Yeah, that’s right. My dorkdom knows no bounds.
The place is called Dr. Comics and Mr. Games and has for twenty years been an absolute wonderland for comic book and graphic novel enthusiasts;
Are you into your regular run of the mill Spiderman comic book? Naturally they have those. Are your tastes more in line with obscure erotic collected editions of sci-fi Anime? They have titles that the most committed enthusiast doesn’t even know exist.
Their expansive collection of the dozens of different genres are all curated by this man- One Mr. Michael Pandolfo;
Michael and I have been acquainted with one another since the mid 90s through a former housemate of mine used to work at his store. Living with her was a dream. I had an ever evolving stack of the best titles I could ever hope to read sitting next to my bed. As a matter of fact, it was she who first turned me on to both one of my very favorite artists, Al Columbia;
As well as the previously mentioned Preacher saga, and the similarly violent Frank Miller/Geof Darrow epic Hard Boiled;
I was like a kid in a candy store and I couldn’t have been happier.
As a side note, after I moved out and no longer with that magical stack, for months I had trouble falling to sleep.
Anyway, upon my visit with Michael on Monday, he began describing having been kicked in the pants over the last year by technology with people ‘showrooming’. He said occasionally he’ll catch folks brazenly browsing around with whatever smart phone they have, scan a bar code, find it cheaper on Amazon, click a button and the book shows up to their house in two days.
I told him that the bike industry suffers from the very same affliction (albeit thankfully not quite as evolved) and how I’ve long been a proponent of supporting one’s locally owned and operated everything.
I guess I could have assumed that showrooming was adversely affecting any type of business, but it was especially disheartening to see it happening to a friend, who for two decades has done nothing but support his community and give back to his customers in every way conceivable.
It was then that I dropped a whole lotta money on a bunch of new books;
Certainly if you reside in or around the Bay Area, and you have a penchant for such a place, do yourself the favor of all favors and stop in. Afterwords, head up the street and get your mind blown at Montano Velo;
Photo via Urban Velo.
They are the places that dreams are made of, both run by folks who are happy to let you lurk to your heart’s content. Can you do that on the internet? I don’t think so.
Businesses like these build community, and foster real live human interactions. Is sacrificing that worth the five dollars that can be saved on a pair of pedals, or a Judge Dredd action figure? I strongly believe that it’s not and encourage others to feel the same. Next time you find yourself browsing Amazon for that discounted Paula Deen cookbook you’ve had your eye on, pick up the phone, call your local retailer and place an order with them. It’s a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps.
Please don’t get me wrong though… If used correctly, the internet’s not such a terrible place. Why, if it weren’t for that thing of which we speak, I wouldn’t have come across what is arguably the raddest image taken in 2014;
Another shot by Brad from Urban Velo.
That right there is Old Man Oberpriller, owner and operator of another independent bike shop, One On One Bicycle Studio, which ironically is just down the street from Big Brain Comics;
Photo via Comic Book Resources.
I’m starting to detect a trend here.