Superheroes draw more business to Top of Town
THERE has been nothing supernatural or miraculous about Daily Planet Comics' successful venture into the Top of Town precinct.
A resurgence of interest in the heroes and villains of the world of comic books and associated figurines has helped keep a steady flow of enthusiasts coming through its doors since the shop opened on Brisbane St in August.
Manager Terry Clayton said the Ipswich shop was still going strong almost a year later.
"We started strong and stayed up there - it has been better than we expected," Mr Clayton said.
"The popularity of certain movies (like X-Men and The Avengers) is certainly increasing public awareness of the characters and storylines of comic books. It is more on the public conscience."
The classic Batman and Spiderman comics are the best sellers in the Ipswich franchise, along with Deadpool - a Marvel Comics anti-hero who has been around since the early 1990s.
Those with no interest in comic books might be surprised to learn that people of all ages - from kids through to grandparents - have been seen sneaking into Daily Planet Comics to check out their favourite comics and figurines.
There has been a concerted effort from Top of Town business owners over the past two years to improve the appeal of the precinct.
They have tried everything from markets to Friday late-night trading to joining the street party in this year's Ipswich Festival.
Providence Modern Country owner Naomi George said she believed the efforts of business people were not going unrewarded.
"Business is improving," she said.
"For us, it is all about building the precinct and reminding people of the eclectic mix of shops on offer.
"Not only are there comics, but there are books, gifts, homewares, vintage and retro gear.
"We need to encourage people to take five minutes to walk along the street."
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the success of Ipswich's CBD businesses was dependent upon retailers and consumers maintaining a positive attitude.
"We need to have confidence in our city," Cr Pisasale said.
"Everybody has got to be part of the solution and, in the Top of Town, we've seen how they've brought so much vibrancy to it."
Accounting firm Sammut Bulow is leading the push to update the look of the Top of Town, with a $7 million redevelopment, encompassing about 4800sq m, due to be completed next month.
The project includes a multi-storey retail and office precinct incorporating the accounting business, in addition to cafes, shops and other offices.