Friday, January 22, 2010

Good Things

Today didn't start out too well. A couple of bumps in the road, if you will. But it managed to get progressively better, and I even learned a few new things along the way.

Like (very, very, very) basic HTML, for starters.

Yep, I can now (theoretically) change the layout of this here blog, and make a bunch of stupid and pointless widgets do their stupid and pointless things. I won't, of course, since I'd much rather have a blog than a blank page on the Internet where a blog once stood.

I also learned about Facebook.

And finally signed up for Facebook. Apparently, I was the one guy. The last remaining holdout.

I was legend.

But now I have a Facebook page thing just like everybody else, and Nathaniel showed me a whole bunch of things to do on said page that I have already forgotten how to do. I did sign up for the Exfanding Facebook page, which was probably a good idea since I have some vested interest in the site.

As Nathaniel showed me all of these things that I should have learned years ago, I couldn't help but think of myself as the old man yelling at clouds, or the last dinosaur to look up at that huge fireball in the sky. But now I'm hip and all social network-y.

I give it a week. Two, tops.

Anyway, after the computer lessons, we decided to set off to find a comics shop located (somewhat) in our area. It's one that I'd seen online in the past and just never had the chance to actually find.

It's located near a mall that I visit pretty often, and I've always ventured out just a little ways from the mall, trying to discern just where in the heck this store actually was. I failed on several occasions.

So today we figured we'd try to find it. With the help of my iPhone's map and secure in the knowledge that we are two relatively intelligent and capable grown ups, we decided, really, what could possibly go wrong?

Let's just say it's a good thing Columbus didn't have Nathaniel as his navigator.

Still, after driving a bit in the wrong direction (and passing a seemingly endless strip of land that needed only a smattering of cows to complete the hilarious image of two city folk hopelessly out of their element), and then passing the store (twice!) because of its...interesting...venue, we finally found a parking spot right in front of the place.

The store itself was tucked into a small strip mall, and its entrance was literally facing away from the street, so there was no way we could have actually seen the place from the car. Had my iPhone not told us that we were, indeed, on our desired location, we probably would still be driving around.

So I parked the car and we walked up the small set of stairs to the shop. The windows were completely covered in posters and the door was closed, so we couldn't sneak a peek to see what we were getting ourselves into.

Now, understand, I've been to a great many comics shops in my time, and I've been to some downright scary ones, so I wasn't too worried. But I think Nathaniel had his reservations. And, I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much.

And then we opened the door.

Copybook Tales comics shopLike I said, I've been to a great many comics shops. But this shop was something completely different. The space was small, but somehow the owner managed to fill the store with trades and comics and statues and toys and original art and back issues and never once did I feel that the store was cramped.

And the selection.

Wow. I was just blown away. From the high-end back issues and statues, to the diverse selection of new comics and trades, to the owner's friendliness and knowledge of his product line, I was just flat-out impressed with this place.

Typically, comics shops fall into one of a few traps. Maybe the store overwhelms its customers with superheroes, or it focuses solely on back issues, or it only carries new books, or the staff doesn't seem to know what the heck the customer is talking about.

Not this place. It balanced being an indy-friendly shop with being a super hero store. It had an entire room devoted to back issues, and two walls filled with new product. The trades and hardcovers were arranged in a way that they were easy to find, and there was equal shelf space for Brian Bendis and Jeff Smith.

It was nice to come across a shop (off the beaten path a ways) that doesn't fit the typical comic store mold. The journey made it all the more fun, and now I really can't wait to go back. Plus, the shop's name is Monkey Head Comics. So it has to be good. For anyone in the area, check it out. It has the Official Exfanding Stamp of Approval.

So, yeah.

Just a quick post today about a fun day, a good find, and a new haunt.

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