As one of two children raised by a single mother, Shawn Besaw said he did not have a lot growing up. But what he did have was a collection of comic books.

Besaw said he would visit his local comic book store every week to see what new story was available.

“Comics were just a great diversion,” he said. “I enjoyed the characters, the artwork, the stories.”

As an adult, Besaw decided to create his own haven from the cares and worries of the world. He opened Sanctuary Books and Games in 2018 after spending three decades in a corporate setting. The store offers both new and classic comic books as well as games, toys and art.

Sanctuary features Besaw’s personal comic book collection, which he is selling after collecting for more than 40 years. He said after he had collected all the books he had hoped to get, he wanted to share his collection with others.

Besaw said it gives him joy to see collectors go through his stacks and find a comic they had been looking for.

“It’s tough after collecting for 40 years. ... Comics were pretty much my life,” he said. “But it makes it easier when I see someone, and they really appreciate the books, and they love them as much as I do.”

Just like the comic book store Besaw visited as a child, Sanctuary receives new comic books regularly.

The store also hosts events throughout the week, including game tournaments and prerelease events for new products. Besaw said one of his favorite things to see at events is people laughing and forming friendships with others who have similar interests.

Besaw said he knows the store is a business, but making money is not his endgame.

“We have really great people who come here, and that’s what makes the shop,” he said. “It’s not the books; it’s not the statues; it’s not the games. It’s the people.”

Trivia answers from the print edition:

1. Under which comic book brand did Superman make his first appearance? (Answer: Action Comics)

2. Which superhero gave The Avengers their name? (Answer: The Wasp)

3. Captain America’s shield contains vibranium, a powerful metal. Where is vibranium found? (Answer: Wakanda)

4. According to the origin story for the Joker, what was he originally known as? (Answer: Red Hood)

5. What is the name of Wonder Woman’s birthplace? (Answer: Themyscira)

6. In what year did Iron Man make his first appearance? (Answer: 1959. His solo series would not debut until 1968.)

Sanctuary Books and Games

9400 N. MacArthur Blvd., Ste. 138, Irving


Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily