If you’re a comic book, role-playing-game, or sports aficionado and live in Anchorage, you’re likely familiar with Bosco’s Comics, Cards, & Games. But that also means you should keep an eye out for an address change in the next year.
The shop on Spenard Road has become a local landmark, originally opening in the location now occupied by Sugarspoon Dessert & Coffee in 1984. CEO “Comic Enthusiast and Owner” John Weddleton said the store outgrew the space within three years, prompting a move across the street to its current home, and a second location opening in the Dimond Center in 1988. When asked about his customers, Weddleton noted proudly that many kids who used to come to the store now bring in their own children. “We’ve got two generations coming in.” Now Weddleton is celebrating his company’s 30th anniversary with another move, this time a little further down the road.
Weddleton kept last week’s groundbreaking party locally-themed, with live music from the surf/spy rock band, The SpeNerds, and food provided by Boom Ba Laddy’s truck. After a few words welcoming the crowd, Weddleton stepped aside to let Thor, ‘god of thunder,’ break ground with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. (No, really.)
Spenardian locals were in attendance to celebrate, including State Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) and her husband Elstun Lauesen (They were kind enough to contribute photos to the gallery below. Thanks, guys!).
The new spot is a former car wash, which provides an interesting layout for Weddleton to work with. Walking through the dark building (no power was available for the event), he painted a mental picture for me of what the store would look like once it was remodeled.
The added square footage will provide room for a larger space for local gamers. A covered parking lot on the northwest side of the building is where Weddleton envisions a setup for food trucks and flea market sales. While the walls may be currently torn down to their studs, Weddleton pointed to where the original neon sign for the store would be displayed inside. The glow of possibilities reflected in his eyes as he continued the tour through the building.
Weddleton does have one concern about making improvements on the property. Standing outside and watching traffic pass by, he said the continual discussion and abandonment of plans for the Spenard Road Reconstruction Project has left him flummoxed. “It’s been very frustrating because almost every business supports the general plan,” he explained.
I’ve been involved with it for almost 20 years. And, it’s pretty much every time we do it, there’s a consensus that we want wider sidewalks, better bicycling lanes, better places to walk, safer ways to cross the street.They [the Anchorage Municipality] don’t want to have to buy any right-of-way to do it, leave people’s properties alone. And only way to do that is a three-and-four-lane combo, and you have like three or four people in a row that when you say “three lane,” their brains explode.
The fight over the reconstruction of Spenard Road is its own headache. We’ll leave the politics for another day.
Back inside the what would become the gaming room, Weddleton invited attendees to sign one of the walls in chalk. The wall, now almost covered in colorful artwork, will be boarded up and preserved after photos are taken. It’s evident from the way the he talked about the future that his customers have had a strong influence on his vision for the new shop. He said people come up to him at the store with ideas and his reaction has always been “how do we make that happen?” The new location, which Weddleton says he hopes to move into by the end of February 2015, is a blank (if dusty) canvas waiting for the application of three decades worth of ideas.