By Kathy Chouteau
Like a good superhero, D3 Comic Book Spot has weathered the worst of punches like a champ. Amid changes in mall ownership, and compounded by the adverse economic wallop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Richmond-based shop has migrated from its onetime home at Hilltop Mall to now relaunching to sell its superhero specialties online.
The shop, which touts itself as “your friendly neighborhood spot for your inner geek,” is a Black-owned, family-run business operated by lifelong Richmond resident Darren Macon, his mother and sons. As its name suggests, D3 Comic Book Spot offers online shoppers a wide-ranging collection of comics for people of all ages, including popular comic brands like DC, Marvel, Image Comics and more. Along with the top brands on the site come all the best superhero characters like the Avengers, Batman, Black Panther, Harley Quinn, Iron Man, Superman, Wonder Woman and X-Men. There’s also a sweet selection of graphic novels, Funko Pops, action figures, board games and more, plus the shop works to offer bilingual and Spanish language products as well.
“In the era of COVID-19, the store is trying to hold its own as we await a medical breakthrough that will greatly improve the health outlook for the United States and the world,” stated Macon on the shop’s website, noting that he’s eagerly awaiting the chance to reopen in a physical location someday. “Our passion has always been to encourage the love of reading through comic books.”
Macon knows a thing or two about being inspired by comics. When he was in elementary school, his uncle gave him his first box of comic books and he credits them with helping him learn how to read better.
“Comic books increased my reading capabilities and vocabulary,” said Macon, who said he also not only learned to read faster but also learned things quicker as well. They “encouraged my love of reading in general.”
In turn, Macon and his family have gone on to spread the love of reading by sharing free comic books with Verde Elementary School in Richmond and by participating in past “Celebrate Reading” events sponsored by West County Reads.
Macon and his family have owned the D3 Comic Book Spot since 2013 when they originally launched online. In 2018, they moved into the Hilltop Mall, only to have to move out approximately two years later when their leasing agreement changed and the pandemic started. With the help of a management marketing group, they were able to relaunch their shop online recently.
So what are some of Macon’s favorite superheroes? According to Macon he’s a big fan of the Blue Marvel, who he says is “kind of like the black version of Superman” and also likes Static Shock. “They’re not well known but I do appreciate and like them,” said Macon.