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HIDDEN GEM: Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore

It's easy to spot the oldest privately owned comic book store in Texas!

HOUSTON — Some of the most popular shows out there right now, such as Paper Girls, Sandman and The Umbrella Academy, are based on graphic novels. If you want to scout out the next big hit, you'll need to pay a visit to that bright blue building off U.S. 59 between Kirby Drive and Buffalo Speedway. 

"We hear that all the time: 'I know where that blue building is. Don’t know necessarily what it was, but we know where the blue building is,'" said TJ Johnson, owner and president of Third Planet Sci-Fi Superstore.

If you're looking for anything related to sci-fi, fantasy, models, toys, gaming, you name it, there's a good chance it's on the shelves there.

"We are the oldest privately owned comic book store in Texas," said Stephanie McFall, Third Planet's general manager. "TJ’s been doing this for almost half a century. He opened a couple years before Star Wars."

These days, Star Wars accounts for a solid chunk of Third Planet goods, but then and now, the comics are what bring customers in.

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"There’s every genre you can think of," Johnson said. "Everything from horror to comedic, the superheroes, romance."

The key idea in this space is that comics are for everyone from collectors to newbies. The staff at Third Planet will help customers connect with their interests.

"Whatever you want, there’s a comic for it," Johnson said.

They're a great tool for kids, McFall points out. 

"(Kids) love getting into comic books because it’s that healthy balance of a TV show, because there are pictures, but there’s still enough dialogue that they’re actually reading and they’re ingesting a story," she said.

Beyond comic books and graphic novels, Third Planet carries games, LEGO sets, collectibles and more.

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"We’ve got a little something for everybody," Johnson said. "Our stuff goes way back. We’re not like a corporate-type store where we just have the new stuff, get it and get it out."

So, whether you’re in the market for a $7,000 issue of The Incredible Hulk,  adding to your Magic decks, interested in supporting local artists, or just browsing, Third Planet is loaded with choices. 

"Been here for 47 years. Not going anywhere," Johnson said. 

Click here for more information about Third Planet. 

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