NORMAN — Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all have a headquarters in Norman. It’s no secret lair; the location is Speeding Bullet Comics, 614 N. Porter Ave. in a strip mall alongside a battery shop and Mexican food store. Annette and Matthew Price have operated the establishment there since 1998.
“I’m pleased we’ve been here this long,” Matthew Price said. “Most years have been pretty positive but with recessions there have been times that are trickier than others. Our goal has been to stay relentlessly positive by promoting literacy and helping kids, schools and libraries as opposed to being here to get rich.”
Speeding Bullet was nominated for the comics industry’s Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award in 2005. Besides owning and operating this small business Price has been a features editor for the The Oklahoman newspaper since 2000. His column on comics, titled Word Balloons, has run in the paper’s Weekend Look section most of that time. He’s an OU alumnus who founded the “comics and geek culture” blog nerdageblog.com that’s been honored by the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists.
Speeding Bullet Comics store is a retail store with an impressively large and diverse inventory of old school comic books, contemporary graphic novels, action figures, T-shirts, buttons and posters. There are many shelves of hardbound books devoted to a literature documenting comics, their many genres and related subjects. Superhero comics, some going back to the 1940s and fresh 21st century editions delivered on a weekly basis, are generally available for prices ranging from hundreds of dollars to a few bucks. On a recent weekday afternoon, business was brisk.
As with any business that involves popular culture little remains static.
“A lot is different from when we opened the doors in 1998,” Price said. “There weren’t as many graphic novels back then; most merchandise was in comic book form.”