TYLER — Ground Zero Comics has a lot to celebrate. The Tyler comics and gaming store has been in business for three decades.

Co-owner Tonya Seigler said the family-owned business has been going strong since 1993.

“Our business is split between comics and games,” she said. “On the comic’s side, we offer one of the largest selections of back issues in Texas as well as new issues, a large selection of graphic novels, collecting supplies and accessories. On the games side of the store we focus these days on miniature games such as Warhammer 40,000 and BattleTech.

“We also hosted the first Magic the Gathering and Pokemon tournaments in the area and have hosted a variety of game tournaments over the years.”

Seigler said Ground Zero Comics has been driven by bringing customers a “sense of wonder” since opening 30 years ago.

“These days, it seems one of the hardest things to retain is your sense of wonder — that thrill of encountering your first superhero, the joy of first discovering ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Star Trek’ or learning to master a great game,” she said. “Restoring that sense of wonder has always been our primary mission at Ground Zero.”

Seigler said there have been several changes in the comic world since the business opened.

“The biggest change is how mainstream comics and other nerd properties have become. People are often surprised how many movies are based on comics, not just the obvious Avengers and Batman movies, but films like ‘Road to Perdition’ and ‘V for Vendetta,’ ” she said. “It’s become hard to escape the huge influence that comics have had on popular culture.”

However, Seigler said some items never lose their appeal.

“Hard to believe that the Pokemon card game has been around for over 20 years now, but it is currently more popular than ever,” she said. “Ultimately it is still about the escape both comics and games provide.”

Seigler joked that although many people are unfamiliar with the world of comics and games, she hopes that Ground Zero Comics can shed a light on all it has to offer.

“We’re really nothing at all like ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ ” she said.

Ground Zero Comics is at 2744 East Fifth Street in Tyler.

For information, visit the Ground Zero Comics Facebook page or call (903) 566-1185.

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Multimedia journalist Jessica Payne covers several counties in East Texas. In 2011, she left her hometown Houston for East Texas. In 2016, she left the 9-5 office routine to pursue a passion for sharing inspiring stories and engaging with the community.