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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nerd Cave ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

My comic shop is the best. They're well stocked, clean, girlfriend and kid friendly, and all around awesome guys. They do great things like put your comics aside, give you a free trade for every ten that you buy, recommend good stuff that you may not of thought of reading, and have signings by pros such as Marc Waid, Geoff Johns, and Steve Niles on an almost monthly basis. They'll even insult you and what you buy, but in that "Thanks for being our customer" kind of way. If you're ever in Van Nuys, CA, stop by and check them out:

Earth 2 Comics

However, if you're ever in say......Oxnard, CA and.....you're hankering for some comics.....keep driving and go to Ralph's Comic Corner in Ventura which is only a few miles down the road and oh so much better than.....Michael's Comic Book Shop.

Bored at work, my friend Tony and I decided to drive down the street and visit this comic shop deep in the 'Nard. That's what we call Oxnard 'round here. After getting us lost, Tony finally had us arrive safely only after a verbal berating from yours truly. As we pulled up, there was a weird sense of tension and anticipation in the air. Much like many great explorers that came before us, we were eager to see what hidden treasures possibly lied behind that glass door. As Short Round landed the Honda Civic upon foreign soil, I(I'm playing Indy on this one) stepped out and surveyed the store front with the same caution and courage one would display when gazing upon the Amazonian entrance to what was to be uncertain doom...

Tony: Here it is.
Spencer: This place is fucking ghetto.
Tony: Yeah. Right next to an army navy store, too.
Spencer: Sweet. We can stock up on camoflauge while we're here.
Tony: Let's go inside.

Michael's Comic Book Shop? Stuck in 1996. And it was more of a baseball card and crap shop, really. The comics were ugly things that were hidden in the back. They had all the new stuff, but not as plentiful as you would expect, which was either laid out on a table or on some crappy racks. On the wall, you could see a Rogue's Gallery of comics with hologram covers marked up to $20 with post it notes on them that said "50% off." Imagine the excitement of comic book fans as they finally track down an affordable copy of Cyblade # 1 for only ten bucks. How do they stay in business?!

In a secret hallway slash comic rack section(I say secret because it was like this side thing that was a bit hidden from the rest of the store) they had what was a comic book rack that was exactly like you would have seen them back in '96! Hellina? Check! Nicienza and Robertson's New Warriors? Check! Babe Version Cover Of Crappy Extreme Studios Liefeld Comics? Triple Check!!! It was both ugly and beautiful to behold at once.

Now, the good part? They had a good selection of Graphical Novels. Not Trade Paperbacks, GRAPHIC NOVELS. You know, comics that were made just for the format, like the Scorpio Connection Hardback. They also had a good selection of Prestige Format mini-series like Chaykin's Blackhawk, Nick Fury VS. Shield and a bunch of Punisher stuff. Not the best stuff out there, but things that are definitely on my radar of books I need to read. Got me the Arthur Adam's Longshot trade.

And the dollar bins, they weren't your usual treasure hunting type of dollar bins. No, they had a lot newer, cooler stuff in there, such as the Jack Staff # 1-3, Losers # 2-9, and Intimiates # 1-3, all which I purchased. Again, not books that I was immediately turned on to, but something that I would probably check out one of these days. I also saw the first 4 issues of Batman: Dark Victory, which made Ryan shit himself at practice the other night.

The total price for all this stuff? 20 bucks.

So yeah. Nerd Caves. The kind of places that make you say "If only I was in charge around here..." Go explore one today and plunder that shit.


Jodi said...

I do apologize for exploiting your hometown's misery for my artistry. Honestly, it is terrible and I hope you didn't lose your home or anything. That's the thing about fire. It's so beautiful, but so horrible and destructive at the same time.

thekelvingreen said...

So I was out in Rhode Island with the missus, taking her sister to college. She was moving in, so me and the wife had a day to look around Providence, and of course we went to their mall. There was a comic shop there, in the mall! Egad! It was called John's Comics or something, but something that definitely said "comics" and just "comic" nothing else. So in I go. DVDs. Okay. Comics further back, perhaps. That's fine. Get people in with DVDs, sell them some comics. Past that, rack and racks of... CDs. Okay. How about in that corner? Action figures. That corner? Plushies.

Any comics at all in this shop that has "COMICS" written above the door in large colourful letters? Actually, no.

Which really has little to do with your story, but I've needed to get that off my chest for a while now, cheers.

Spencer Carnage said...

Its ok, Kelvin. Some wounds take time to heal. Here's a comic book horror story from Ian Brill in my home town of all places. It really is that bad.