New Comic Book Store Opens off West Colfax | Westword

New Comic Book Store Opens Off West Colfax

Danny the Comic Shop opens right near Casa Bonita with a celebratory block party on Saturday from 2 to 8 p.m.
Cliff Thompson, owner of Danny the Comic Shop, stretches out with some friends.
Cliff Thompson, owner of Danny the Comic Shop, stretches out with some friends. Cliff Thompson
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There’s a new graphic novel store just off West Colfax Avenue named Danny the Comic Shop. Owner Cliff Thompson seems simultaneously aware and excited that it’s a curious name for a graphic novel one-stop shop.

“It’s a reference to a character from Doom Patrol,” explains Thompson. “Danny the Street is the character we’re referencing, a nonbinary sentient street that serves as a refuge for those that need a haven from society. That’s really the ethos of the entire shop, and a big inspiration. It’s exactly what I wanted the store to be: open and welcoming to everyone.”

Danny the Comic Shop will open at 1580 Teller Street on Saturday, July 15, with a celebratory block party from 2 to 8 p.m. complete with snacks available from It’s a Bodega, a DJ spinning tunes, and graphic novels galore. The location is a prime one, especially for kids and families: It’s pretty darn close to the newly reopened Casa Bonita.

“That was luck,” admits Thompson. “This was already the area I was looking in. I live three minutes away, and this was a part of town that didn’t have something like this yet.”

It’s also part of the 40 West Arts District, which boasts an existing focus on creative experiences, exhibitions and events. The state-certified nonprofit already offers the 40 West ArtLine, a vibrant First Friday schedule, a series of curated spaces at Colorado Mills mall and much more — now including Danny the Comic Shop.

Thompson says he decided to start the store after some personal trials during the pandemic, during which he lost his IT job through downsizing. Looking for work and not finding much, he started volunteering at the Scholastic Book Fair at his child’s school. While talking with the librarians, he discovered how they’ve had to make more and more room for graphic novels every year out of the past ten or so.

But it’s not just about filling a niche for Thompson or serving an unrealized market of potential readers. “I’ve been able to rediscover these passions I had for graphic novels when I was younger. There’s some amazing stuff out there that deserves to be read that can not only entertain, but has the chance to really reach people in important ways,” he explains.

Thompson says he started with the same superhero books most ’90s kids did — Marvel, DC, all that. “My favorite book at the time was X-Men,” he laughs. And like most kids, he drifted away from comics for a while as he got older, only to return to them later. What he found was that the medium had changed a lot, too. “I was aware of the more alternative stuff,” he says. “But I’ve really gotten into it more now.”

Comics have changed a lot in the last half-century or so. What was at one time a medium strictly for kids turned into something a little more mature when Stan Lee and Marvel Comics started publishing in the 1960s. Suddenly, there was continuity, a shared world of superheroes, one that included not just heroics, but also jealousy, anger, grief. Teammates squabbled, good people died, sometimes the heroes lost.
Fast-forward twenty years, and things got even more serious. Such books as Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Watchmen brought a literary sense to the medium in big and splashy ways. “By the ’90s, the X-Men were pushing the envelope,” Thompson says. “But comic books have always been telling deeper stories than those who don’t read them might imagine. That’s why those stories have stuck with us for so long.”

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Ten Speed Graphic
Thompson says he doesn’t have favorites that he’d recommend to just anyone, though he admits to being a fan of writer Grant Morrison (who created Danny the Street in Doom Patrol, among many other highly regarded and award-winning titles). If someone came into the store asking for a recommendation, Thompson says he’d “have to find out what they were into, and where their interests lie. Do they want to start reading Neil Gaiman’s Sandman because they just saw the HBO series? If they’re excited for James Gunn’s upcoming take on Superman, I have Morrison’s All-Star Superman for them to try.” And if they’re not into superheroes or fantasy? “One of my favorite books to sell is Let’s Make Ramen!, a comic cookbook," he says. "There’s just so much to offer.”

And Danny the Comic Shop is planned as more than just a retail store, according to Thompson. “We want to encourage people coming in, browsing, picking up a book and sitting down with it for a bit.” To that end, the store offers a lot of places to sit and relax — couches, chairs, nooks of all sorts. It's just the kind of place that seems to invite reading.

“Getting back into comics has saved me in a lot of ways," Thompson says. “I think it can do the same for a lot of people, and that’s why Danny the Comic Shop is here.”

Danny the Comic Shop opens Saturday, July 15, at 1580 Teller Street. The grand-opening block party is from 2 to 8 p.m.; for more information, check the store’s website.
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