History

In a previous incarnation Worlds' End Comics ( WEC for short ) used to be Betty Boop. We'll have to start there to tell the full story of what WEC has become now.

The exact date when Betty Boop was founded is a bit vague but we can make an educated guess and place it somewhere in the early 80's. In it's initial form the store was a selling point for Dutch comics and vinyl records, mostle second hand. Located in Ghent, Belgium and run by a young entrepeneur from Limburg. Since then it has changed owner two times and location only once.

The second owner who it was passed on to, only a few years after founding, would run the shop untill the summer of 1998. Hendrik, who would run the shop from then on, relocated the store from the middle of the Overpoortstreet to the location it is in now at number 110. He would start selling more new products and shift the original second hand stock to new releases. He would gradually change the store's gamma to a wide selection of Dutch and French comics, on to cardgames and collectables like posters and figurines, and eventually to US comics and Manga. The physical store also underwent some structural changes in the form of an expansion in the back of the store which then almost doubled the shopping area. Hendrik would be aided by his wife during his years of running the shop.






The third and current owner, Peter, used to be a customer in the store before he took over the business. After a casual conversation between Hendrik and himself were Hendrik stated that he was thinking of selling the business, gears started turning inside Peter's head and soon after he decided that this might just be the challenge he needed. There was just the matter of funding, which was partially possible through the support of his father. So as of juli 1998 Peter became the proud owner of what would become one of the best known US import comic shops in the country.

During the following years the store would undergo lots of transformations physically as well as the choice of products that were offered. Over the years the store would more and more become an import store for all US comic related products. The French comics would leave the store and later also the French manga and selection of anime DVD's. Dutch comics would be stocked less, except for the new releases and hit series. The choice in US comics and related products would grow and the service in subscriptions would become more elaborate and also the use of computer would facilitate the working of the store more and more. After a while board- and miniaturegames would be added to the store's selection of goods. Hand in hand with this addition the store became the main sponsor for the Ghent based gaming community, Thunderbolts.

The biggest physical transformations was set in motion after a van crashed into the store one sunday morning. Destroying the whole front window of the store and crippling sales for quite some weeks because of the boarding up of the entrance while waiting for the insurance to cover the renovation works. After renovation of the entrance, plans were made to also renovate  the inside of the store because through the years it was a constant adding of shelves and racks that lacked cohesion. The renovation that would change the inside of the store was done in 2006. The furniture would have a more uniform look and every item would have it's designated spot in the store which would make it a lot easier for customers to find what they were looking for. The counter changed from a minidesk to a huge functionally working space.

The final major transformation would come in the form of the name change of the store. This decision was made because of the 'imminent' launch of the online shop, which could have legal issues with the Betty Boop trademark, and the fact that Betty Boop became a bit outdated with the new image of the shop.

Which finally brings us to this point, this actual spot, online. Enjoy.











Peter's thanks go out to the people who helped during the years :
all the customers, the people who worked at WEC ( in no particular order :  Kevin, Abdi, Martine and Hendrik, Igor, Arnout, and my dear friends Cateline, my first customer and Nana without whose friendship and guidance I would never have had the courage to make the changes I needed to make, Martim, Paulo and Migs ), all the volunteers for the FACTS conventions, the people at USE-IT for making the digital part possible, friends and family and anyone who supported, thaugth or helped me to evolve over the years to make this project take shape, a sincerely meant : thank you!
 
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