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Comic fans bug out over new shop

Angel Peralta has been working at A Shop Called Quest in Claremont since its opening six months ago. The store, located in the Claremont Village at 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd., sells comic books, licensed character toys and sponsors a gallery of fan art. / photo by Uyen Bui

Angel Peralta has been working at A Shop Called Quest in Claremont since its opening six months ago. The store, located in the Claremont Village at 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd., sells comic books, licensed character toys and sponsors a gallery of fan art. / photo by Uyen Bui

Michael Saakyan
Staff Writer

The city of Claremont added a hint of geek to its chic boutique stores in March with the grand opening of new comic book store, A Shop Called Quest.

Owner of Comic Quest in Redlands since 1992, Lee Raymundo decided to open a second store in Claremont with the help of his employees.

“Redlands and Claremont are very similar,” manager Jason Harris said.

“It’s kind of like a flourishing downtown area. Claremont is nicer and I used to live here and thought it would be a great place to open the second location here.”

Located between Coffee Bean and Kazama Sushi on Indian Hill Boulevard, A Shop Called Quest gets a lot of foot traffic due to downtown Claremont’s hipster appeal and the store’s hip-hop themed name.

“The original store name was Comic Quest for over 20 years,” Harris said.

‘“If you look online you’ll see Comic Quests everywhere. So over the years we started calling it A Shop Called Quest as a joke because of the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.”

The main attraction that gets customers to check out the store is a painted image of actor Adam West in his iconic Batman role from the 1960s and Yvonne Craig who played Batgirl on the same television series.

A chandelier designed with deer antlers lights up the room as a random playlist of music plays in the background.

Although A Shop Called Quest is best known for its comic books and graphic novels, customers can browse through a large section of action figures and T-shirts with a variety of different superheros.

Paintings of Marvel comics’ villain Galactus hang throughout the store. Different artists are able to submit their version of the iconic villain to be sold at A Shop Called Quest.

One painting in particular that would catch any customer’s eye was that of a vacationing Galactus at a nude beach with the Silver Surfer.

The appealing portrait is available to purchase by any devoted Marvel fan for $500.

The environment of the comic book store is not only a treat for customers but also a morale booster for its employees.

“It’s a lot of fun to work here,” employee Bryan Friend said. “I really like being in Claremont now. It’s a really nice.”

After Claremont’s last standing comic book store, Comic Bookie, closed its doors in 2008, comic book readers were obligated to travel far distances to get their superhero fix but thanks to A Shop Called Quest, fanboys and fangirls can now rejoice in harmony.

“A Shop Called Quest is pretty cool it’s very spacious and filled with a wide variety of comic books for all ages,” customer Andy Quinones said.

“I like that they encourage you to read there and don’t make a big fuss like other comic book stores.”

A Shop Called Quest hosts a trading card game called “Magic: The Gathering” every Friday night for anyone who wishes to come by and play a game.

“We do Magic Friday nights because we don’t have as much room as we do in the other shop in Redlands,” Harris said. “There we had a separate room where we can have everyone go in and leave the comic book section separate.”

A Shop Called Quest is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

Michael Saakyan can be reached at murad.saakyan@laverne.edu.

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