Comic stores: your personal Fortress of Solitude

I was going to write about the non-event that was Captain America #600 (a few short stories where nothing happens, followed by a LOT of reprint material), but I’ve been thinking lately about comic stores in general.  You know how on Cheers, how everybody shouted “NORM!” when George Wendt made his appearance?  How it was a place where “everybody knows your name”?  That’s how I feel every Thursday after the day job ends, and I head over to Double Midnight.  There may be new books, there may not be; but no matter what, the gang will be there.  The people I only see once a week, that I’m happy to see and ready to debate them on the latest comics, movies, TV shows… with an intensity usually reserved for hurricanes or sessions of Parliament.  And we know, we all know that it’s all in fun and that none of this really matters.  But it does, you know?  I’ve achieved many of my lifetime goals but few gave me as much satisfaction as breaking Brett Parker down until he conceded that yes, Superman Returns is a terrible, terrible movie and it should be banned like asbestos.  Ahhh….

And I do want to give a shout out to my favorite stores:  Double Midnight, of course, here in good ol’ Manchester NH.  Family-friendly with a large gaming area; good place to drop off your kids on a Saturday afternoon.  There’s the appropriately-titled “Comic Store” in downtown Nashua NH — the largest selection of independent titles in the state, and a huge inventory of movies to boot.  Worcester MA has That’s Entertainment, a vast store with an extremely knowledgeable staff; I’m convinced that the roof is held up through sheer willpower!  Salem MA has Harrison’s Comics & Collectibles, which all comic stores should model themselves after as far as store layout.  And when in Pittsburgh PA, stop by Phantom of the Attic, where Jimmy sold me a copy of Kirby’s FOREVER PEOPLE #1 in great shape for a mere $10.00!  Also in the ‘burgh, at the end of the Strip (ask a local — they’ll know) is the mammoth monstrosity known as Eides.  Three floors — music, esoterica, and in the basement (of course!) comics.  Pure heaven.

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