A SHOP owner who sells comics about superheroes has proved he has super-staying-power, by surviving three decades of high street trading.

Martin Averre became hooked on comics as a youngster and is now preparing to celebrate 30 years of selling them to enthusiasts in Colchester.

Where other stores have gone under, Ace Comics, in Culver Street East, is still thriving and has even expanded across the UK, with a branch in Southend.

Mr Averre began the business from his home in Colchester, but two years after opening, the demand for comics led him to open a shop in Military Road.

It has been in a number of locations in the town since then, including in the High Street, before settling in its current venue, which boasts a huge number of rooms selling back issues, graphic novels, action figures and even hosting a games club for youngsters during the holidays.

He said: “My brother gave me a Daredevil comic in the Sixties and that’s what got me hooked.

“The closer I got to it being 30 years, the more I realised what an achievement it is.

“I have seen big chain stores come and go and here I am. I might have moved about, but I have learnt it does not really matter where I am. We are doing just as well here as we did when we were in the High Street.”

Mr Averre is celebrating the acheivement over the weekend of Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4, with an in-store art exhibition and sale which will be hosted by long-time customer and comic art collector Nigel Blaikie.

The store has thrived due to its loyal customer base, while the business has also taken off online.

Mr Blaikie, 50, said: “I have probably spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on my collection.

“I was probably spending about £500 to £600 a month until I got married eight years ago and I am particularly interested in the art works.

“In one of the rooms of our house we have watercolours on one side and my comic art work on the other and that is worth considerably more.”

Fellow enthusiast Adraine Jones, 37, said he was happy to admit to being a “geek”.

He said: “Everyone has things they like to spend their money on. You could go and get drunk, but if you are spending your money on figures and comics you have got something that might end up being worth even more in the long run. It is an investment.

“I tend to leave the figures in the boxes to keep their value, but if I really like them sometimes I will buy two.”

Mr Averre is also holding a birthday party, which will be free but by ticket only, from 8pm on the Saturday night and a sale on back issues and graphic novels on Sunday, September 4.