The closing of two comic book stores in the area left a void for local graphic novel enthusiasts. William Stevenson is trying to fill the void, opening Apex Comics in Harrisonville.
Having opened the store in October, Stevenson said a lifetime of loving comics, caped crusaders and masked vigilantes pushed him to open up a comic bookstore of his own.
“I’ve always had a passion for it, and they say if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life,” Stevenson said. “My son was the final driving force behind me wanting to open up a comic bookstore. I had to work for 10 years to save enough money. It took a long time to collect enough comics and build my clientele. It’s been hard, but it’s been well worth it.”
In preparation of opening his store, Stevenson said he attended a number of trade shows. According to Stevenson he spent years slowly building up a comic book collection worthy to be proud of. After working hard to polish his salesmanship,
Stevenson said he is ready for the challenges of running a business on his own.
“Working in the field of selling comic books at conventions and trade shows really helped prepare me for the industry,” said Stevenson. “I spent about five years or so just hitting up conventions in Indianapolis and Chicago to Texas and Tulsa.”
While originally a fan of Batman, Stevenson said his horizons have broadened as he learned more.
“I was never a big Marvel or ‘Avengers’ fan until my son got into comics,” said Stevenson. “He really loves Ironman, so watching those movies and reading those comics became our nighttime tradition. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
When he went to his first Comic-Con in 2010, Stevenson said his love of comics transformed from a hobby into a career.
“What really made me go into conventions was ‘Big Bang Theory’,” said Stevenson. “After my family’s first con, we went to Planet Comic-Con in Kansas City, and we just fell in love with it. I got to meet Wil Wheaton and Ron Pearlman. I met Jason Mamoa. I’ve met a lot of people doing this.”
After working at a logistics company for the past 15 years, Stevenson said he was ready for a change of pace.
“I grew up in the county, so I know a lot about a little bit and a little bit about a lot,” he said. “The most difficult part of opening the business has been the supply chain issues. It’s already incredibly difficult to find some of the older comics that are sought after, and COVID has only made things worse. I have had my work cut out for me, but I appreciate all the support I’ve been getting from the town.”
Located at 1804 on Route 291 in Harrisonville, Stevenson encourages comic book lovers both new and old to visit.
Apex Comics is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday’s noon to 7 p.m., and Saturdays 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.