Sign of the times.

§ March 2nd, 2022 § Filed under retailing § 8 Comments

As was mentioned before, my former boss Ralph had moved from the back room of a thrift store in downtown Ventura, CA, to a small storefront midtown, in the early 1980s. To help grab some attention for the shop, in 1984 Ralph’s friend Tom Foxmarnick (a cartoonist and animator, graduate of the Joe Kubert School) painted this sign for him:

If you look closely, you can see this sign is now sitting in my store, brought to me by Ralph after the closure of Seth’s Games and Anime (the shop Ralph’s eventually became). It’s wood, pretty good size…the exact measurements I meant to get prior to making this post but like a dummy, I forgot. I’ll try to edit them in later. But it’s up against the side of one of my comic tables there, so that should give you an idea.

Anyway, the sign would rest in the front of Ralph’s 1984-1990 location, sitting on a large brick step that was just to the side of the shop’s door. When we (yes, we, I started working there in ’88) moved to larger digs across the street, the sign was put in the front window. And in ’97, when we moved again to the larger space next door, the sign also came with us and, at least for a while, put in one of the windows there.

Eventually, when Seth took over the majority of the store, the sign went to the back room, where it stayed, well, pretty much until earlier this week when Ralph hauled it through my front door.

A little worn, clearly had seen some use — I’m talking about the sign, not Ralph, to be clear — but it’s a nice memento of a shop that meant a lot to a whole bunch of people, myself included. A big chunk of my past, now on display in my store, reminded me of where I came from and what I hope to continue.

8 Responses to “Sign of the times.”

  • I love how signage like this always ends with “science fiction.” Science Fiction…what? Double-Feature? Books? videos? games? all the above? I don’t know about the rest of the world, although from this sign it seems endemic but in CT it happens a lot. It’s just amusing to me.

  • Andrew says:

    Good memories associated with that sign, coming into the shop. I’m glad you have it now.

  • Andrew says:

    Good memories associated with that sign, coming into the shop. I’m glad you have it now.

  • Eric says:

    Did the dragon have a name?

  • Kid Chris says:

    Ah… memories. Hopefully I’ll see that sign soon.

  • […] another artifact from the Previous Place of Employment (if you missed it, I posted one on Wednesday): the Ralph’s Comic Corner […]

  • Pal Cully says:

    I remember picking it up for Ralph a couple of times when the east winds blew while visiting the old location. Iconic. I’m glad it’s yours now, Mike.

  • Rob S. says:

    I’m so glad you’ve been given these mementos to treasure & display!