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

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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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