Booth Blog: Rob Gustaveson, Vendor #230

This month’s featured vendor is Rob Gustaveson, #230, who has proudly been selling comic books for 47 years! He has been with the Emporium for almost as long as they have been open. Rob has always had a deep passion for comic books; we asked him to give us a little background of his lifelong devotion to the genre.


Rob says, “As a kid I loved comics. I was hooked on Superman DC comics and Marvel comics until about the age 15 when I got into EC comics from the 1950s.” Rob says he owned a comic book store by the name of Ninth Nebula between 1986 and 1996 in the San Fernando Valley in California. Gustaveson earned a BA in Journalism, “Which came in handy when I was marketing and doing PR and throwing autograph parties with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Dave Stevens, Harlan Ellison, Larry Niven, George Clayton Johnson, Sergio Aragones,” and many other comic book industry professionals.


At the age of 47, Rob left California for Seattle, and then on to Oregon, bringing with him at least 50,000 back issues of a library once holding 250,000 comic books! It’s what’s left of his library that he is now passionately selling to others that hold the same interest he does. Rob sells mostly online at His stock at the Emporium is a small sampling of what he has. Currently, his library is brimming with copies of Avengers, X-men, Batman, Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Superman, Hulk, Thor, Captain America and many independent titles. Feel free to inquire with Rob about a comic that you might be coveting! If he has it, the folks at the front desk can facilitate the sale for you.


Rob is proud to say that he, “Once owned all the Marvels in perfect mint,” explaining that a copy of the Amazing Fantasy #15 (the 1st Spider-man) sold for $1.1 million, but his own copy sold for “a mere $600 many years ago.” Rob says, “I am deeply grateful the Ashland Artisan Emporium lets me sell my comics and other collectibles in their fine store.”


And we couldn’t let this opportunity pass without sharing one of Rob’s favorite memories, “I owned a New Age bookstore for a year in 1978, and the comics helped pay the rent. One time Robin Williams roller skated into my place and bought $230 worth of New Age books and art books.”


So come see what Rob has laid out for you in the very back of the Emporium!


“Some of the art and stories are ahead of their time – yet timeless, for all ages.”


Rob Gustaveson


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Ashland Artisan Emporium

The Ashland Artisan Emporium is owned by Michelle Christian, wife and mother of 3 daughters. Her husband, Travis, is the business manager for Adroit Construction in Ashland, Oregon. The Emporium was the vision of Michael Rydbom, Michelle's father. In April of 2010, Michael asked his daughter if she would be willing to help transform the old DJ's Video space into a crafter's marketplace. Michelle had always admired her dad's entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to make him proud, so even though she already had two kids, a real estate career and one more daughter on the way, she said yes. On November 1, 2010, the store opened it's doors to a welcome reception from the community. They were voted Best New Business of 2010 only months later by the Ashland Sneak Preview. Within weeks of opening, the store was at capacity and had quickly become the "go-to" store for all things unique and affordable.

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