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Story #61Double Midnight ComicsManchester, NH

We felt that there was a gaping hole in the community. So we opted to do our darndest to fill it.

It’s a Saturday morning in May, and the parking lot outside Double Midnight Comics is crawling with comic book characters. It’s Free Comic Book Day, the shop’s biggest event of the year, and costumed customers are flocking by the thousands to the Manchester, N.H., comic book and collectibles store for free comics, prizes, and more. Brett Parker and brothers Chris and Scott Proulx opened the store in 2002 to fill what they saw as a “gaping hole” in the market, and it turns out, they were right.

Growing up in Manchester, N.H., Parker and the Proulx brothers bonded over their shared love of comic books, which at the time was not considered a “cool” hobby. When the area’s only comic store closed down, they decided to take matters into their own hands and opened Double Midnight Comics. This also happened to be a couple years after the first X-Men film was released, kicking off somewhat of a renaissance in the comic industry.

“I used to hide the fact that I read and collected comics,” says Parker. “Now, it’s not only accepted but it almost elevates your status. I never thought I would see it happen, but it’s awesome.” It’s especially surprising that even at times when the economy is terrible, business has stayed relatively steady for Double Midnight Comics. Even Parker had a hard time understanding why at first, as their product is “a non-essential.” But one recently laid-off customer explained it succinctly: “It’s a cheap escape to the nightmare that the world is becoming for me right now. I can be fully entertained for under ten bucks.”

With their success, Double Midnight Comics has opened a second location in neighboring Concord and hopes to continue expanding. Parker and his partners understand that to be successful you have to be ever-changing and prepared for anything. They also try to be pro-active within the community, and for every Free Comic Book Day they select a charity to donate a portion of proceeds to.

“There is nothing worse that you can do than go through the motions and be stagnant,” says Parker. “The community hasn’t seen everything up our sleeve just yet.”

 

Photos by Christina Clusiau

  • Dueling spidermen pose at Double Midnight Comics on Free Comic Book Day.

  • A costumed character poses outside Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H., on Free Comic Book Day. With their success, Double Midnight Comics has opened a second location in neighboring Concord and hopes to continue expanding. “The community hasn’t seen everything that’s up our sleeve just yet,” says co-owner Brett Parker.

  • Characters wait in line to enter Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H, on Free Comic Book Day. The owners of Double Midnight Comics understand that to be successful they have to be ever-changing and prepared for anything. “There is really nothing worse you can do than go through the motions and be stagnant.”

  • Scott Proulx, one of the owners and co-founders of Double Midnight Comics, poses with costumed characters on Free Comic Book Day near the shop in Manchester, N.H.

  • Characters wait to have their photo taken near the Double Midnight Comics store in Manchester, N.H.

  • A costumed character waits to have his photo taken near Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H. Co-owner Brett Parker credits the 2000 X-Men film for making comic books “cool” again, as the public was introduced to new characters and stories beyond household names like Superman and Spiderman.

  • Customers at Double Midnight Comics on Free Comic Book Day in Manchester, N.H. In addition to special guests, on this day the shop offers free comic books, raffles, prizes and more.

  • A young boy looks at comics at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H. “I used to hide the fact that I read and collected comics,” says co-owner Brett Parker. “Now, it’s not only accepted but it almost elevates your status. I never thought I would see it happen, but it’s awesome.”

  • Every year Double Midnight Comics invites special guests and comic book artists to their annual Free Comic Book Day event. “We’ve sort of turned it into a mini comic book convention, at 4,000+ people, that’s a decent size in this area.”

  • A woman in costume on Free Comic Book Day at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H. In addition to new and vintage comic books, Double Midnight Comics sells games (of the board game, card game, and miniatures variety), collectibles and more.

  • People in costume wait to enter Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H., on Free Comic Book Day. Even at times when the economy is terrible, business has stayed relatively even for Double Midnight Comics. Co-owner Brett Parker had a hard time understanding why at first, seeing as their product is “a non-essential.” But one recently laid-off customer explained it succinctly: “It’s a cheap escape to the nightmare that the world is becoming for me right now. I can be fully entertained for under ten bucks.”

  • Spiderman at Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, N.H. The shop hosts an annual event on Free Comic Book Day that draws thousands of attendees, a large majority of them in costume.

  • Scott Proulx, one of the owners and co-founders of Double Midnight Comics. Growing up in Manchester, N.H., Proulx, his brother Chris, and friend Brett Parker bonded over their shared love of comic books. When the area’s only comic shop shut down, they decided to take matters into their own hands and opened Double Midnight Comics in 2002.

Business Details

Proprietor: Brett Parker, Chris Proulx, Scott Proulx
245 Maple Street Manchester, NH 03103
PH: 603-669-XMEN / Website
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