Q&A: Long-standing Leeds comic store is doing more than OK

OK Comics has been a fixture on Thornton's Arcade on Briggate for more than 15 years. Here, Ricky Charlesworth chats to its owner to see what magazines are hot right now and why he prefers to offer a face-to-face shopping experience.

Saturday, 25th August 2018, 9:48 am
OK Comics, on the Thorntons Arcade.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?

I’ve always been into comics and I previously worked in another store in Leeds.

I wanted to open a store that was solely about the comics.

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WHAT MAKES OK COMICS SO SPECIAL?

There’s a few other stores in Leeds that sell toys and memorabilia, but we are purely about the comics.

There’s no merchandise on sale here.

We can get away with that as it allows us to focus on the comics.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO YOU STOCK?

There’s a huge range of comics.

A big part of our business is repeat customers coming in.

I liken it to television: If you enjoy watching a show then you will tune in every week, and so when a new edition comes out you will pick it up.

People are surprised when they come in to see it isn’t just Marvel comics.

One of the most popular ones is a comic called ‘Supercrash’ which charts the history of the financial crisis.

We also have stuff on politics, which many people might not expect us to sell.

WHAT MAKES LEEDS UNIQUE?

The people make Leeds what it is.

It’s also an interesting city, with quirky back alleys and different stores.

It’s a big city but has a really good, small town feel.

People can use our website to check new releases but I felt people don’t get customer service online.

Internet shopping is fine but it’s not the same experience as visiting the bricks and mortar.

Reading comics is such a tactile experience.