Mark Hay said he’s been a comic book fan ever since his dad brought home a box full of superhero comics when he was a kid.

Hay admitted he doesn’t read many superhero comics anymore, but he now owns and operates Comic Asylum in Richardson.

“I’ve been reading comics since I was about 5 years old,” Hay said. “My dad had a friend who read comics, and they got together and brought a duffle bag full of comics for me. That was pretty much all I needed at that point.”

The backstory

Hay said his parents were always supportive of his love of comic books. His father was a college professor, and during summer road trips, his mother took him to comic book stores anytime they came across one in a new city.

Before opening Comic Asylum, Hay had purchased original artwork from comic book artists he admired and decided to become a comic book art dealer. Though the internet was still in its infancy at the time, Hay joined several collector email groups.

Eventually, he set up a booth selling his comic book collection at a convention, where Hay approached artist Tim Bradstreet, who has worked on comic projects such as “Star Wars,” “The Punisher” and “Spawn” and agreed to let Hay sell his art.

He continues to sell art, representing 70 comic book artists on his website

Long story short

Before opening Comic Asylum, Hay worked in human resources for an insurance company but wasn’t fulfilled by his job.

“Working in human resources, working with people and mediating disputes all the time is not something that is a lot of fun,” Hay said.

In 2004, he partnered with a comic book store owner based in Carrollton to open Comic Asylum but bought out his partner after a year.

In addition to comic books, Comic Asylum sells collectible toys; board and card games; “Dungeons and Dragons” books; manga; and, unlike many comic books, a selection of back issues.

“Owning a comic book shop has kept me up to date on comic book artists,” Hay said. “It’s worked out well.”

What’s special about it?

Comic Asylum holds official tournaments for the following card games:
  • Magic the Gathering
  • Yu Gi Oh
  • Pokemon
  • Disney Lorcana
  • One Piece
Comic Asylum

905 N. Jupiter Road, Ste. 170, Richardson