When Ralph DiBernardo learned that Paperback Bazaar — the store where he’d worked in Somersworth — was going out of business, he saw it as an opportunity to open up a store of his own.
A dozen years later, Jetpack Comics offers the latest and greatest comic books, board games, toys and card games like Magic the Gathering and Pokemon in downtown Rochester.
DiBernardo believes that his store is a unique place, which combines a friendly environment and hands-on involvement with its surrounding community.
“Many people think of comic book stores as being a dark and dingy hole in the wall,” DiBernardo said. “But our store is bright, well-stocked and, most importantly, welcoming!”
Jetpack hosts a number of events each year. The store’s next event, Free Comic Book Day, is coming up on May 5 and members of the community are invited to participate in a massive citywide scavenger hunt. DiBernardo will also be hosting a convention that day at the Governor’s Inn, followed by a Cosplay Contest and an after party at The Garage.
Aside from its annual festivities, Jetpack Comics offers numerous Pokemon and Magic events on a weekly basis, as well as special prerelease events and tournaments.
All of the events, he said, are part of Jetpack’s larger goal of giving back to a community that’s been supportive since the store first opened its doors 12 years ago.
“Rochester is a vibrant area that has a great community and a lot to offer,” DiBernardo added. “We try to make sure that we give back to the community that has helped out so much with our events.”
For more information on Free Comic Book Day, visit the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/1740161546043106/.
Jetpack Comics is located at 37 North Main St., and is open 7 days a week. Its hours and services can be found online at, http://www.jetpackcomics.com.