HUDSON – Edward Uvanni, owner of Pure Folly Books, Warren Street’s only comic book store, is thinking of ways to incorporate and share his passion for graphic novels with the Hudson community.
“I think a lot of people have a very specific idea in their minds when you talk about comics,” Uvanni said. “Part of my goal with my store is to show people that your idea of what comics are is not necessarily true.”
Over the past two decades, comics have undergone a cultural paradigm shift from appealing to niche nerd audiences to asserting mainstream appeal in books and movies. This is partly due to the appeal of Marvel – a comic book publisher since 1939 that started making spin-off films from their classic comics in 1998 with the release of the movie “Blade”.
Since then, comic books adapted for the cinema have focused on the journey of superheroes. Movies like “Spider Man,” “Black Panther,” “The Avengers,” and dozens of other cinematic stories have brought in billions of dollars for Marvel, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
Uvanni wants people to realize that comics aren’t just about superheroes. There are historical comics that focus on true events, narrative graphic novels, and much more.
Many potential customers who walk into Uvanni’s store have never read a comic or graphic novel before.
“With someone who isn’t into comics or doesn’t know them very well, the goal is to find out what other art they’re consuming through conversation,” Uvanni said. “If they can give me a point of contact, I can find a recommendation.”
It’s because Uvanni has an encyclopedic knowledge of comics, though he’s too humble to admit it.
He’s been reading comics since he was a kid in central Florida.
“I’ve always called myself an omnivore when it comes to comics because I love everything from mainstream superhero comics to weird 60s and 70s underground comics, manga, comics experimental art and everything else,” he said.
Uvanni worked as a comic book order manager and program director for Coliseum of Comics, the largest comic book and game retailer in the Southeast.
He always dreamed of running his own comic book store. During the pandemic, a desire for an arts-focused community brought him and his wife, quality food safety manager at ADM Milling Company, to the Hudson Valley.
For Uvanni, operating Pure Folly Books has been challenging and rewarding.
He experiences a learning curve when it comes to the business logistics of owning a comic book store and a surge of inspiration from conversing with customers interested in comic books.
“It was a slow winter,” Uvanni said. He opened Pure Folly Books in December and is learning to navigate the difficulties of owning a small business in the wake of a global pandemic.
Uvanni anticipates increased customer interest and sales with the warmer weather.
The global comic book market is expected to grow from $9.21 billion in 2021 to $12.81 billion in 2028, according to Fortune Business Insights, an India-based global market research firm.
Uvanni also plans to become more involved in the Hudson community. On May 7, he is participating in Free Comic Book Day and will be giving away free comics to anyone who visits his store.
“And just because you might not want to jump into the superhero universe doesn’t mean there isn’t amazing art that isn’t there to be shown,” he said. -he declares.