Why the comic store?
Well I always wanted to own my own comic store since I was probably twelve years old. I love comic books, I love reading in general. That's how I learned to read, was reading comic books and it felt like a great way to promote literacy and help other people learn how to read. So yeah, I always wanted to have my own comic shop and I went to art school and did graphic design for about 15-20 years and finally just made my own little shop right down here in Manayunk.
Whats your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is when someone comes off the street and they don't know what they're looking for and they need me to help them find something they love. When I have people who've never come in I try to give them a recommendation based on something else that they like. You know I ask people "what do you like," and they say, "well I don't know I don't read comics." So I ask, "what other sort of things do you like?" And I am able to transfer that into a comic book that they will hopefully love. I've had people come back the same day and say "I read the thing you sold me where is the next one?!"
What do you want someone who hasn't been here before to know?
I get so many people in here that think comic books are just super heroes. And some people, and even some women, come in here and they're like, "oh this isn't for me this is a place for my husband or boyfriend," and they quickly realize that there is something for them! If you have a genre that you like either in film, television, or novels, there is something in comic books that speaks to that passion you have. There are all sorts of genres. There is crime, horror, romance, comedy, something for everybody! So a lot of people just think "Oh its superheroes" but it's really not.
So then what's your favorite genre?
My favorite is probably horror. I'm a big horror guy and I love horror movies and I have a horror movie podcast. But I also love the superhero stuff. I love the crime stuff, but really I read a little bit of everything.
What is your favorite item you have in the store?
I have these really great plush shields. They are like pillow shields. My friend Gina makes them by hand. There's a Deadpool one, a Link shield, sometimes I have a Captain America one and they are all handmade. I love that because its locally made and you really can't find them anywhere else. I should also mention that the art on the walls is mine. I design all the t-shirts and all the movie posters. So my favorite stuff in the store is probably the stuff I design myself. It's a little piece of me and people get to come in and see things they literally will not see anywhere else.
Why do you love Manayunk?So I had never been here before, but my wife owns Starshine Salon on Grape Street, she had her first salon in here actually. She had the three chairs and the sink set up in here. So when she got too big she had to move to a bigger spot and she said "Why don't you come in and see if you can make the comic shop work?" and I said "that's a good idea!" So I just love the community. I love the people down here. I've built my own community within Manayunk of people who have never read comics or played board games and now I have a giant group of friends. They show up to all my events and they've develop a passion for things that I am passionate for, and that's my favorite thing. It's really cool!
Thank you so much JD it really was awesome learning all about your shop! Remember to keep an eye on the streets- You may be the next store owner featured on the Faces of Manayunk. If you are interested in being featured please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
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Office: 4312 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127