Diamond Comics CEO Steve Geppi reunited with his first store sign

Steve Geppi’s first shop sign from 1974 is a testament to the humble origins that led to a comic book empire and, later, Geppi’s ownership of America’s first pop culture auction house, Hake’s. Image courtesy of Scoop

BALTIMORE – Through connections and chance encounters in his home city of Baltimore, Diamond Comic Distributors’ CEO Steve Geppi was reunited with his original hand-painted store front sign. The Geppi’s Comic World sign that advertises old and new comic books that are “bought-sold-traded,” dates back to 1974.

After the sign was returned to Geppi, the news was shared via social media. Geppi shared his reaction to what happened on Facebook, thanking his first landlord Charlie Hansen and his wife Miriam, who preserved the sign. “It is truly a piece of my, and the comic book industry’s history! Many customers, and more than that, friends, that visited that little store are still so special to me today. I cherish every memory I had, and wish I could do it all over again,” Geppi wrote.

He went on to thank Jamie Ziccardi for helping him get the sign back, “A very special thanks to Jamie Ziccardi for surprising me with this incredible gift! Words cannot capture my appreciation! This brought tears of happiness to my eyes!”

Geppi closed his post by writing, “Lastly, I’d like to thank every customer who ever supported me in those fledgling days as a comic book retailer. Many of you have gone on to bigger and better things and are still involved in the comic book industry. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my family for their loyal support on this incredible journey!”

Geppi’s collectibles-based empire also includes America’s first pop culture auction house, Hake’s.

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Thanks to our good friends at Scoop for sharing this story with us.