Big Red draws in comic and game enthusiasts

Photo by Peter Pham

Photo by Peter Pham

Hundreds of comic books, new and old lie neatly aligned in rows and boxes.

Artworks featuring Spider-Man, the Hulk, Wolverine, Poison Ivy and the Joker adorn the walls, placed just above several action figures, a plethora of trading cards and even more comic books.

And then there’s Scott Quinn, largely recognized by customers and peers for his red-orange hair, at the desk and counter.

Quinn and his father own Big Red Comics.

A comic book store located across from the Krikorian Metroplex at the Buena Park Mall.

It was established in early December 2012.

Big Red Comics replaced what was once a vintage clothing store.

Aside from comic books, Big Red Comics sells toys, posters and table-top games.

There also Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, Vanguard and World of Warcraft cards in stock as well.

“I opened up the comic book store because, when I was 5, my dad had one, but in the ‘90s … comic books sucked,” said Quinn. “They were completely overproduced and they flooded the market with really crappy titles.”

And when the comic books were overproduced and nobody wanted to buy them, the prices and value of the books dropped drastically, said Quinn.

Since the closing of his father’s comic book store, Quinn always wanted to open one of his own.

Prior to the store’s launch, the father-and-son duo attended comic book shows throughout the United States, from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Chicago and New York.

Weekly tournaments are also held at Big Red Comics. Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments are held Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 5 p.m.

Magic tournaments take place every Friday at 7 p.m. and Dungeons & Dragons tournaments are on Sundays at 5 p.m.

Antonio Cisneros, 20, a regular at Big Red Comics, said he likes the friendly attitude of the store.

He usually swings by on the weekends.

“I like hanging out over here because I get to duel with people, that’s always good,” Cisneros said. “There are people that do things that I do; I read comics and I play cards. It’s a good thing for me and my girlfriend.”

Alfredo McCrory, 22, an employee at Big Red Comics, said he enjoys working at this store because he, too, is a comic book fan.

“It’s pretty fun. I get to hang out and skim through free comics,” he said. “It’s basically a huge family, instead of just random customers walking in. There’s people we generally know; people we don’t know, we end up getting to know.”

To many locals in this region of Orange County, the Buena Park Mall isn’t exactly bustling like it was known to be during the 1980s and 1990s, Quinn said.

He said Big Red Comics, for one, is one of the few businesses at the shopping center, aside from Wal-Mart, Ross, Sears and John’s Incredible Pizza, that continues to boom.

“People stopped coming to this mall because it was dead. There’s nothing here that kids or teens or young adults could come and have fun at, other than Howie’s Game Shack and the movie theater,” Quinn said. “But now it (Big Red Comics) gives an extra pull for this mall.”

On May 25, comic book writer Daniel Way will be at Big Red Comics to meet with fans and sign autographs.

Way is known for his works in Wolverine: Origins, Violent Lifestyle and Deadpool.

“He’s basically the guy who created Deadpool that we know now,” said Quinn. “He was a writer for Deadpool for a long, long time, so the Deadpool that everybody knows and loves is basically Daniel Way’s creation without renaming it.”

Quinn said there will be a signing with creator of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, during the summer.

Quinn’s long term goal is to hopes expand Big Red Comics, creating a chain throughout California and eventually spreading across the country.

“I plan to franchise this out. I want to be as big as Spencer’s, if not bigger,” he said. “I want people to be able to say, ‘Hey, I’m going to Big Red,’ and then they’re like, ‘Oh! Have fun!’”

About Jennifer Nguyen