by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor

   Arv Warstler, owner and operator of the long-time Funny Pages Hobbies store, located at 113 N. Washington St. in Owosso, has announced he is retiring. However, Warstler is completely embracing the new transition in his life and is excited for a positive future. After The Game Store opened in Owosso not quite a year ago, Warstler started contemplating reaching out to the owners/operators of that business, recognizing that the store he owns has a lot more room to offer. Eventually, he connected with Chad Erway and Damian Meszko from The Game Store – also connected to the Gamer’s Sanctuary on Miller Road in Flint – the three came to the conclusion that moving into the Funny Pages location was a very logical and productive step. The plan is a merger of sorts, with Warstler stepping into the background to enjoy retirement while leasing his building to a younger group who still have a passion for pursuing the gaming and comic business. The new store will now be called Funny Pages Comics and Games – a nod to the success of the Funny Pages brand that has been successful and loved by generations. Warstler brings his location, his business name and reputation, his comics and his core group of gamers to the table in the arrangement. The Game Store will offer their enthusiasm for continuing the business, bringing their own gamers in, as well. It is a “win-win” for all participants. It is hoped the transition will be in place by early September.

   Warstler, who grew up in Durand, began his hobby business over thirty years ago in Chesaning, where he and his family lived at the time. His passion was and is model railroading, but what has helped Warstler to survive is his ability to see where hobby trends are going and meet his current clientele’s needs. Eventually, he moved his business to Owosso, relocating five times before finally purchasing his building on N. Washington Street 16-years ago. Funny Pages has always offered comics to a highly dedicated readership. Along with that came model railroading, model rockets, metal detectors, skateboards and many other hobby areas.

   Gaming has returned to Shiawassee County, particularly Owosso, in an enormous way, with interested persons of all ages becoming involved in full-scale tournaments or lengthy campaigns. One aspect of the Funny Pages business that Warstler has always offered is a positive open-door policy to the community and to his gamers. Teens and young adults are simply accepted as themselves and welcomed into groups where they compete, mostly for fun, making friendships that last for years. Gamers from decades back will return to Funny Pages, bringing in their children to introduce them to a hobby. It often comes full circle and Warstler has continuously encouraged and supported his hobby enthusiasts – and they remember it. Forever.

   Currently, Warstler has some remaining cases for sale, along with a variety of art supplies, as he prepares for the turn over. He shared that the Game Store will have a more uniform look, utilizing their own cases and gaming tables, since they are marketing toward growth with merchandisers and the comic con/hobby con market, which has become exponentially large in recent years.

   “It’s become like milking cows,” Warstler said, referencing the previous few years in the business. “I’m very much looking forward to life like everyone else lives. Just waking up and making my plans for the day. I have great health. I have confidence that this is just going to work out for everyone.”

Funny Pages – Comics, Games and the Gift of Community was last modified: July 29th, 2019 by Karen Elford