After two decades of bonding over their love of collecting cards and comics, Wishe Delisle and Jamie McComber have finally made their lifelong dream of opening a hobby shop a reality.
As of this Thursday, Astronomical Cards and Comics is officially in business at the Kanien’kehá:ka Plaza.
“I still have to pinch myself every now and again – this is really happening,” said Delisle, who’s been collecting Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokemon cards since his childhood.
Both friends will be selling their own collection of comics and cards at the store, Delisle said, in addition to toys, posters, and more.
Delisle said it was back in October that McComber gave him a call telling him to drive over to the plaza on Old Malone Highway. McComber’s boss at Club Rez had just purchased the building and was looking for someone to rent one of the storefronts there.
“He said, ‘What do you think of this place?’ and I said ‘No way.’ I couldn’t hold my tears back because that’s how much this means to me,” Delisle said. “I gave him a hug and I said ‘When do we start?’”
After some renovations, the two signed a lease for January.
“It was now or never, really,” said McComber, a longtime collector of comics and manga books. Amazing Spider-Man, Swamp Thing, various Detective Comics, Deadpool, and X-Men are among some of the titles in his extensive collection.
Growing up, he and Delisle always dreamed of having a place in town where they could play in card tournaments. Instead, they would have to convince their parents to drive them to Chateauguay, Saint Constant, or Montreal.
They’ll be hosting Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokemon tournaments at the shop on a weekly basis, McComber said. There will be snacks and soda for sale, too.
“You can sit there and play with your friends,” he said. “It’s just a nice place to relax.”
The two will continue working their day jobs in the meantime. McComber works as a manager at Club Rez, while Delisle works as a floor manager at a tobacco factory in town. They also both manage The Office Poker Club at Plaza 138.
Delisle said he’s been overwhelmed by all the support coming in since they announced the card and comic venture.
“I don’t even want to look at my Messenger app because the little red button that says unread has 127 messages. That gives you an idea of how much excitement this is bringing to the community,” he said.
“I still can’t believe it,” Delisle said. “It’s surreal to me still. It just makes me super happy. It’s hard to put into words how excited I am.”