The year 2020 started with a yellow and black bang when Atomic Basement Comics and Creator’s Lab opened up its first store in downtown Long Beach, California, spearheaded by owners Mike Wellman and Tony Davies. The shop has only been opened officially in less than a month, but it has already hosted fun events for local comic book geeks.
On January 18, the store had it’s grand opening party where even Mayor Robert Garcia stopped by to pick up some comic books and pose with cosplayers. The shop served its guest with lots of new, crisp graphic novels as well as delicious lasagne from local restaurant, Modica’s Deli.
On Wednesday, January 22, the first inaugural Creator’s Lab took place inside the store and welcomed artists, writers, etc to come in and use the space to create their own comic books. Professional creators, Rod Espinosa (Adventure Finders) and Brandon Easton (Agent Carter, Spider-Man) signed books and then imparted their knowledge and advice to the crowd. Both creators not only gave great talks about their experiences as artists and writers, but they took the time to sit with people and explain their process and answer questions.
The Creator’s Lab is a reoccurring event that will be hosted in the store every Wednesday, from 7-10pm. Mike promises that he will have many professional special guests stopping by in the future. Not only that, but participants of the Lab has a chance to have their finished books published in August this year, and may win their own booth at the next Long Beach Comic Con.
Atomic Basement is already on its way to helping support local creatives who want to pursue a career in the comic book industry. Keep an eye out as Mike and Tony spread the good word of super heroes and art around town as well. They are making a name for themselves as the comic book geek dads that Long Beach needed!
I have known Mike since his days at The Comic Bug in Manhattan Beach, and he has always been an advocate for comic fans and local creators alike. He was always a big supporter of Defective Geeks as well, hosting our parties and podcast recordings at the old store. If you’re ever at Atomic Basement, make sure to introduce yourself and get to know him. He is always worth saying hello to.
Check out the shop if you are ever in downtown Long Beach in California, at 400 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802.