NORTH ARLINGTON, NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) – Across the street from the Holy Cross Cemetery is a home for immortal characters.
The heroes, villains, and creatures line the shelves at Paradox Comics, a Bergen County gathering place for comic book fans of all ages.
Carol Manthey and her husband John opened the shop almost three decades ago, and their collection hasn't stopped expanding.
Staff often send private messages to individual customers to notify them of a shipment from their favorite illustrator. The familiarity among staff and regulars creates lasting bonds.
"People that I saw when they were ten, 15 years old are now married and have children, and they come back," Carol said.
John has experienced health setbacks, and when he can't make it to work, Carol perseveres at the helm.
"Everybody's been open to helping," she said. "And we have good workers. All the people that work for us were former customers of ours."
Shoppers connect over their shared passion, some stopping by to chat and staying for hours.
"You get a lot of animated conversations, too, because people take both sides of a story," Carol said.
In addition to its community atmosphere, Paradox has earned a reputation for carrying hard-to-find items, including comic books from independent creators and variant covers from major franchises.
"The key is to keep everything and never throw anything out," Carol said. "Another key is to know what your customers like."
269 Ridge Rd
North Arlington, NJ 07031
What's something few people know about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The Dig. Join her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.
for more features.