3400 E 8th St Ste 106, National City, CA | Directions 9195032.685331 -117.071569
Neighborhoods: National City
The use of space at Comic Odyssey is an interesting mix of behind the counter collectibles. A comic lounge area complete with wide screen TV is at the end of the store past the tournament style gaming tables. In comparison to other comic stores this one is not crowded and very open. The result is a store that encourages social interaction and makes customers naturally want to visit here for as long as their time will allow.
“We have tournaments every week,” explains Ali Rios, the store’s owner. Yu-Gi-Oh, a chess-like card game, is still very popular but the biggest turnout at the store is for the video game, Street Fighter 4. The virtual fighting action allows players to absorb attacks and then strategize their next counter attacks.
Xbox and Playstation 3 consoles line the tables during tournament play and Comic Odyssey keeps track of the player’s progress until finally a winner is announced. “It’s every man for himself,” says Rios. The store sells specialty fight sticks for the game but many players bring in their own to show off the custom artwork that appears on some of the sticks.
Rios has been operating Odyssey since 2009 when he took it over from its former owner. Being the only employee has its benefits. Customers are on a first name basis and one can tell that Rios goes the extra mile to know what captivates and interests his customers.
Collectible figures dot the shelves and everything from Transformers to the young Obi Wan fighting Darth Vader line the counters.
Of course, no self-described comic store would be complete if it did not have a considerable collection of comics. Two entire walls of the store are devoted to neatly arranged comics with a wide variety of new and older comics available for sale.
In all, the store is very friendly and popular amongst the 17-35 year old customers who frequent the store regularly. Be sure to call ahead to find the next tournament. The store welcomes new and expert players of all skill levels.
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