Comic books and collectibles shop to celebrate grand opening in Dearborn Heights

9 Planets is opening its first retail location, and it's a partnership between two local aficionados: John Eggenberger and Ben Sobolewski, of the and 9 Planets businesses, respectively. The retail location operates under the 9 Planets brand.

A grand opening celebration is being held at the new comics and collectibles shop, which is renting its space inside the Asylum Collectibles building on Van Born Road, on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Eggenberger and Sobolewski met over their shared love for comic books. Their shop will feature comics reaching back to the Silver Age and up to the present, as well as action and wrestling figures.

It's a bit of a redemption story for Eggenberger, who, in 2009, was laid off from his job as a bricklayer. Faced with the task of supporting his family, Eggenberger sat down with his pastor at Redford Aldersgate United Methodist Church. A brainstorming session resulted in Eggenberger's pastor suggesting that he hold a small comic book show in the church basement.

The humble event was a success, and soon grew from there. Eggenberger has since expanded his comics convention to include events in nine cities and four university campuses.

"I just started bringing in local artists and other guests; Cosplay contests," Eggenberger says. "I brought big show events to smaller shows, and a lot of people liked it."

Partnering with 9 Planets and taking up residence at Asylum will allow Eggenberger an easy opportunity to promote his conventions, and all while having fun. After all, comic books should be fun, he says.

The grand opening party will follow that line of thinking, with appearances from the Rebel Alliance Star Wars group, local comic book publishers, and maybe a surprise guest or two.

"This is kind of a dream retirement job for me," says Eggenberger. "I get to sit there and read comics all day. And maybe sell them every once in a while."

9 Planets is located in the Asylum Collectibles building at 20702 Van Born Rd. in Dearborn Heights.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.