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Thread: Tell me about your old Comic Book haunts

  1. #1
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    Tell me about your old Comic Book haunts

    I'm sure I've made a thread like this a million times in the past no need to repost old threads .. I get it, --- I don't remember current stuff as much as some still

    Was just remembering my favorite comic book store --- CAP'S COMIC CALVALCADE

    First place I ever heard of a sci-fi convention ---

    Was never a comic reader but sold me plenty of sci-fi models that were impossible to find (garage kits)

    Kid in a candy store - was I

    Today they are long gone and most likely forgotten

    Do you have a comic place like this ?
    .................................................. .......................

  2. #2
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    yeah, my place was Iron Vic's. it was a little corner store but it was magical to mini me. he relocated across the river at one point and tried to make a better go in a college town before closing up altogether

  3. #3
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    My favorite store Comix Connection is still open in York, PA, though they've moved to different locations over the years.

    One store I have fond memories of, but also tinged with a little sadness...

    Captain Blue Hen was a store in Lancaster. The owner was a teacher and I think he originally started out in Delaware. He bought an old church building in Lancaster for a second location; don't remember the date he opened that one, but it was probably the mid 1980s. It was very creepy, though. The owner rented out the top floor (one time it was to a dance studio, so you would hear them stomping around the whole time you were shopping) and kept the comic store in the basement and you had to go down these dimly lit cement steps to go in. Oddly enough, he didn't carry any new issues that I can ever remember, though it's possible he had initially and just stopped in later years. It was room after room of back issues, and random stuff he bought over the years. He had a room full of 50 cent books and I remember pulling some good stuff out of there, including an Amazing Spider-man 129 (that would have been in the late 1980s).

    Going there was always a treat, though, because I managed to find some gems because he had so much inventory. I remember things like him having tons and tons of copies of old collector/speculator stuff like Byrne's Man of Steel mini-series. He had all kinds of weird sci-fi mags, random oddities like old comic strip printing plates, and just a lot of old school collector stuff. One of the last things I bought there was a set of Third Eye greeting cards at least ten years ago. I also remember one of the last times I shopped there, they put my purchases in a shopping bag that had a promo for a Justice League crossover event that came out in 1987; this would have been around 2015 or so.

    Over the years, it unfortunately deteriorated. I think his store probably peaked in the 1980s and then went through a long slow decline after that. It often seemed more like he was just storing the books there and not really trying to sell anything and apparently he kept acquiring more and more even though there weren't that many comics being sold. First, the store hours were cut, then it seemed like maintenance wasn't being done to the building, so the basement smelled musty. There were cobwebs and then the basement seemed to flood and you'd be walking on the carpet and hearing it squish from the moisture. The fifty cent room was a bunch of unbagged books and they just became rattier and rattier and yellower and yellower over the years as people leafed through them. He ran a sale for a few years to try to reduce inventory, but the problem was his books were starting to suffer in that environment and they'd still be priced at mint prices, so the discount wasn't worth it. I stopped going because I was finding less and less and it just wasn't worth it with the hit and miss store hours.

    Last year, another local shop had a giant warehouse sale with several hundred long boxes of back issue comics. Turns out, the owner of Captain Blue Hen had unfortunately passed away, and this was his inventory after it had been picked clean by a couple other comic book dealers. The sale ran for a few months at varying discount levels off sticker, and I bought quite a few hole fillers and random Starlogs with Superman on the cover, but nothing that would knock your socks off. And, to cap it off, they bagged my purchases in another one of those 1987 Justice League bags.
    Last edited by MegoSteve; Apr 11, '21 at 9:36 PM.

  4. #4
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    One of my first memories is going downtown to the comic shop that was equal parts comics and toys. The latest x-men figures were on the wall. And he had the mattel Rodan which was $150 in 1992ish(?) They had loose super powers and the 1990 marvel pvcs. Maybe when i cross over and I'm a spiritual being i can see what that store looked like and what they actually had again.

    Unfortunately I learned my first economics lesson when they closed a couple months later. I asked my dad why they went out of business when we spent money there? He said, there wasn't enough people like us.

  5. #5
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    Mine was Bows News Agency. Every Tuesday and Thursday the new stuff would come in.
    Between Bows and and my house was a bar called Mazzeos. Even as a kid I figured out all those drunk people, reaching into their pockets for keys late at night are bound to drop some change. It was nothing for me to troll the parking lot for 30-40 minutes and find 75 to $1.00
    So back when book were 25 this was huge!
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  6. #6
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    I honestly don't recall seeing any comic book shops in my local area until the late 80's.

    All of our "haunts" in the late 60's - late 70's were either racks in: Stop 'N Go, Circle K, 7-11, Alpha Beta, Stater Bros, etc.; or from the magazine section at our local pharmacies; or from our local chain of city named indoor newsstands (there were 4 within a 10 mile radius of me and they carried tons of magazines, comics, books, newspapers from all over, maps, etc.). There was also a guy at our local swap meet that sold new and old comics. I purchased many of my back issues via mail order from shops that solicited ads in comic books, Bell in NY was one and there was another in So. Cal, but I can't remember the name. And at least twice, we made trips down to San Diego to Alf's Comic Shop.

    By the time comic shops started popping up (or at least when I took notice of them), I was long out of the hobby.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    I honestly don't recall seeing any comic book shops in my local area until the late 80's.
    .
    Same here, i'd say before 1982-83-ish I never even heard of a comic book shop
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  8. #8
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    My first comic shop was Comic Connection in Lexington, KY. The staff was okay, except for the "baseball guy" who was such an *******. He was so rude to us kids asking about the prices of comic stuff. "I'm strictly baseball!!!" Well, go work in another store, you jerk!

    The Comic Interlude elsewhere in Lexington was a great shop. The owners sold it, and the guy who has owned it to this day is a bit of an odd duck. I've had some odd interactions with that guy.

    My current shop, Heroes Realm, also in Lexington is great. I love the owners, and look forward to talking to them more than the books and stuff I'm picking up.

    I worked at a Comic/Office Supply Store when I was in college at Morehead, KY called White Crow Comics. It was a dream job for young me, and my boss Fred was one of the best people I ever knew. If I could have made a living there, I would have never left.

    Chris
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  9. #9
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    As a kid, I got most of my comics from Ideal Drug, Dairy Mart, or from polybag 3 packs at the super-market, but my first comic shop proper was fairly well known and well-regarded, long before I first discovered it during high school.

    Here's a picture from the Sunday magazine insert section of the Hartford Courant (in Connecticut) from 1976 of the owner of The Bookie (the shop opened in '69), which was the first comic shop I ever went to. I discovered it in 1984...



    Hal Kinney was the owner and it was located on Burnside Avenue in East Hartford, CT, but it moved a couple times to different locations on the street during the time I went there.



    Hal was a veteran of sci-fi fandom, an old school comics guy with deep connections in the industry...



    Here's what the inside of the shop looked like from that same Sunday supplement



    This is how Hal used to store back issues in the shop...



    you'd ask for a title and he would go back and bring out a pile of issues from the series, all unbagged, for you to look through, then look up what Overstreet said, and come up with a price. If he didn't like you or you were a pain in the ***, it was strict guide, if he liked you, or were just starting out, he would give you a better price.

    Hal pretty much taught me everything I know about collecting comics. He was a great guy and loved to see younger collectors getting into the hobby, and would often mentor them. The shop changed and evolved over the years, changed locations a couple times, and even had a sister store for a time in West Hartford across the Connecticut River from East Hartford.

    The Bookie was my shop from when I first discovered it in '84 during my sophomore year of high school, until after my freshman year at university when it was just too difficult to keep my pull when I was living in a different state (though I did through my freshman year). The shop closed when Hal retired (and he has since passed). But going there was a treat. You never knew who would be there as Hal had several friends in the industry who would often just stop by, and at times do official store appearances. Hal was also central to organizing the con circuit in Connecticut through the 70s and 80s and his comic associates would often appear at small shows at a VFW hall as well as the big shows he organized (Jim Aparo appeared at several smaller shows I went to, David Wenzel was a frequent guest, as was indy comic creator Steve Woron, Arne Starr was a long time inker for DC and was a regular there, Dick Giordano did a few store and con appearances for Hal while he was executive editor at DC. etc.)

    I have had other comic shops, some good, some bad, but The Bookie was my first and set the standard by which all other shops were measured for me.

    -M

  10. #10
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    One of my local comic book shops in the 80's (not Cap's who I spoke of above) used to sell comics and n_zi memorabilia … pre WW2 American Bund stuff --- totally weird
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