Behind The Scenes of Orlando’s Soon-To-Be-Open Gods & Monsters Megastore

What do you call 20,000 square feet of space filled with new comics, old comics, graphic novels, trade paperbacks, action figures, collectables, toys, statues, tabletop and roleplaying games and gaming products, a healthy mixture of sci-fi and fantasy books, original art, and events featuring industry professionals, as well as a themed-lounge serving artisan drinks?

Gods & Monsters storefront at Artegon Mall

If you keep up with such things, you call it the largest comic book and related interests retail outlet in the world.

If you’re co-owners Anna Young and Todd Fisher, you call it Central Florida’s soon-to-open comics, sci-fi, and fantasy megastore: Gods & Monsters.

Gods & Monsters owners Todd Fisher and Anna Young
Gods & Monsters owners Todd Fisher and Anna Young

Anna and Todd were kind enough to give us a behind the scenes tour and speak with us on a recent Sunday about what Gods & Monsters will be like when it opens. They also allowed us to take some photos of the inside of the store, located at the Artegon Marketplace, as it begins to take shape for its scheduled June 13, 2015 grand opening.

When you first step through what will be the main entrance, you are immediately struck by the immense size of the store. This is not your father’s comic book store! As Todd stated, “This much space allows us to breathe a bit, rather than be in a typical compact comic book store space.”

Gods & Monsters - inside the store
A look inside Gods & Monsters from the entrance.

The main inventory will be comic books, both older and collectable issues, as well as the eventual stock of brand new current issues each week. Todd and Anna estimated that their combined personal collections, which will be part of the inventory as the store starts off, are worth approximately $150,000 alone.

They’ve also been purchasing collections and have even had some collections donated to them to add to the inventory. In other words, there WILL be enormous amounts of collectable comics available to customers, both in the physical store and through their online website. Todd spent 13 years as a manager at Acme Comics in Longwood, FL, so he knows his product.

Joining the huge comic book inventory will be the related products such as graphic novels, trade paperbacks, toys and statues of popular heroes and villains.

Gods & Monsters - inside the store
A look at Gods & Monsters from the back to the entrance.

Probably the next section to be a big draw to fans will be the tabletop and roleplaying gaming area with its Offworld Lounge. In addition to gaming tables there will be 3 science fiction and 3 fantasy themed booths – or “pods” – for customers to sit in while they enjoy artisan-style nonalcoholic drinks from the bar, available when Gods & Monsters first opens, and then alcoholic drinks a few months later when they get their beer and wine license. All underneath a black ceiling with twinkling stars to help lend that truly offworld feeling.

The Transmetropolitan Art Gallery, which is of course named after the Warren Ellis comic book, is a 1,500-square-foot gallery within the store that will feature various mediums of art from local artists, as well as artists from across the country and around the world. This is one of the areas which fall under Anna’s expertise as she has extensive contacts throughout the art community and will be arranging showings within the gallery. They will be rotating various exhibits throughout the year and everyone should be able to find art they admire on display when they visit the store.

Gods & Monsters - The Transmetropolitan Art Gallery
The Transmetropolitan Art Gallery signage inside Gods & Monsters.

Another innovative part of Gods & Monsters will be their delivery service. As Todd explains it, “Suppose for whatever reason you’re a local customer who can’t get into the store every week, but you still want to stay current on your books or still have that ‘comic Wednesday’ feel to your week; we’ll deliver your books to your home. Or if, since our store is in the heart of the tourist area, you’re an out of the area tourist visiting the store and you buy some things and you don’t want to drag them around with you all day as you do the tourist-thing, then we’ll deliver your purchases to your hotel room.” That’s pretty convenient!

Todd and Anna are very focused on creating a community and a feeling of camaraderie, so they are planning lots of daily events that they hope will grow in popularity and participation such as gaming nights and tournaments, film screening nights, and book reading nights.

There will also be special events that will see industry leaders such as Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis (both of whom are part owners of Gods & Monsters), artists, producers, actors and others come into the store for signings, talks and presentations. “The special events”, Todd says, “are a chance for the fans to meet their heroes.”

Gods & Monsters, which will have their grand opening on June 13, 2015, is located on the International Drive side of the Artegon Marketplace at 5250 International Drive, Orlando. They will be open 7 days a week from 10am to 10pm. For more information, visit them online at godmonsters.com.

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