Illusive Comics and Games in Santa Clara’s Franklin Mall is a colorful, magical world where everybody is welcome and anybody can be a comic book superhero — or villain. And on July 14, Bastille — or Independence — Day in France (like the U.S. 4th of July), comic fans can be real heroes.
As it turns out, Count Dracula isn’t the only one who needs blood to live. Illusive Comics is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to save the lives of local people. The mobile blood unit will be parked at Jackson and Benton Streets, at one end of the Saturday Farmers’ Market.
“Don’t give your blood to zombies or vampires — give it to humans,” said Illusive Comics and Games founder, co-owner and CEO Anna Warren Cebrian. “Be a real hero.”
The comic book store sponsors one charity event each month. It sponsors blood drives several times a year, and 15 units were donated at Illusive Comic’s January blood drive. The store also accepts dollar donations to the Red Cross.
Reserve a blood donation time online at www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter the sponsor code: IllusiveComics. Then, to expedite giving, on July 14 visit www.RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete pre-donation reading and health history questions.
“When you give or receive blood, it doesn’t matter what skin color you are,” said Cebrian, a Bay Area native and graduate of Whittier College, Whittier, with an MBA from the University of Phoenix. “It’s important for us to be a community spot known as a safe place for everyone — from special needs or LGBTQ to just scared. Everybody can come here and know that they are welcome.”
In 2017, Illusive Comics and Games was one of the top five finalists — out of 3,000 comic book stores worldwide — for the Will Eisner “Spirit of Comics” Retailer Award at Comic-Con International in San Diego. It was named the best comic book store in the Bay Area for 2015, 2016 and 2017 by www.sf.cityvoter.com.
The comic book retail store, where regular customers are known by name, was judged for the Spirit of Comics Award on its community outreach, marketing skills, diversity of comics in stock, sales volume, the uniqueness and cleanliness of the store, and its spirit of welcome to all.
Illusive Comics and Games (www.illusivecomics.com) moved from a previous Santa Clara location in 2016, doubling its size at 1270 Franklin Mall. A tribute to the store’s popularity, $17,171 was raised by the store’s customer base to assist with the more than $50,000 cost of converting the new space from a beauty school to a cool comic book venue.
Isle of Gamers, a second store, focuses entirely on board games and is just two miles away at 2770 El Camino Real, in the Moonlite Shopping Center. Tabletop games can be purchased, played at the store or rented to go.
At the Franklin Mall store, “Anyone who donates to the blood drive will be part of a special sale on July 14,” said Cebrian. “Cookies and juice will be available, too.”
Vampires are welcome.