Comics are no joke: Superhero-sized event is coming to Rupp's Fremont store

Superheroes may be seen on Ohio Avenue in Fremont this Saturday, or at least fans dressed up like the comic book and movie characters. Fans of the genre will be waiting in line to get deals at at Rupp's Comics, following National Comic Book Day, which was on Monday.

Owner Chris Rupp said that as his store has gotten bigger, he has been able to buy collections and he recently picked up a big one.

While the price of comic books is now averaging around $5 each, Rupp's has 50,000 comics that will be available for $2 each. There will be discounts on other books and memorabilia as well.

National Comic Book Day adds a local bump

Rupp received a little bump in interest this year, as National Comic Book Day was on Monday. He explained what the designation means for the world of popular culture, his industry and his personal cause, improving literacy.

On National Comic Book Day, Chris Rupp stands in front of the new arrivals section of his store, Rupp's Comics, Fremont.
On National Comic Book Day, Chris Rupp stands in front of the new arrivals section of his store, Rupp's Comics, Fremont.

"To me it's very similar to what free comic day, an event on the first Saturday in May, and Halloween Comic Book Fest, where you try to share and support your love of comics. One of the key things we've always tried to do is support literacy, and do whatever we can do to get, not just kids, but anybody reading," Rupp said. "Today is just one of those days that brings more attention to comic books."

Rupp's business has been gradually growing every year and the Fremont comics business has become one of the largest comic book dealers in the world.

"We got these skids of comics that I bought out of Milwaukee. It was about 35,000 comics," Rupp said. "When I opened in 1991 I had five long boxes, which is like 1,500 books, and now, downstairs, we have 1.5 million books. Our other warehouse has 3 to 4 million comics, unsorted. It's hard for me to believe."

From a peak of 8,000 to about 1,500 comic book stores today

The store gets almost 60 new titles per week, and he said that it all adds up.

The industry had more than 8,000 stores at its peak, but today it's less than 1,500 stores.

Rupp also represents several comic artists and was one of the first to use the internet for comic sales.

With the rarity of brick-and-mortar locations, Rupp has fans from all over making pilgrimages to his Fremont shop at 335 Ohio Ave.

"We have them showing up from out-of-state. That's just a regular thing that happens when people realize they will be basically driving by on the turnpike. When we have an event like this, they show up from all over the place," Rupp said.

He said that there is likely to be a line out the door on Saturday. This is a first for this type of sale, but his annual midnight sale, to be held Oct. 21 this year, always has a line going out the door and down the street.

"But this is an all day event, so there should be steady traffic during the Saturday sale," Rupp said. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found at ruppsworld.com.

rlapointe@gannett.com

This article originally appeared on Fremont News-Messenger: Superhero-sized event planned Saturday at Rupp's Comics in Fremont