic book store and it makes me curious about the other handful that are close to my area. Though it is a big store and there were a handful of customers, there were not nearly enough for a store that size to stay profitable. In result I am also curious about what these nighttime plans that Eddie had would bring to the table as far as sales. I ultimately loved my experience with Hi De Ho Comics and have decided that at this point it is my favorite comic book store.

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