By Amanda Mayberry
With a love for comic books, former Elan Peter Mellini went from comic store employee to owner almost overnight.
Mellini has been owner of Nostalgic Books and Comics for about two weeks. “I always say if it wasn’t for comic books, I wouldn’t know how to read,” Mellini said.
In spite of a few difficulties Mellini remains enthusiastic and has a lot of plans to improve the quality of his new store.
Nostalgic, once located on Main Street. in Alhambra, moved to San Gabriel in early 2011. It was around this time that the owner, Try Lam, offered Mellini the position of manager.
According to Mellini, Lam owned the store as a hobby. Lam’s day job is working in a Jet Propulsion Lab.
“He wasn’t in the store much. He just didn’t really have the time, so in June of this year he asked if I wanted to buy the store and I said yes,” Mellini said
From 2002 to around 2006, Mellini had worked at Comic Galaxy.
Around 2006 owner Juan Piverall went through a divorce and offered to sell his story to Mellini. However, Mellini was unable to buy the store at that time, so Piverall took another offer and sold the store.
“I’ve always wanted to own a comic book store,” Mellini said.
So the second time Mellini was given the opportunity to do so, he took it. He said it took a couple of months, but early this month, he became the official owner of the store.
“My brother went in to look around not long after I became owner and asked me if I had buyer’s remorse,” Mellini said.
He admits the store is a mess. He said that the store has some technical difficulties which often leave the store without electricity for days sometimes. Not only that, but the store’s hours aren’t very consistent.
The store is closed Sunday and Monday, and is open Tuesday from 2 to 6 p.m., Wednesday noon to 7 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday noon to 6 p.m.
“As the store gets better, it’ll start to have better hours,” Mellini said.
Mellini has numerous ideas for the store. He plans to update the store’s website, nostalgicbooksandcomics.com, daily instead of weekly, as well as offer club member discounts, workshops and classes.
Mellini intends to host a 24-hour comic day on Oct. 20. Three other stores in California are holding the same event on the same day.
It’s a day when creators are invited to comic stores and are presented with the challenge of writing and drawing a 24 page or 100 panel comic within 24 hours.
The event will involve food and Black Friday types sales. He also hopes to hold another event for Halloween. “It’s still early, but I got a lot of stuff planned that I’m hoping to kick off soon. I really want to get things going,” Mellini said.
The store is located at 256 W. Fairview in San Gabriel.