Saturday at the Comix Shop   2 comments

     I used to work three miles from my favorite comics shop in uptown Phoenix, and I could pop over at lunchtime on Wednesday or Thursday as soon as the new issues came out. Then the bad economic situation forced the city to reduce library hours again, and I wound up being transferred from my small but easy-going branch to a big and busy branch. Now I’m ten miles away from the store, and weekday visits are a thing of the past.

     The city of Phoenix has three good comics shops in town. One is a chain–Atomic comics, and their stores are all out on the fringes of town. Paradise Valley, Tempe, Metrocenter–good stores but they’re in the boondocks. The other two stores are independents. I patronize them about equally, and I know, and I like the people who work in both stores. One is All About Books and Comics on Central just north of Camelback Road. The other is Samurai comics at 10th Street and Camelback. Saturday, April 24, I took my son Corencio and his best  friend Harley over to Samurai. I knew that there were 3 comics waiting for me, and the latest expansion set for Magic the Gathering has just come out–the Rise of the Eldrazi. We drove over about 1 p.m. pretty sure that good stuff would be waiting.

     Samurai Comics, owned and operated by Mike and Moriya Banks, has just recently moved into larger quarters. It is great to see a small business expanding in crummy economic times like this. They got $70 of my money yesterday–they should be doing well.

     The teens immediately went to the Magic cards to paw over the Eldrazi commons. I was kind of disappointed in them. I expected a lot of overpowered freaky new things, and what I saw was a lot of underpowered junk. I’ll review the Eldrazi some other time. The set does have some good and interesting stuff in it. Corencio has made an almost unbeatable deck out of a starter deck and the extra commons he bought, but you know, this isn’t the coolest new Magic expansion ever. (It got a lot of my money though–grrrrrrr!)

     I walked around and admired some of the other things that Samurai has to offer. For example, they have a lot of cool toys for sale.  I would love to have this set of Fantastic Four figures. But I don’t know what I’d do with it, if I did own it. There is no open space in my house where I could even put this power team.

 (Dang, I’m so old that I read most of these comics when they first came out back in the sixties.)

I admit that I’m more of a DC fan, but Marvel had the best stuff on display at Samurai. I don’t even want this Venom head, but I admire it.


     There wasn’t anything for me on the new comics shelf, not even the titles I was expecting. I guess The Spirit #1 and Justice League #43 had sold out. Actually, the Guild with two alternate covers was over there, but I didn’t take it because it was in my bag, waiting at the register. Good issue, too.

(This is the cover I didn’t get.)

     But, while I was in the back of the store, I did pick up some vital info. Next Saturday, May 1, is free comic book day. I love free stuff. They don’t have to lure me into the store with the promise of free stuff–I’d be going in anyway, As it turns out, I have to work next Saturday, so it will be towards closing time when I get by Samurai to see what they’ve got. There has been a trend in comic stores lately to be stingy, and not let the fans have one of everything in the free comic book give away. I suppose I should be glad to get one free comic, but back in the day (2 or 3 years ago) you could walk into  a comic shop on Free Comic Book Day and walk out again with enough good stuff to keep you reading for the rest of the month. I’m hoping for good stuff, and that it won’t be like that this year.


     It seemed like I had given the teens plenty of time to drool on the new Magic cards so I made my way to the cash register where I had already lined up my purchases–three comics, two Eldrazi starter decks, and a few commons. The rare cards are great, but good Magic decks are built on well-chosen commons, imho. The boys came over with another fifteen dollars in cards to run my bill up. (They should have been paying for their own, but neither one had any money. One good thing about being old and having a job–you can afford to pay for your pleasures.) Harley paid me back when I got him home, but my son owes me $10.

      Shannon was there to take my money. She has the job I wish Corencio would/could get. How cool would it be to work in a comic book store! I sure envy the young people of today who have that opportunity. When I retire, I’m gonna try like the devil to get hired part time in one of my favorite comics stores–just to be around the place.

(Shannon is a cool, calm, collected comics professional. And I don’t think she charged me for that Reece’s piece I had to eat while waiting for the teen boys. Thanks, Shannon!) 

    Finally, after almost an hour in the comics store we managed to make our getaway with bags full of goodies. Then we went over to Harley’s house and played Magic all afternoon. I didn’t win any games, but it was still a nice break from being chained to this computer trying to write the Chaotic 8th edition of Tunnels and Trolls.

    In my humble opinion, Phoenix has some pretty damn good comics stores, and Samurai Comics is one of the best. Truthfully, I like it a lot better than Atomic and a little better than All About. I really spend way too much money on sequential narratives, but I’ve always loved them, and why should I stop just because I’ve grown ancient. In the words of the Terminator, “I’ll be back.”

(All digital camera work done by James “Corencio” St. Andre.)



Posted April 25, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Saturday at the Comix Shop

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  1. Jealous!!! I’ve admitted to a few people that when I retire, I want to own/run a comic shop. It’ll probably never happen because I don’t think I want to fight the battle of whether to sell nudie comics or not. I’m too much of a public prude!

  2. I am totally impressed that you dropped the 8th edition of Tunnels and Trolls into the end of this post! I hope there will be a post (or ten) about the 8th edition.

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