Cousins Andrew McNeil, 26, and Tim Rogers, 30, have had a lifelong passion for comic books. Now they have the ultimate tribute to their dedication: their own comic store.
The two own Desert Dune Comics and Games, which officially opened to the public on June 18. The store was open briefly on June 16.
“We had kind of a soft opening where we had to put in back issues and stuff. Our big opening will be in July,” McNeil said.
Desert Dune offers Marvel, DC and Dark Horse comic books, as well as card games like YuGiOh, Pokemon and Magic the Gathering.
Customers can also buy gaming supplies, trading card sleeves, board games like Ascension and Star Trek and Pathfinder merchandise, which McNeil called similar to Dungeons and Dragons.
According to McNeil, the brief June 16 opening saw $88 of merchandise sold among 30 customers.
McNeil, of Wilmington, and Rogers, of Fuquay-Varina, developed a love of comics from a store near the beach that they visited as children.
“Then as we got older, we got back into comics,” McNeil said.
The store’s name reflects the owners’ originally planned location.
“We were going to be at Campbell [University], but that didn’t work out,” McNeil said.
McNeil said that the store’s Facebook page will be its main source of information, but that he and Rogers want to make an Internet store. He also said that the store is currently only accepting trade-ins of used Magic the Gathering cards, but that he and Rogers will make a list of which used cards they will accept in the future.
McNeil said his goal for Desert Dune was to be a place for people to “have fun and hang out.”
“Just be the best comic book store in town,” he said.
He also said that owning a comic store gave him and Rogers the chance to “wake up in the morning…and talk with your people” who share the same passion for comics and games.
“It’s like a childhood dream, you know?” McNeil said.
Desert Dune is located at 955 East Broad Street in the Walmart shopping center. Its phone number is 1-919-219-7169. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.