Couple open comic book store in Hartlepool

Kelvin Allison of Atomic on the Headland
Kelvin Allison of Atomic on the Headland

A NEW business venture is proving to be a labour of love for a town couple who recently opened their first shop.

Lyndsey Walton and her partner Kelvin Allison have launched Atomic, a specialist comic shop on Hartlepool’s Headland.

The pair have both had a keen interest in American comics for some time, and decided to open a new chapter in their working lives after spotting a gap in the market.

Kelvin, 41, said: “I’ve been reading comics since 1978, we’re not taking about the Beano and the Dandy, these are the Marvel ones and the superhero types.

“It’s a unique market, but apart from a shop in Newcastle and a similar one in Stockton and Middlesbrough, there’s nothing in between.

“The comics have a lot of interest, but people normally have to buy them online so we’re hoping people will come down and see what we have on offer.”

The pair opened the doors of their shop on Northgate on November 1, and have been delighted with the early response to their new venture.

For Lyndsay, 28, the shop isn’t quite what she had in mind when she left Teesside University.

She said: “I did crime scene science at uni, and I was hoping to get involved in the forensics side of things.

“But after graduating in 2012, I’ve only had one interview as there aren’t a lot of jobs in that field.

“I’ve always had an interest in comics though, so this seemed like the right thing to do.”

Kelvin and Lyndsey take new deliveries of stock on a weekly basis, with some items imported from America.

“It’s a specialist subject really, but we both know what we’re talking about when people come in.

“We have back issues and annuals dating back through the years, and we also stock merchandise like T-shirts and models.

“We’re happy with the way things have gone in the first couple of weeks, and we have some exciting plans for the new year once we have settled in.

“The shop is something a little bit different for the Headland, but the people have been really welcoming and very supportive.

“We get a lot of collectors in, but the kids come in and like what they see as well so it’s nice to be able to encourage them to read rather than sitting in front of a computer.”