Couple celebrate 25 years of comic book success in Shrewsbury

Zombies, star signings and give-aways in store for birthday bonanza

The zombie apocalypse came to Shrewsbury, when a couple who set up their own comic book business celebrate a quarter of a century in business.

To mark the 25th birthday of Infinity & Beyond, shoppers were given the chance to have photos taken with the undead in a special ‘bio-hazard’ zone at Shrewsbury’s Darwin Shopping Centre, while renowned artist Charlie Adlard – famed for his work on the best-selling Walking Dead books – was at the store to meet fans and sign books as part of the celebrations.

“We’ve held a birthday bash each year since we first opened, but this is by far the biggest and best we’ve ever organised,” said Infinity & Beyond’s Paul Martin, who together with his partner Tracey Preston set up the business as a mail order service on 10 June, 1991. “We had an incredible bio-hazard zone populated by zombies next door to the shop, and arranged some first-class signings to say a huge thanks to our loyal customers.”

In March 1992, Paul and Tracey opened their first shop – in Fish Street – as the mail order business boomed. “We moved into the Darwin centre just a year ago and haven’t looked back since,” said Paul, who together with Tracey lives in Bayston Hill. “We’ve had a great first 12 months here and as this is the 25th anniversary of our business we wanted to do something really special.”

Charlie Adlard, a long-time friend of the couple and artist on the world-famous Walking Dead series, is lending his support by making a special appearance at the event, while Judge Dredd and 2000AD illustrator Dylan Teague and Dr Who, DC and Marvel artist Mike Collins gave fans the chance to have comics and memorabilia signed.

They also held a special raffle for customers, giving customers a ticket for every £10 they spend, with the chance to win one of 25 prizes. As well as holding the raffle draw on the day itself, the first 25 customers that spent more than £25 were given a special goodie bag containing an exclusive front cover sketch by Charlie.

Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury Shopping Centre Manager, said the birthday bash was a day to remember.