In my desire to spotlight local businesses that are worth checking out, I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Barsotti, owner of CK Comics and Collectibles. In the heart of downtown Manitou Springs, CO, CK Comics is one of the oldest Comic Books Stores in the Colorado Springs area.
We met at Swirl Wine Bar, then headed next door to CK. It is evident Michael really knows his business, and I’m excited to share his story with you.
Michael opened CK Comics in 2012 and sold it in 2017. He has recently taken it over again and hopes to make some worthwhile changes. He has plans to get a shipment of new comics every week, and would like to partner with the local school district. One thing he’d like to accomplish is a comic book lending library through the schools.
He would also like to implement reading and art programs, as well as drawing programs. According to Barsotti, comic books are just storyboards. If you know film, when you’re making a movie, you do storyboards. That creates your shots for everything you’re going to do. That’s why comic books are good to make movies out of because you’ve already got your storyboards. It’s also why movies love comic books.
Interview with Michael Barsotti, Comic Book Store Owner
So, Michael. What does CK offer to the public? We offer pop culture. It doesn’t have to be comic books. It can be movies, it can be music. You don’t have to be into comics to come into CK. Pop culture is what defines us as a people. As any people, it doesn’t matter what country you’re from. Life imitates art. Art imitates life. So our comic book store offers art.
Are you still going to offer figurines? Yes, we will offer a lot of them.
How did CK Comics start? I knew I was going to open a comic book store, I just didn’t know where. This was originally an antique store. That wasn’t my jam, but comic books were my thing. I’m an artist. I grew up on comic books. It was a natural progression.
You’re going to re-open Heroes Hollow. What kinds of foods will you offer? Snacks, beer, wine. Anything that doesn’t need to be cooked. We’ll probably have ice cream. And I’ll bring back pizza.
What’s your favorite part of the store? Metaphorically I would have to say that being down here reminds me of my parents. It reminds me of my mom and my dad and the antique store. My dad is the one who got me into comic books as the way to get me into reading.
How did you come up with the name of the store? I wanted something catchy and I wanted to pay homage to my parents. CK was Charles and Katherine, my parents’ names.
What are you selling? Everything – clothes, records, music, comics, art, toys.
What kind of comic books do you carry? Some of my favorite comic books are independent comic books that have nothing to do with super heroes. I’ve been telling everyone, read “Y: The last Man” by Brian K. Vaughn.
It’s so relevant to what’s going on right now. Long story short, it’s about a pandemic that kills every male on the planet of every species. Except the main character . . . and his monkey. But it’s brilliant. It’s in my top three favorite comics of all time. As a matter of fact, everything by Brian K. Vaughn is brilliant. You should read all of his works.
Michael goes on to read a quote from The Matrix: Don’t try to bend the spoon; that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. The spoon does not exist.
Someone standing nearby said, “This guy is definitely a comic book store owner if he’s using Matrix quotes like that!”
We spent a lovely afternoon together. Next time you’re in Manitou Springs, be sure to stop in and say ‘hello.’ Tell him Mimi sent you. 😉