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My comic book shoppe – Comic Collection

Continuing my selective tour of comic book stores in the East while I’m chillaxing here!

Back in the day, when I lived in Pennsylvania, I used to drive down to Feasterville every once in a while and go to Comic Collection, which has sat, crammed onto a tiny plot of land on the southeastern corner of Street Road (yes, we know) and Bustleton Pike, since 1985. It was there I paid the most money I’ve ever spent for a single issue, $20 for New Mutants #87 (don’t look at me like that!) and where I found Trident #1, which is the only issue of that sadly lamented series I’ve ever been able to find. Now that I’m back in the area for an extended time, I decided to drive down and check it out after 20 years have passed. What would it be like?

Hulk sad!

The first time I went in, I didn’t have my camera, so I just searched for back issues. Every so often I think I’m done with back issues, but then I discover or remember some titles that have never been collected in trade and I missed them when they came out, so it’s good to have stores that still sell back issues. I have never bought back issues on-line, not because I’m a Luddite (although I sort of am), but because I don’t trust the condition of the issues. I don’t care if my back issues are in perfect shape, but I would like them to have all their pages, for instance. I know you can’t guarantee that if you buy them in a comic book store, but at least you can shame the owner if he sells you a crappy copy. At least that’s my theory. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, I love digging through back issue boxes. So there! I found a bunch of stuff I wanted, including a collected version of “St. Swithin’s Day” by The God of All Comics and Paul Grist, which Oni put out in 1998 and which began in that very issue of Trident to which I referred above. It’s all about kismet, people! I also got a bunch of Supergirl issues, because for some reason I skipped it back in the 1990s even though I like Peter David. I’m silly! Finally, I picked up some of Starslayer: The Director’s Cut, which Mike Grell released through Acclaim Comics back in 1995. But here’s where the fun began!

The employee who was there (not the owner) told me the store had a “vault” with a bunch of other back issues, and if I told him what I needed, he could go and get them. I’d have to come back because he had to make a special trip, but that was fine – what else am I doing that takes up so much time? So I told him what I needed. A few days later, they were ready for me. Back I went to the store, this time with my camera!

Such a glorious mess!

Yes, this is the interior of the store. Isn’t it beautiful? The owner, Dave Schwartz, was there this time, so I got to talk to him. Despite the mess, the store is actually very organized, and it’s not hard to find anything, as Dave pointed out (and I had already sussed out from my previous visit). It’s been remodeled several times since I was last there, so I didn’t recognize the interior, but it’s packed with comics, which is all that really matters, isn’t it?

More of the organized chaos!

The new comics of the week are at the very end of this wall, meaning everyone has to go past a bunch of other comics to get to them (Dave isn’t dumb when it comes to marketing!). He has a huge selection of odder stuff – the first upper shelf is filled with porn comics, for instance, which are … well, something, I’ll tell you that much. But he orders quite a lot of independent comics, and there’s a lot on his shelf that you’re just not going to find in comic book stores devoted to superheroes. For such a tiny shop, it’s impressive.

Oh, the nerdiness of it all!

He has a lot of figures, as you can see, and a ton of other comics-related merchandise. He also sells CDs from all eras, even though those punk kids today don’t even know what a CD is, dagumit. He was playing Kraftwerk’s record Autobahn from 1974 while I was talking to him. Because he can, man! He also has a bunch of trades, of course:

More good use of space!

He had managed to find the rest of Starslayer and a bunch of Supergirls for me, which was awfully swell. I was also able to complete my epic collection of Young Heroes in Love, because it’s motherfucking awesome!!!!! I spoke to Dave about his business briefly but didn’t get into it too much. He’s owned the place for over 25 years, so he knows what he’s doing!

It's all about the advertising!

Dave actually put the T-shirt on over his other shirt to advertise the store. That’s commitment!

I’ve always loved stores (not just comic book stores) like Comic Collection. They feel so old-school and mysterious, like you could find some kind of mystical talisman in the back that no one has noticed for years. Just the fact that I found that Morrison comic made the trip worth it, although I was totally jazzed about getting all the other comics. Dave let me know that he is very happy to ship anywhere (I didn’t ask about overseas, because I forgot) and he’s very keen on customer service (which is, surprisingly, not always the case with comic book stores, which is odd), so if you are looking for something elusive, he’d be happy to search his archives for you. He has a lot of old comics (I mean pre-1970), and of course he has a bunch of more modern stuff that he’d be happy to sell to you. Comic Collection is a wonderful little store packed with comics for all readers, so if you’re interested in finding something, give him a call! (I didn’t realize they had a web site; here it is!)

As always, if you’re interested in writing about your own comic book store, send me an e-mail at chlothar1@earthlink.net. I will be happy to post your tales of your own comic book shoppe!

19 Comments

daniel the demon cleaner

May 30, 2011 at 2:06 am

So, how old were you when you bought that New Mutants issue? I’m trying to establish the magnitude of your lameness.

I’d have to say that Liefeld cover isn’t that bad, probably due to the inking. But $20 for that? Wow.

Travis Pelkie

May 30, 2011 at 3:42 am

It IS amusing you spent 20 bucks on the first appearance of Cable. You would have been in your early 20s, right? kinda lame…

Of course, you like Bon Jovi, so….

hee hee hee

I have a 2nd or 3rd print copy of that New Mutants, and the inking does improve the book, I’d say. Other Liefeld stuff is…eh.

However, while we’re on the topic, I’d like to say that I read some New Mutants/XForce stuff earlier this year, and I don’t think Rob is SOLELY to blame for how dumb that book/team was. Fabian Niceiza’s writing wasn’t exactly Shakespeare, or Alan Moore, and it continued after Rob was gone.

Hmmm, trying to think of what’s the most I’ve spent on a single issue comic. I’ve bought HCs and stuff, and probably the nearly 40 bucks for McKeever’s Metropol HC is the most for a comic book. (or any book, really). Single issues, though? Not sure…

Still need Xero issues? I’ll look up what I’ve got. I’m thinking it’s 4 and 7 that I have doubles of. email me if you want.

daniel the demon cleaner

May 30, 2011 at 5:01 am

First appearance of Cable!!! I totaly missed that. Well, that changes everything. I had know idea of the significance. Dude, you practically robbed that shop…

Nah I’m Kidding.

Early 20’s is not that bad. It’s the age when you should know better but you probably don’t. If that’s true then you get an overall – slightly lame.

A 13 year old doing stuff like that would be coolest dude eva.

I should say ‘coolest dude eva in nerddom’.

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Holy cow, it’s still there? I grew up not far from there and was a regular shopper at Dave’s store up until maybe a decade ago, when I finally moved away. Your photos look like they could have been taken anywhere from 1988 to 2003, because the store has ALWAYS LOOKED LIKE THAT. (If it weren’t for the Yellow Lantern prop in the second picture, I’d say these were timeless.) Amazing.

Wow, this place is right down the road from my childhood home, and I never knew it existed.

Trident #3–only one of the series I have been able to find…

daniel: I was 18 or 19 when I bought New Mutants #87 – possibly 20. I can’t really defend it, except that I was trying to buy every issue of the series and that was in my way! The first appearance of Cable didn’t really have much to do with it. It wasn’t the best purchase, but that’s the way it is.

Travis: That issue, at least, is Louise Simonson writing. Nicieza came on soon afterward, but I’m not sure when. And Bob Wiacek’s inking does help a bit – Liefeld’s pencils aren’t exactly good, but they’re more substantial than his later, far looser stuff.

Bill: You had to get out more as a kid, I guess!

Travis Pelkie

May 30, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I did actually know that 87 is Weezie written, but my larger point was about how the “haters” seem to think that the XForce team sucked solely due to good ol’ Rob, and Fabian’s writing continued past Rob’s departure and still had the same tone.

It was cover dated March ’90, so you must have gotten it soon after it came out.

How odd, though, that 4-5 years after the Sienkiewicz run comes the Liefeld run. 2 more different tastes…

Travis: Yeah, it wasn’t too long after it came out. And it was already that much!

Thanks for the offer of the Xero issues. I actually already had issues 4 and 7 before I came here. I only need the final three issues. But thanks anyway!

I wonder if they have a fully tracked inventory list.

I too want to find issue of Trident past number one. Such a great book.

Oh, and you should have picked up the original Starslayer issues instead. The Director’s Cut suffers from some horrible recoloring.

And in answer, to your forum post, Nicieza didn’t join New Mutants until issue 98, I believe it is. It’s the first issue post X-Tinction Agenda.

Thanks Greg for all of the wonderful praise. It is great that you liked everything about the store. We do have MOST of our stuff inventoried, for the most part, but, it does change…frequently. Oh, yes we will ship overseas as well. Thanks again for stopping in.

Dave
Comic Collection
931 Bustleton Pike (at Street Road)
Feasterville (suburb of N.E. Philly), PA. 19053

Great looking store…. thanks for the story! (I must save his email address somewhere…)

Nice store! Love the controlled chaos…. lol

Thanks. It really is an orderly mess. We know where most things are. : )

I used to go to this store alot in the 90’s and now I want to go back again. I am almost 45 years old and still love comics as much as I did when I was 5, I don’t think that will ever change as long as I am alive.

Welcome back, Wayne. It was a pleasure seeing you…again? I really appreciate all of the great comments.

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