San Jose native Joe Ferrara, ’73 Music, opened Atlantis Fantasyworld on lower Pacific Avenue when comic books were “strictly a collectibles business,” he explains. Still flourishing 36 years later, the enterprise has survived the radical reconfiguring of the market brought on by the Star Wars franchise, stiff retail competition from online retailers such as Amazon, and the Loma Prieta earthquake.
For three post-earthquake years, Ferrara conducted business in a tent, reopening at his current location on Cedar Street in 1992. As true aficionados know, new comics arrive every Wednesday, the day fans of all ages descend on the store to scour the latest superhero, manga, fantasy, horror, action/adventure and science fiction releases. (Other notable stock: graphic novels such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus.)
Read about Ferrara’s passion for music and comics in the spring 2012 issue of Washington Square magazine.