According to Wellcat, a website responsible for over 80 world-recognized, quirky holidays, today is “Embrace Your Geekness Day!”
We’re all a “geek” for something: whether it’s strategic board games, sci-fi trilogies, or comic book collecting, everyone has a hidden hobby that brings a little fun and interest to their personalities.
Today we celebrate “Geekness Day” by introducing Vault of Midnight (VOM), a unique comic book store recently opened on Library Street.
With a mission statement revolved around “all things geeky,” Vault of Midnight is a perfect way for you to embrace your geekness by checking out their diverse inventory of comic-related wares.
Get ready to have your expectations exceeded and your minds blown as we give the lowdown on the newest downtown store including shop merchandise, events and an exclusive interview with the shop co-owner, Nick Yribar.
“You can set aside the expectation you might have about a comic shop,” Yribar says. “There’s something here for everybody.”
Inside the Store
The moment you walk into Vault of Midnight, you know you’re about to experience a store beyond a traditional “comic shop.”
To your left is an entire wall, showcasing comics from the Avengers to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; to your right, you notice a section devoted to all things board game, displaying my personal favorite, “Settlers of Catan.”
There’s even a kid section, for the young comic aficionados, with superhero comics and even cartoon TV graphic novels.
Scattered throughout the store are graphic novels, hardcover books, art, plushy characters, and so much more!
My favorite part of the shop is the tee shirt wall, with a special edition Detroit VOM shirt.
We had a chance to sit down with co-owner, Nick Yribar to talk about the store’s history and the secret-sauce that sets VOM apart from a traditional comic book shop.
I was particularly interested in the origins of the name, which Yribar explained:
“The store opened 20 years ago and the idea for the name is from the whole ‘Vault of Horror’ from EC Comics; there’s also a character called ‘Captain Midnight’ that the owners really liked. It’s just trying to evoke that golden age, comic book feel, but also a little updated.”
Vault of Midnight just recently celebrated two decades of business, releasing special edition 20-year anniversary swag with their unique logo. From tees to bags, these items are available for purchase in the store.
The original owners, Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale opened the first VOM in 1996 in Ann Arbor and in 2013 welcomed their second location in Grand Rapids.
I asked Yribar what inspired VOM to open up in Detroit. Passionate for the city, he revealed his excitement for the May 2 opening of the shop:
“Detroit’s been part of our lives forever. We would visit, usually go to a show or a baseball game, and then we would leave. We didn’t spend a lot of time down here and you just cannot avoid what’s happening here right now! We want to be right downtown. All of our locations are in the most happening parts of the downtown areas that we can get to.”
“What’s happening here in this downtown area is like nothing else that’s happening in the country,” he continued. “It completely matched up with our philosophy.”
When I asked him how his store is unique compared to other comic stores, he explained the mission of the company:
“We’re trying to do something different for a comic shop,” he said. “We’re trying to make it a little more accessible. We want it to be something for absolutely everybody, not just people already in the ‘club.’ People of all ages, demographics, income levels should feel welcome here.”
From my few minutes in the store, I noticed the dedication of the staff. You are welcomed with a smile and a book suggestion from an enthusiastic employee every time you enter.
Yribar and I discuss the unique qualities of the store, noting his favorite type of customer.
“My favorite customer is the person that gets dragged in here by their girlfriend or boyfriend…like they don’t necessarily want to be in a comic shop! I want to talk to that person. Because I know there’s something in here they’re gonna love. I can turn you into a comic fan tomorrow.”
“People hear comic shop and they might have an idea in their mind and we just literally have something for everybody here,” he continued. “We have comics that cost $1 – $3 and we have hardcovers that cost hundreds of dollars. It’s a place where you can be a huge nerd or a place that you can just come in and find a good story and see some good art.”
Stop On By
You can embrace your inner geekness today by picking up a comic at Vault of Midnight or if you’re already an avid comic book fan, let VOM recommend something that you’ve never read before. They guarantee satisfaction.
There’s also a great reason to stop by today as every Wednesday is “New Comic Book Day” at VOM. What a perfect time to get your geek on!
Vault of Midnight is located on 1226 Library Street and open Monday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Check out the store and let us know your favorite comic book or comic book character!