BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT:

Ray Stevenson, star of “Punisher: War Zone,” signed movie posters Wednesday night at the opening of Emerald Knight Comics & Games, drawing huge crowds of comic book fans to the expansive two-story store.

“The store is three times bigger than your average comic book store,” co-owner Jason Weymouth said. “If some kids want to do some roll playing games, they can come in and play for free for a couple of hours and have a good time.”

He and co-owner Mark Levine are looking to branch out, Weymouth said.

With the large amount of space, he said, there will be room for local cartoon artists to showcase and sell their work as well.

“With Cartoon Network close by, Disney and all that in Burbank, there are all these artists that are here who need a venue,” Weymouth said.

The comic book and game store will also sell shirts, original paintings, memorabilia and will try to host monthly events, they said.

“It’s definitely bigger than any comic book store I’ve been in,” customer Matthew Scott said. “If it has more events like this, yeah, I would come.”

Across the street is Dark Delicacies, which sells horror books and gifts and is owned by Weymouth’s parents.

“It was good to see how my parents evolved,” Weymouth said, whose love for comic books began 25 years ago when he visited his mother in Spain while she was stationed there for the U.S. Navy.

“One nice thing about comic books is that they are an inexpensive hobby,” Weymouth said.

At $2.99 a copy for most new arrivals, comic book sales may just dodge the recession. Comic book regulars are not hard to come by, Weymouth said.

“I’m definitely addicted to comic books,” Scott said. “I haven’t seen many comic book stores around town.”

It was more than 10 years ago when he and Levine decided to open the store.

“There just isn’t anywhere close, especially in the gaming world, for people to come and play,” Levine said.

When the store across the street from Weymouth’s parents’ store opened, they took the opportunity.

“The back issues that we sell are a combination of mine and [Weymouth’s],” said Levine, who has been collecting comic books for 32 years. “I’ve committed myself emotionally. I’ve given my children up.”

Levine and Weymouth have tens of thousands of comic books.

“I never thought of selling them before I had no place to put them,” Levine said.


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