Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
The troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name
Hello everyone! In this issue of Comics, Culture, & More I want to hit on a place so magical, so gracious, a structure so grand, it is marveled all over the world…the comic shop. The comic shop holds memories so grand that recollecting said memories bring smiles of good memories of great times. I remember growing up in Norfolk and I couldn’t wait to go to Trilogy (which I still go to) and Atomic Comics (RIP). My parents were usually cool with me taking my time to dig through boxes, or talking with folks that I would see when I came in. Sometimes I would hop on my bike and ride to the shop. Those times were awesome cause I had no time limit, and would take my time and soak it all in. Seeing Amazing Spider-Man #129 behind the counter and seeing it shine in all its glory or digging through the long boxes and finding that one issue needed to close a story arc, or maybe it’s the smell of the shop itself. You know that smell of old paper, like that old book smell. Old comics have their own smell and that smell is a vehicle that will take you a different time and place.
As I write this issue, I’m 13 years old and I’m at Atomic Comics in Norfolk, VA. I’m putting my copy of Previews on the counter, so I browse the shelves and see what awaits me in the long boxes. Growing up in the Hampton Roads area, we are completely spoiled when it comes to comic shops. We’ve always had around 10 shops in our area that have their own unique draw to them. Some are bigger, some have more stock, and some have nicer employees, but the one thing they all have in common is the safety and comfort that comes with being at the comic shop.
To this day, I have some great friends that I met in shops in other states and still talk with them. Whether we met through gaming or just striking up a random conversation about books we’ve built relationships that have proven to be stronger than The Avengers on any given day. 2010 was a particularly rough year, and I remember going to my local shop after taking an emotional sabbatical and being welcomed with open arms and reassuring words that life was going to be ok. To this day, that is one of my favorite memories of any shop that I have been to. I’m lucky enough to still talk most of those superheroes. Unfortunately, there’s one who cannot read this, but I’m sure he’s still playing his King Hyperion led Heroclix team against my team of scientists lead by Dr. Strange, and I’m getting obliterated as usual. There’s no better place than the comic shop. The feeling of being an adult and getting to still patronize the shop that you grew up on is amazing and truly a great feeling. Getting to take your daughter to that very same shop, is priceless. If I can spark conversation and maybe give birth to new thoughts, that would be great. If not, that’s OK, because we’re still going to have fun. These are my thoughts, and this is me.
Comics, Culture, & More…A Personal Journey pt. 3
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