Before deciding to open a store, Michael Fitzgerald wrote about comics and Tacoma culture for Post Defiance as well as The Ledger, and hosted regular trivia nights at local hangout Dorky’s. He graduated from UWT with a bachelor’s degree of Arts, Media and Culture in June, with a focus on literature. Fitzgerald could never have dreamed that within a year after graduating, his idea of owning a comic book shop could turn into a solid plan, thanks to his creative cohort, Spaceworks Tacoma.
Spaceworks Tacoma is a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce that helps bring new businesses to empty storefronts and vacant space. These vacant spaces are low in cost, have free business training, and technical assistance available to artists, creative entrepreneurs, organizations, and community groups. If it weren’t for Spaceworks, Fitzgerald wouldn’t have considered this endeavor. Fitzgerald explains,“I was always into comics but local cartoonist R.R. Anderson who runs Tinkertopia on UWT campus asked for me to apply to Spaceworks Tacoma. That’s what gave me the idea to open up a comic book shop.”
Destiny City Comics will offer a wide variety of literature from the latest in mainstream comics, graphic novels, and works by local independent literary comics. Fitzgerald says, “What Destiny City Comics provides that other internet comics don’t is the local experiences, with local artists, [who] can provide better prices, and gives customers a chance to talk to the workers and discover new comics.” Fitzgerald believes that each comic book artists has their own unique craft to offer.
Fitzgerald believes, “A great comic is a mishmash with a great story and great art.” One book that Fitzgerald would recommend to comic book lovers is Profit by a Seattle writer named Brandon Gram—it’s the story of a guy who ventures through different places in space and sees different creatures along the way. He describes the story as “very sci-fi, intriguing, lots of twist and turns where you don’t know what’s going to happen next, epic story, and very surreal.”
Another comic that Fitzgerald favors is Death, the High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman. He claims, “It’s all about this teenage girl that encounters deaths. Every century she becomes a mortal during the day. This girl goes along with a guy in adventures in New York. This book is very contemplative and good to read when you are a teenager.”
On opening day, comics like Thor #1 will be available—a new series by Marvel featuring a female Thor. There will also be some graphic novels like Batman: the Long Halloween, Walking Dead, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Plus, there will be works by the C.L.A.W. (Cartoonist’s League of Absurd Washingtonians). Destiny City Comics will also offer 15% off all graphic novels every day and a subscription service featuring a sliding scale discount. There will also be even more special deals around Halloween season.
On October 25th, Destiny City Comics will host a day full of free comics that will feature an assortment of free comics, including the popular Afterlife with Archie (Walking Dead meets Archie), Scooby Doo Meets Batman, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars, Avengers, and more, in addition to having meet and greets from local artists.
Correction: in a former version of this story Neil Gaiman was listed as Neil Diamond