Book store

Longtime San Jose comic book store gets new owners and a new name

When Neil Farris took over San Jose’s Hijinx Comics in 2010, he couldn’t have foreseen how comic books would become an essential cornerstone of the pop culture landscape.

“It was really great to see comics evolve from a niche product on the periphery of the book industry to a mainstream media choice in its own right,” he said on Wednesday, the day new comics are sold and its last behind the counter. in Hijinx.

After 12 years as owner, Farris sold the Lincoln Avenue business to Alan Bahr and Phil Schlaefer, owners of Heroes and Champions in Sunnyvale. It’s the end of an era for Willow Glen, which Mike Gamble opened in 1982 as Mike’s Coliseum. He became Hijinx Comics in 1982 and is now set to morph back into heroes and champions Willow Glen. The new owners plan to spruce up the store but do not plan to close during the renovation period.

“I’ve known Alan and Phil for decades and I’m more than confident they’ll do a great job in the future,” said Farris, a San Jose native who spent 15 years as a musician before working for Lockheed. When he was fired in the early 1990s, he went to work for Dick Swann at Big Guy’s Comics in Mountain View. At Hijinx, he loved talking to his customers, and the conversations often drifted to movies, TV, social issues, and, of course, comics.

But after 30 years in the comic book game, Farris decided it was time to quit running a retail business. Store operations were massively disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which not only delayed the release of comics, but forced Farris to limit the number of people allowed in the store and require them to wear masks. – and not of the superhero genre. This year, former owner and longtime employee JK McGill died suddenly, casting a further shadow over Farris’ business.

“I was happy to be everyone’s comic book guy,” Farris said. “And I’m not going anywhere. I’ll just be on the other side of the counter.

The Panorama, a margarita-style cocktail, is Silicon Valley Capital Club’s entry into a nationwide competition hosted by Invited, the club’s parent company. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)

A DRINK WITH A VIEW: The swanky Silicon Valley Capital Club is vying for first place in a bartending contest organized by Invited, its parent company, along with other clubs in Dallas, Long Island, Ohio and Florida. The entrance to San Jose is the Panorama, named after the fantastic view of San Jose and Silicon Valley that you get from the club’s 17th-floor location at 50 W. San Fernando St.

General Manager Rachael Barclay concocted the margarita variation — a natural fit for San Jose, I think — with Maestro Dobel Diamante tequila, fresh lime juice, and black lava salt on the rim of the glass. But the key ingredient is Ancho Reyes Verde, a poblano chili liqueur that gives the drink a nice kick of heat.

Silicon Valley Capital Club bartender Juan Rios prepares the Panorama, a margarita-style cocktail that is San Jose's entry in a nationwide competition between clubs owned by Capital Club's parent company.  (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)
Silicon Valley Capital Club bartender Juan Rios prepares the Panorama, a margarita-style cocktail that is San Jose’s entry in a nationwide competition between clubs owned by the Capital Club’s parent company. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group)

Bartender Juan Rios, who recently made me a Panorama, said the other trick is to use simple syrup in the cocktail instead of agave nectar, which most bartenders would use in a margarita. “The agave would overwhelm the Ancho Reyes,” he said with just enough authority to keep me from arguing.

Capital Club members and their guests — as well as patrons at the other four clubs — vote with their orders, and Barclay says San Jose is second only to Dallas’ drink.

PERFECT CALENDAR: The Dancing Cat received a timely extension until Labor Day, Sept. 5, for a challenge grant that was set to expire Thursday. The Julian Street Feline Adoption Center in San Jose – where you can spend time with the cats to be adopted in a relaxed setting – had raised $20,000 of its $30,000 goal by the end of August and is hoping for a final push. of an inch can bring him closer to the finish line.

Rescue organizations like Dancing Cat are under even greater strain right now to care for injured cats due to recent staff shortages at pet stores across the city. You can find out more and donate to the campaign at thedancingcat.org.