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New shop to bring comics to Carlisle

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From childhood illnesses to international fame, the life of former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is being chronicled in a new comic book.

Joseph Elgard got into the comics business by accident.

It was intention, however, that led him to open his own comic book store three years ago. 

Previously operating out two locations in West York and New Cumberland, Elgard is moving his business Comics and Cool Stuff solely to Carlisle with the intention of opening at 820 W. High St. by Oct. 1. 

"I saw the perfect opportunity right here, it just fell into my lap," he said, adding that he felt it was time to "venture to new waters."

Elgard believes the building, sandwiched between Leo's Homemade Ice Cream and Beeman's Baked Goods off Route 11, will bring in great traffic.

"You have your Carlisle Diner that’s not too far away, so this whole area is a very nice place to have a business," said Michael Travitz, a friend of Elgard's who helped set up the new shop. 

Elgard got his start in the world of selling comics after spending time in the antique business followed by the jewelry business. He bought a box of comics a few years ago to help someone out and discovered it contained a valuable book.

The rest is history.

Comics and Cool Stuff will feature an array of Marvel and DC comic books, including a full wall dedicated to Spider-Man. Elgard said he will also include a horror section, as well as space for manga, or comic books and graphic novels originally produced in Japan. A back room in the store will house full collections, and Elgard's more valuable books are featured in display cases.

The "cool stuff" will include vintage action figures, Funko Pops vinyl figures and classic rock 'n' roll albums, items he hopes to include in the next 90 days. 

Elgard obtains his comics through advertisements he places in newspapers like the Gettysburg Times and the York Daily Record as well as on Facebook. In addition to sales through the store, he also auctions collections on Whatnot, an online community marketplace.

According to Elgard, Carlisle doesn't have a comic book store; the closest one exists in Hampden Township. 

Travitz believes it's Elgard's speed in assessing the value of a collection that will make Comics and Cool Stuff unique.

"[With] Joe, they can bring a collection in and he can give a value very quickly because he ... has a lot of things memorized as far as what things are worth," Travitz said. "The people would feel much more secure if they didn’t have to leave their comic books here for a week at a time, and then come back and get them."

When it comes to determining value, Elgard said it's a numbers game. It's a matter of remembering a character's first appearance, as these can increase the value of a book, he said. New releases from the Marvel franchise can also affect the value of a book and open new investment opportunities. 

"It’s like finding gold in paper," Elgard said.

He's excited to "drum up new business" in Carlisle and "most definitely" believes former customers will also visit him there.

Comics and Cool Stuff's hours are listed on Facebook as noon to 8 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.

Maddie Seiler is a news reporter for The Sentinel and covering Carlisle and Newville. You can contact her at and follow her on Twitter at: @SeilerMadalyn


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