Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Big Three Oh

Didja know that Dr. No's is thirty years old?

That's right--the store has been in business since 1977! The original owner, Artie Decker, opened in the shopping center now occupied by Old Time Pottery and Queen of Hearts Antiques back in 1977; later that year he relocated to Blackwell Square Shopping Center, which was brand new back then. Up until 2004, we were only in the left-hand half of our current space (as you're facing the store from the parking lot); we doubled in size in May of 2004, officially opening the space just in time for Free Comic Book Day that year.

When the shopping center opened, it was also home to the only theater in metro Atlanta that had a full Dolby Surround Sound system in each auditorium. As a result, people came from all over metro Atlanta to experience Star Wars in surround sound in this shopping center. (And speaking of Star Wars, don't talk about Memorial Day being the film's 30th anniversary if you're talking about Atlanta; the film didn't open here in metro Atlanta until mid-June... and I know, because I attended an advance press screening on the evening of June 15th, and have a post-marked press kit to prove it!)

Dr. No's has changed over the years; when it opened, it was primarily a used book and used record store, with a small selection of comics. When Artie found out that I knew a lot about comic books, he hired me to handle his comic book section--placing orders, pricing back issues, etc. I didn't become an owner of the store until 1982, when Artie decided that he hated dealing with the public and wanted to get out of the retail biz.

Over the years, the store has metamorphosed into its current state as metro Atlanta's premiere comics and gaming shop. We were one of the first stores in the area to try to stock a full line of trade paperbacks and hardcovers... and this dates back to a time when every comic book trade/HC in print could fit onto one bookshelf unit!

Thirty years and stronger than ever... not a bad record!


Lanny said...

Congratulations to a fine institution that has touched so many lives for good.

I rememered going into Artie's original location and going through a small box of comics and coming out with a copy of New Gods #1.

By the time the store moved, Artie was yelling my name at me when I walked in.

"Laaaannnnyyyy Baby!"

And then I met Cliff AND Ward. I remember encouraging Charles to check the store out when Artie sold it. I remember meeting Chris Appel there and coming to know Brett at Dr. No's 2. Through Brett, I met Ralph and many other friends. Ed Thomas, I had met through Dave Williams and roomed with at UGA where Charles sent me peniciled comic pages to ink. The memories and connections are actually a bit overwhelming. It all seems so to be much more than chance and random events. I think that somehow we were all MEANT to know each other.

It's quite an amazing place and MUCH more than a retail store: a home away from home for a broad range of friends that span much of my adult life.

Not a bad record indeed.

Tredekka said...

Three cheers for another thirty years!

Sven said...

Congradulations on 30 years. It’s great that you’ve not only grown the business but are also doing something you enjoy. Makes getting up in the morning a lot easier.

Coyttl said...

Wow.. While I wasn't IN the 'Atlanta Area' in '77, I *DO* remember going there in the early 80's as a YOUNG kid with my dad, buying records.

Here's to another 30! :)