“With great power comes great responsibility” were the words by which Peter Parker remembered his late uncle Ben. However, these words hold true outside the Spider-Man universe and apply to Glynnes Pruett, owner and operator of Comic Book Hideout.
“Struggling to make a little tiny comic book store and floating on top of the water is one thing,” Pruett said. “But trying to make that into something more significant and more powerful and creating a geek hub is kind of what’s been pushing me and driving me.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton, Pruett tried a variety of jobs from nannying to working with exotic animals. However, her childhood experience selling comic books with her father motivated her to open up her own shop in 2012, a 1,000 square foot shop by the AMC Theatre.
A few months after the shop opened, Comic Book Hideout earned enough sales to expand, and the store moved to its current location on Commonwealth Avenue, a space three times the size of the first shop.
“I’m never satisfied with just being the best. I need to continuously be better and better and that’s the wonderful thing about opening your own business,” Pruett said. “In all the other jobs I did, I’d get to this place where I was like ‘Okay I’ve done this to the best of my ability, and now I’m bored so then what?’ When you own your own business, there’s never ever a dull moment.”
When she isn’t working at the shop or promoting Comic Book Hideout at conventions, on podcasts and even on the SyFy Channel, Pruett is active in the Fullerton community through her work with the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, the Fullerton School District, and Chamber of Commerce.
Pruett also gives back to the community by promoting self-expression and creativity through her comic creation program, Captivating Our Minors’ Imaginations, Creating Solutions (C.O.M.I.C.S).
“I learned to read with comic books as a little girl and I’ve been reading comic books all my life so the idea of superheroes and being a hero in your own world always fascinated me,” Pruett said. “[C.O.M.I.C.S. is] teaching kids basics in morality and decision-making and also then teaching them the art that goes along with that and creating a heroic self image through creative writing and art.”
Although there have been strides toward more female representation, the comic book industry is male-dominated for the most part. Pruett however, has not only been holding her own in this business but leading the pack with the Best Comic Book Store in Orange County award from OC Weekly two years in a row.
“To me, [being a female owner in the comic book industry] it’s only more inspiring and more encouraging, and it makes me want to kick more ass,” Pruett said. “I’m going to do my part to make sure that we’re represented in a way that’s positive. All the chicks in the comic book industry have just as much right to be here, most of the time with more skill and ability to run great stores. So I feel like it shouldn’t be uncommon, but because it is, it only gives me more incentive to be the best.”
Pruett made it her goal to create a clubhouse environment at The Hideout where anyone can feel welcome and accepted, from customers to interns and employees.
“I was going through a rough time before I took the internship and she asked me to take it and since then, I’ve been treated like family,” said intern Noely Padilla, history major. “There’s always something going on whenever you walk in.”
The Hideout holds a variety of events, including weekly pull parties, Wednesday game nights, and other fandom related events that are free and open to the public.
“I’m glad that Glynnes is trying to get Comic Book Hideout with the rest of the community and working toward this bigger deal,” said Keith Payumo, earth science major. “[The Hideout is] a good haven for kids to relax and talk to people that we’re comfortable talking to.”
For more information on Comic Book Hideout, visit their website www.comicbookhideout.com or Facebook.com/comicbookhdeout.