I am newly arrived home from New York. The train ride was a train ride — fairly comfortable overall (I did doze for a bit) but the Metro ride home and then the walk back to my car weren’t too thrilling (hey, the plan sounded like a good idea on Friday when I left … I think I could’ve sprung for a taxi in the end). I’ll start digging through my pile of comics and stuff tomorrow.
But that’s not the point of this post at all. My last stop in New York was Brooklyn’s Bergen Street Comics. It’s a gorgeous store and if it was nearby, they would be taking all my money. The layout is excellent — children’s comics within easy reach of little hands, graphic novels organized by genre rather than author or title, and a table in the middle with selections of note. The single issues line the walls. It feels like shopping in a boutique bookstore rather than a comic book store.
I am not, overall, a hater of traditional comic book stores — you know, the sort that have lots of T-shirts and posters and action figures. Some of them do this kind of thing very well and they can be fun. But others don’t and they can make some of us a little uncomfortable sometimes.. Those sorts of stores aren’t welcoming to the people who were never superhero fans but will read graphic novels like Persepolis.
Bergen Street Comics is a store for those people. It’s far from being some snobby, intellectuals-only place — owners Amy and Tom are very friendly and welcoming and obviously love comics of all sorts. It’s a store for everyone and that’s an awesome thing to me. They know what they’re doing.
I wish them all the success they deserve and I hope to get back there one day.
(There were many things I would’ve bought, but I picked up The Color of Earth from First Second. Really, First Second needs subscription plans.)