Voices of the Bay

Origin Story

Dave Hennen illustrates his life as your friendly neighborhood comic shop owner

Posted

East Bay Comics owner Dave Hennen can reclaim his living room. Last July, the longtime collector moved his extensive online business inventory out of his Warren home (well, almost everything) into a brick-and-mortar location on Metacom Avenue.

Dave loves sharing his knowledge with customers and seeing the excitement in both adults and kids as they explore the floor-to-ceiling treasure trove of comics, books, and toys. There is something for every customer and every budget, from $2 miniature action figures to a $10,000 collection of first-edition Amazing Spider-Man comic books from 1964.

Father of three, Dave spent 24 years in the corporate world. He has two bachelor’s degrees: Information Systems from the University of Rhode and Business from
Bryant University.

"I started collecting when I was a kid. When I got into college I thought I was all grown up and pretty much sold everything. When I was with Textron, I had the opportunity to travel to pretty much all of the states. I would find out if there was an antique, consignment, or comic book store and check it out. I’ve been actively collecting the last 25 years. There is the thrill of the hunt. I search through a box of old stuff, finding something really cool, and go, “Wow.”

I started a new online site. It’s really expensive to sell on eBay, and there is a lot of fraud with little recourse. I used to do a lot of shows and events like Comic-Con. It takes a lot out of you. My kids were wonderful and would help out anytime I asked. Most of our store customers are males ages 14 to 40 years old. I love when people bring in their young kids and find some little thing for two bucks. I sell a lot of low-priced items just for that reason.

The resurgence of comic book movies has been a godsend the last 10 years. I had Black Panther items forever, now I’m almost sold out. Things will ramp up about a month before a [superhero] movie comes out, level off and then go back to where they are supposed to be. The month it is ramping up, it is just crazy. There are speculators or just people who are new to the character and are interested and want to read it.

My eyes are always open. If I see a yard sale and have 30 or 40 dollars in my pocket, I’ll stop and check it out. My son keeps telling me, “Dad, you have enough stuff!” He’s right."

East Bay Comics
654 Metacom Avenue, Warren