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Favorites of Walt: The Comic Shops #4 – Sports ‘n More

I believe it would have been 1995 or 1996 when friends and I discovered Sports ‘n More. It was another case of happening to notice the store while being driven to Capp’s Comics.

Initially, the place dealt mainly in sports cards with a few collectible card games, as well as a small selection of comics.

Eventually it passed to new management, the store was rearranged, and became more of a comic-centric store. One of the greatest things–to me–about this store was their “membership” deal. For $10/year, one got a membership card, and a 20% discount off all new comics…a discount that “paid for itself” within a month.

This store never had the selection of new comics, nor back issues, that Capp’s had…but that discount became a pretty big deal for awhile.

When Capp’s moved to its new location, and then closed up…Sports ‘n More became–because of the membership discount–the main comic shop that I’d visit for a time, even while starting as a grad student in Kent, until gas prices started to skyrocket.

The shop remains open to this day, as far as I know—though it’s been awhile since I’ve made it in. I don’t get there enough to justify to myself the $10 membership now, but occasionally I’ll stop in when looking for a random comic that no one else seems to have.

This has never been a store that I’ve looked to for back issues, per se–though they keep a number of months’ worth of issues “on the rack” at a given time, so if the issues haven’t sold, sometimes there might be 6-7 of the most recent issues available for cover price.

Though I don’t believe I was ever formally introduced, the store proprietors know me on sight, and vice versa…and I must admit to a bit of guiltiness on not visiting lately. Generally I at least make it out on Free Comic Day…and they remain one of the most “active” stores I’m aware of when it comes to participating in some of the larger “event” things with comics. They were the only store I was aware of that participated in the big release party for the first Dark Tower comic, and they always have banners and stuff out for the annual Free Comic Book Day.

Even though I don’t make it there all that often…the store remains a fixture, and it’ll be a big part of my “comics’ past” when or if they ever close down.

NEXT WEEK: Comic Heaven.

Earlier Installments:

  • #3 – Fun Stuff Cards & Comics
  • #2 – Comics & Collectibles
  • #1 – Capp’s Comics
  • #0 – Introduction
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    All-Star Superman #6 [Review]

    Quick Rating: Very Good
    Story Title: Funeral in Smallville

    Superman deals with the appearance of doppelgangers, and a certain loss…

    allstarsuperman006Writer: Grant Morrison
    Pencils: Frank Quitely
    Digitally Inked & Colored: Jamie Grant
    Letters: Phil Balsman
    Editorial Assists: Brandon Montclare
    Editor: Bob Schreck
    Cover Art: Quitely
    Publisher: DC Comics

    This particular issue doesn’t seem to have the ongoing continuity thread of the earlier issues (as far as Supes being sun-poisoned and dying). It certainly holds up on the "presents a self-contained/issue story" end, though.

    Superman/Clark hangs out with his parents, and while it’d be second nature to him to deal with the harvest using his powers, Pa insists on hiring help to get it done the old-fashioned way. This "help" proves to be more than they let on, leading to a rather cliched super-battle that somehow doesn’t come off in THAT bad a way.

    Morrison‘s writing here is good, and while the cover pretty much gives away what happens, it’s easy to be occupied with the action, until what happens does. In that way, we see a Superman that is seemingly much younger than the "main continuity" version, as well as almost more realistic. The story itself is nothing new, but it’s the specific presentation that makes it worthwhile: in THIS continuity, for THIS Superman; and in a way it seems to draw from several versions of the character, providing a sort of "merged" handling of the elder Kent. Morrison seems to enjoy dipping toes into a number of swimming pools, giving us glimpses of different ideas or ways to take certain characters: before I’d even read the identity of one future character, I recognized the symbol from that story from 1998 (seems that was a million years ago, doesn’t it?).

    Quitely‘s art is good, and just works well with the writing; the style (at least for the moment, coming down off a cold) reminds me of Tim Sale‘s style, particularly from Superman: For All Seasons. (To some degree, the story itself almost seems like it could be fit with that, though it’s been years since I last read it).

    As infrequent as this book is, it’s not a favorite exactly, but it’s certainly enjoyable, and well-done. This is the Superman to introduce people to who aren’t terribly familiar with the character and uninterested in a monthly commitment; it gets at some core elements popularly known with the character, without relying heavily on or being expected to use heavy continuity. If you pick up no other Superman book, this would be the one that’s worth getting.

    Ratings:

    Story: 4/5
    Art: 4/5
    Overall: 4/5

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