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Favorites of Walt: The Comic Shops #6 – Ground Zero Comics

favoritesofwaltcomicshopslogo

To my knowledge, Ground Zero Comics no longer exists. Still, they had a fairly important role for me for a brief time.

When I first moved to Bowling Green, Ohio to begin my career as a college student…one of the first things I did was to seek out a comic shop. I’m pretty sure I used the Comic Shop Locator service from Diamond (it WAS around back in ’99?); if not, it was a phone book. There was a single comic shop listed in the city, and I eventually found it in a tiny room off an alley just off the main street.

My very first visit there was at the start of DC‘s Day of Judgment event and during the then-still-going Batman: No Man’s Land event. I vaguely recall buying the first issue of Day of Judgment, as well as a No Man’s Land tie-in…though I’m not 100% confident this memory isn’t misplaced, blurring with my 1999 involvement with Capp’s, Comic Heaven, and Sports ‘n More on visits home that semester.

The shop was basically a small one-room deal; hardly bigger than my own bedroom now. I recall they stocked basically only Marvel and DC current issues…I don’t remember any specific back-issue stock to speak of. So really, the only reason to even visit the shop at all would be for those few issues they did stock…and having no other alternative shop.

I missed Astonishing X-Men #3 for the shop either not stocking it or selling out (I eventually acquired it more than a decade later, at Kenmore Komics) and also initially missed Wolverine #145 (where he officially got the adamantium back—though I called home, and convinced my mom to visit Comic Heaven and get the issue for me).

Bowling Green’s downtown was in decent walking distance of my dorm, and with the campus shuttle service having a stop at the edge of campus close to downtown, that made it all the more accessible without having my own car or a friend to drive me.

I don’t recall exactly when it was, but the shop closed temporarily for a couple weeks or so, and then reopened in a new location a half-block closer to campus, which was a much brighter, larger space…taking on a much better guise as a comic shop.

Though Capp’s remained my home/primary shop with my pull box, I’d periodically make it out to GZ for one or two issues every couple weeks or so….a small "fix" of comics between pickups from Capp’s.

Unfortunately, Ground Zero closed up not too long after, sometime in late 2000 or early ’01. That was disappointing, but I don’t recall it being that big a deal.

Like a phoenix, though, in late-Fall 2001, an RA mentioned picking up that Heroes magazine/tribute Marvel published after the 9/11 attack. On further discussion, I decided to check out this sporting goods store that was selling comics. Turned out to be a small section of the sporting goods store turned into a mini comic shop–Ground Zero comics had been reborn.

It was here that I recall seeking out the start of the Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee run on Batman, as well as picking up and deciding against buying the first issue of Fables. They also became an occasional source for Heroclix, though there was a game shop across the street. I discovered Crossgen at this incarnation of the shop, and sought out my first back-issues of Crossgen here.

That memory leads me to believe I’m recalling correctly that they were still operating when I moved back to BG for a few months after graduation…though it wasn’t too long after that that they again disappeared.

And for being such a small comic shop that–when I started writing this I figured I’d have very little to say about it–this is quite a bit.

NEXT WEEK: InterludeBGSU’s Jerome Library

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R.E.B.E.L.S. #4 [Review]

Quick Rating: Decent
Story Title: From Beyond

Dox’s team is coming together, and the villain is revealed!

REBELS Cv4 dsWriter: Tony Bedard
Penciller: Claude St. Aubin
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Letterer: Swands
Asst. Editor: Rex Ogle
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Cover: Ed Benes and Rob Hunter
Publisher: DC Comics

Dox’s team is coming together, and we as readers find out a bit more about what’s set current events into motion, and who it was that took over LEGION.

The story feels like it’s loaded with potential, particularly on the cosmic side of the DCU; drawing from older characters and concepts but placing them well within current events of continuity and whatnot. However, even four issues in, I’m not really feeling like I have much to care about with these characters nor their situations. The "main villain" for this arc is one of my least-favorite in the DCU, and even being revamped a bit visually still doesn’t interest me. I’m not familiar enough with these characters to know how their depiction here works with prior versions of them, but they do seem consistent within this series, at least. We’re only four issues in, so hopefully a lot of this is simply foundation-laying, building toward some solid payoff in the near future.

The visuals maintain a nice consistency from earlier issues (even with a different artist). Visually, I can’t help but feel that this is to "cosmic DC" what the earlier issues of the 2003-launched Outsiders series was to the more traditional DCU. The art may not be for everyone, but as what it is, it certainly works for this book and gives it a style that sets it apart from a lotta other books.

Bedard seems to have a good grasp of the cosmic stuff, and if you’re a fan of his stories or of the old LEGION characters, this book’s probably right up your alley. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem like anything terribly essential as yet.

Ratings:

Story: 3/5
Art: 3/5
Overall: 3/5

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