Bartelt owned All In Books with her husband, Mike Bartelt. The two started selling books online in 1999 and then opened the brick and mortar store. Mike Bartelt died on February 18 of heart complications from Marfan syndrome.
“When my husband passed away, I sat down and went through it all, and there’s no way I could run the whole business on my own without him,” Bartelt said.
Throughout his life, Mike Bartelt had a passion for comics and collected thousands of comics.
“He was a great collector of comics from the age of five until his death at 55,” she said.
“He gave me my dream, which was a used bookstore, and we were just starting his dream by selling comics at the flea market and coming up with different ideas when he passed away. I decided that doing the comic book part would be a way to pay tribute to him, ”she said.
She also wanted to keep the name “All In”. In times of health problems, the couple would say “I’m all for” to each other.
Bartelt said the comic book store would sell retro-issued comics with “everything from the Golden Age to the Silver and Bronze Age to the Modern Age.” For now, she doesn’t focus on new releases, but plans to sell comics a few months after their release date.
Bartelt already owns around 100 boxes of comics at the Necedah flea market where they previously sold comics and plans to order books to maintain inventory.
Although she didn’t know much about comics before, Bartelt took what she calls a “comic book crash course.” She learned more with the help of her husband’s cousin and friends.
Bartelt rents an office across from All In Books at 115 North Main St.
The store is online, but those who live in the area can schedule an hour to pick up purchased comics. She also plans to continue ordering books for town residents if needed.