Mike Gamble

Before the neon

The old sign

Is that JK?

Mid 80's Mike's

20 Year Anniversary
Willow Glen: 2050 Lincoln Ave. San Jose, CA. 95125 (408) 266-1103
hours: 11-7 | wednesday 12-8 | sunday 11-5 | map
Hijinx Comics / Mike's Coliseum: A Short History

Hijinx Comics 2003

Mike's Coliseum opened for business in 1982 and I was one of the first people to buy something from the little shop around the corner from my house. Back then, the only baseball card companies were Topps, Fleer and Donruss, and the cover price for comic books was .50 cents. A comic and sports card shop was pretty unique in San Jose in those days because it wasn't a big business at all. Mike Gamble, the owner, was in his early 20's when he opened the store and he was the kind of guy that everyone liked to be around. It wasn't long before the store became a place where regular customers and a small group of neighborhood kids would hang around during the day.

Back then, I spent a lot of my free time at the shop and it wasn't long before I became good friends with Mike. Eventually, I bought into the store with Mike and became a small partner in a growing business. In 1988, Mike decided to sell the shop and JK, one of the employees, was there to continue the tradition. For the next 14 years, the shop grew with the business, but it continued to be a place where customers and friends could go to talk about comics or cards or just hang out. In 2002, JK decided to sell the store and once again, a former employee was there to continue the business. Dan Shahin took over as owner and I remember paying him $2.50 an hour (in trade) to do odd jobs around the shop when he was a kid!

Part of the draw of the store in the early days was being able to spend time with Mike. We actually had a table with chairs around it in the middle of the floor for the sole purpose of sitting, talking and eating! That idea continued with other employees and over the years, there were some great characters working at Mike's. JK, Gary and I were the earliest employees, but you can't leave out Jeff Kelley, Bell, Frank, Billy, Kevin and of course Dan!

After 20 years, the business has completely changed! There are hundreds of different kinds of sports cards and most people can't even remember when comics were .50 cents. The thing that hasn't changed is the shop, because it's still a neighborhood place where people can go to escape and to find good conversation.

It's kind of strange to think about how long the store has been around, but a few of us gathered this summer to celebrate our 20th anniversary. I can't tell you how many memories we shared in that small shop, but I think that all of us know that the shop was (and still is) a special place. A lot of who I am today came from all the friends and customers that I met through the store and it's good to know that the shop will stay in the family, under Dan's ownership. After 20 years, I still think back to the very beginning and I still miss those early days. Even as a kid, I knew that we had something great going. I'm hoping that 20 years from now, a whole new generation will be saying the same thing.

- Steve Moorman


Dan's first job

Dr. Bell and JK

Mike and Danny

Kevin Wu hard at work

Mid 80's Mike's

The store in 1988