The Ogre’s Grove, at 129 Union Street in Milton, opened on the birthday of the Ogre himself.
Justin Sinnott turned 36 on Oct. 21.
“I’ve always been a large dude,” he said. “I was six foot four and 220 pounds by age 14. With my friends, I was always the ‘ogre’ of the group.”
Sinnott moved to Milton from the Ocean City area in 2010. The comic book store was made possible by Union Street’s unique zoning - the Ogre’s Grove is actually part of the family home.
Just down the street, the Milton Theatre has been promoting the arts, encouraging everyone to “Keep Milton Weird,” and Sinnott feels like the town is a market ripe for comics.
“With Milton being so far away from other [comic book] stores, it felt like the right fit, like it was a missed market,” he said.
The store features comics from the 1980s onward, games, toys and collectibles. While Sinnott is getting new issues of standards like Batman and Superman in weekly, the majority of comics for sale at the Ogre’s Grove are from his personal collection.
“You’ll find all the main titles - D.C. and Marvel stuff - and some indie stuff, from the ‘80s to mid-2000s,” he said. “And we’ll have new books coming in every Wednesday.”
Sinnott’s grandmother bought him his first comic book: “Wolverine” #2.
“That was the one the leapt out at me,” Sinnott said. He keeps it in a glass case at the Ogre’s Grove. “It’s not a high dollar book, but it’s sentimental.”
Another of Sinnott’s major comic book influences was “Swamp Thing,” a character from numerous D.C. Comics storylines that has never had a successful comic book run of its own.
“It’s a book that’s so ahead of its time,” he said. “It was heavy on the social activism and nature conservation and things like that. It’s a really deep book, but I think it got passed over because it was also a horror book.”
Though the store has taken up most of his time recently, Sinnott said the last thing he read that really made him “geek out,” as he put it, was a “Green Lantern”/”Planet of the Apes” crossover.
On top of collecting and selling comics, Sinnott and his nephew, Skye Cramner of Milford, have written their own comic and are searching for the right artist to bring it to life. That shouldn’t be very hard, since Ogre’s Grove’s walls feature new area artists monthly.
The Ogre’s Grove is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Check out Sinnott’s blogs and get more information about the store at ogresgrove.com. The store will be at the inaugural Ocean City Comic Con Dec. 9 at Grand Hotel and Spa. Find out more about at oceancitycomiccon.com.