by Celina Colby

Rob Tuck has been a lifelong comic book lover. After 35 years of voraciously reading the stories of Spiderman, Daredevil, and others, he opened Friar Tuck’s Comics & Collectibles in November at 310 Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner to share the wealth with others.

“You get to a point where the collection has a mind of its own, and it kind of got too big,” says Tuck. “I opened the shop to share. I love having people come in and be inspired by the walls.

Tuck estimates the shop holds more than 80,000 comics, most of which were his personal collection and another 15,000 magazines. Gamers can also find Magic the Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards on the shelves. Items range from $5 to $2,300 and beyond, depending on the rarity of the work.

The bulk of the stock is vintage comics and magazines, but there’s also a section for new comics and a roped-off area for adult-only comics and magazines. Friar Tuck’s is the only comic shop in the area with an adult-only section.

“The community has embraced us,” says Tuck. “Word has spread like wildfire.”

As a 10-year-old, Tuck would take the T from his native Newton down to Newbury Street or Harvard Square to shop for comics. He came to associate comics with entertainment and inspiration and with the independence he experienced during those journeys.

“I think comics are modern myths,” says Tuck. I think that every society needs to make their own and that ours are best exemplified by the Marvel movies and similar stories.”

Comics can also be purchased nearby at the Coolidge Corner outpost of New England Comics and at Brookline Booksmith, but Friar Tuck’s is the only local spot selling vintage items. Rather than seeing the other stores as competition, Tuck hopes to see even more comic book shops open in Brookline to recreate previous comic hubs like Harvard Square.

For Tuck, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping a customer find a rare and beloved item. He recalls having a few senior customers come in looking for early Disney comics from the 1960s. Tuck had them in stock.

“It was like they were teenagers again,” says Tuck, recalling their excitement. “That’s one of the reasons I’m doing this, is that kind of reaction.”

In addition to the shop’s retail function, local gamers can rent a table in the center of the store to play Magic the Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and other group games for a reasonable $5 per hour. It’s the kind of like-minded gathering place Tuck always searched for in his youth.

“It seems to be growing as kind of a community space,” says Tuck. “I’d like it to be a place where people can come hang out, play games, enjoy themselves, look at old comics, learn about old comics. It’s the perfect after-school joint or after-work joint.”