Anyone familiar with Star Trek knows the redshirts are security officers that accompany the main characters and are quick to die during battle scenes.

In Port Jefferson, the new Red Shirt Comics shop is for the ordinary person — the everyday foot soldier of life looking to escape the hustle, says shop owner Josh Darbee.

“Who are the redshirts?” said Darbee. “They are those guys who just want to get through their 9 to 5.”

Darbee, 37, said the time was right to bring a comic book shop to Port Jefferson sudden growth in the popularity of comic books.


Growing up in Bayport, Darbee would visit comic books shops elsewhere on Long Island. Above all, he enjoyed the escape from reality, as well as the craftsmanship of the narratives.

“I have passion for the product and stories,” he said.

That all propelled him to leave his corporate job in retail to pursue a dream of owning his own business. On May 6, Darbee opened at 322 Main Street, which, he says, is a great place for a business to thrive.

“[Port Jeff] is a very welcoming community with a lot of people here that care about each other,” he said.

When scouting locations for his venture, Darbee wanted an area with a lot of foot traffic to draw in a maximum amount of who want to learn and enjoy comics the way he does.

Darbee said his store boasts a friendly atmosphere and welcomes new readers.

“I want people to be able to come and talk about these stories and ask questions and learn,” he said.

To that end, the first Wednesday of every month he runs a book club where he discusses stories and themes of selected comics. Red Shirt also sells items like toys, games, statues and apparel.

Top: Red Shirt Comics owner Josh Darbee in front of his statue display case last week. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito) 

Josh Darbee (in red) at the Red Shirt Comics ribbon cutting last month. (courtesy)