Mystery Supply Co. started in 2021 as a creative release to utilize my art school background and graphic design skills, combined with a love for movies, shows, comics, and other things I was interested in from my youth. I love spooky and kooky pop culture!
The name is a nod to my fascination with mysterious secret passages, false bookcases and fireplaces, and hidden chambers found in old horror movies and cartoons. I love the word “mystery.” If I can supply a little mystery in people’s lives, I’ll be fulfilled.
The History of Mystery
When I was a kid, on a Saturday afternoon in the fall when the leaves were turning color, you might find me watching cartoons in the morning (when Saturday morning cartoons were an event), then watching a “Saturday Shocker” at noon on the TV station out of Detroit. The Shocker might be anything from The Blob, to Hammer Horror films, to Godzilla.
After the movie, I might gather my paper route money and ride my BMX bike the few blocks downtown to the old used bookstore that was below street level. I’d lean my bike on the rail, descend the stairs and open the squeaky door than would ring a little bell. Sometimes the proprietor would be visible – but just as often he was nowhere to be found, only emerging from the shadows when I rang a bell on the desk indicating I was ready to buy something. I’d cross the dimly lit interior past shelves of old books and move a curtain aside to reveal the back room – a room that was loaded with boxes of old comics and magazines, most for $0.50 each. This is a feeling I’d love to recreate as people discover the mysteries of Mystery Supply!
Around 1996, after getting a BFA in college, I moved to New York City, with the goal to be an artist. By chance, after answering a help wanted ad in the back of the Village Voice, I ended up working at a couple well known high-end collectible dealers selling vintage comic books, original art, and movie posters. I used to walk by the only known (and impressively large) Frankenstein six-sheet every day, and would regularly handle comic books like Amazing Spider-Man #1, Detective #27, or Action Comics #1. The items were primarily sold to wealthy patrons, including celebrities. I could never have afforded the comics, artwork, or movie posters myself.
I moved back to Michigan around 1998 and went into the relatively new field of web design and development. I got married, and for roughly the next 20 years, on through the pandemic year of 2020, I worked on building my web design business and raising a family. But the pandemic awakened old memories, and I was yearning to do something different.
In 2021, I began to use my deep skills with Photoshop to digitally restore old comic book covers, vintage horror and sci-fi movie posters, and vintage photos. That same year I opened an Etsy shop to sell high quality prints, apparel, and other gifts based on these images.
In March 2022, I started a YouTube channel by re-posting the Etsy product videos (which are 15 seconds each, no sound). These got views and subscribers, which inspired me to do more. By 2023, I’d built a subscriber base of a couple thousand people, mostly by posting ambience videos based on old Scooby-Doo cartoons. I continue to learn the art of making videos.
In August 2022, I opened my own online shop that has all the same products as the Etsy store, but would allow me to do things that I couldn’t do on Etsy.
2023 was the second “full year” of Mystery Supply Co. I’m looking forward to trying new things in 2024 and beyond.
Thanks for joining me in the secret lair behind the false bookcase!