The Last Page is a comic book store in downtown Starkville which, for the last year and a half, has sold comics and other forms of memorabilia for all who may be interested.
Skyland Thompson, owner of The Last Page, said she believes around 75% of the customers of The Last Page are college students.
Though comic books are The Last Page’s main focus, it is not just a comic book store. Viraj Patel, a worker at the store and computer science graduate student, said the store also sells figurines, Magic: The Gathering cards, Dungeons & Dragons essentials and other memorabilia. Patel said the store even has a smaller used book section with a variety of genres.
Though most of the merchandise is new, Patel noted Bob Thompson, Skyland Thompson’s father, is also selling his personal collection at the moment. These consist of older comic issues that are priced around 75 cents per comic.
Skyland Thompson said she opened the comic book store about a year and a half ago.
“I was in the military before I came to Starkville, and before that, my dad has owned two comic book stores in the past. So, I kind of grew up in comic book stores reading comic books,” Thompson said.
Thompson said she quickly realized by joining the military she had drastically less access to the comic books she enjoyed. As a result, when she got out of the military she knew what she wanted to do.
“There wasn’t a place in Starkville to do comic books. So, I figured it was a good place to start,” Thompson said.
The Last Page has several unique aspects, including a very friendly face that greets customers. This friendly face is that of the owner’s dog, which is in the store as much as Skyland Thompson is.
Patel said the comic book store is unique in other ways too, adding something different to Starkville’s environment.
“We didn’t have this a year and a half ago, and when they opened, it was the greatest thing that happened while I was here,” Patel said. “I was just playing video games in my room and now I have somewhere to hang out on the weekends.”
Logan Cummins, another worker at The Last Page and a computer science graduate student, said the comic book store offers a way to bring the community together.
“You just have somebody else to talk about this kind of stuff with because everybody coming in here will inevitably read something somebody else has read. You definitely get a sense of connection with people,” Cummins said.
Cummins added the store has built an entire community which, without it, would not have been possible.
“I think it’s a good escape for college students who probably couldn’t afford other things. It’s less intensive than reading novels and things like that, but it’s also just as engaging,” Skyland Thompson said.
Bob Thompson said the store sells mainstream titles such as Marvel and DC, along with other popular publishers. Bob Thompson also said the store special orders upon request.
“A lot of people don’t realize there’s probably about 1,500 comics that come out every month,” Bob Thompson said.
Comics are typically sold around $5 a piece, not including special issues that are generally longer and part of specific editions. These longer comics tend to range from $7 to $10.
Thompson said although selling comics is the focus, the store also hosts events. There is a board game night every Friday, as well as Magic The Gathering most weekends. The store also hosts Dungeons & Dragons tournaments occasionally. These plans are all posted on the store's Facebook page.