Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mini Melt Too Comics in Eagle Rock

First, we need to clear up the record: Mini Melt Too Comics says they did not, as many suspect, and as this blog has suggested in the past, run Another World Comics out of business. So don't be mad at them about that.

The story I was told by the friendly Mini Melt Comics employee the other day went like this: Another World Comics was there next door (in the blue building that is now empty, to the left of Mini Melt), but the Mini Melt people had it on good authority (i.e., the owner of the paintball store to the right of Mini Melt) that Another World was closing down. So Mini Melt moved in a few years ago (the Mini Melt Mothership is in Hollywood), and, soon after, the owners of Another World, as foretold by the paintball guy, decided to give up their shop, or "retire" as the Mini Melt guy put it.

But then, in a bizarre and unforeseen move, Another World's landlord decided to keep Another World going, taking over the store, and continuing to operate it. The Mini Melt guy noted that the landlord had had no idea about comics and was doing silly things like "having wine tastings" at the shop. That actually sounded like a fantastic idea to me, and I suggested that Mini Melt could do a joint event with Colorado Wine Company. The Mini Melt guy said they had issues about space in the narrow confines of their shop.

After a few months of running Another World, the landlord apparently got bored, and just suddenly shut it down. After that, there was some talk of a pot clinic called "Green Goddess" moving into the space (they even put up a sign), but then that fell apart.

Mini Melt is a fun place. It can't help but be. It's a comic store. The staff there is appropriately geeky and serious about their comics. They try hard not to make you feel silly when you ask a question that demonstrates that you are unschooled in the history and lore of comics. But make no mistake, the staff here is serious about their comics.

Apparently, their customers are, too. Some customers have apparently complained that Mini Melt's comic archives aren't deep enough to satisfy their demands for completion. I've always found the selection perfectly adequate for my relatively minimal needs. But, yes, Mini Melt is no Forbidden Planet at Union Square (my old favorite NYC haunt). It's not a huge place. But if you need a Gremlins figurine, a Count Chocula action figure, a Green Lantern t-shirt, a Robotech motorcycle in the box, the latest issue of THE INCREDIBLE HULK, or a five-foot tall Godzilla, this is the place to go in the neighborhood.

Of course, I haven't been reading a lot of comics since Optic Nerve and X-Statix ended their runs a few years ago. Also, I've sort of felt that comics have gone a little too Believer Mag lately. When the hipsters started showing up at comic conventions, it was sort of over, I think. (I'll save for another post the offensiveness of hipsters horning in on and appropriating nerd/geek chic and culture without paying the dues of pain, mockery, abject uncoolness that true nerds and geeks must endure.)

But can I tell you why I love comic book stores like Mini Melt? So before a Star Trek marathon I held at my place a month or so before the recent STAR TREK movie (that right there is, what we call in the legal business, an admission against interest), I went to Mini Melt to buy some Star Trek stuff. I asked if they had a U.S.S. Enterprise. The guy behind the counter said they had one, but it was out of the box, dusty, and didn't have the stand. I took a look at the toy, haggled over the price a little, and then paid for it.

The cashier asked me if I wanted a bag or if I wanted to "just fly it out of here." I said I would just fly it out on impulse drive. As I walked out of the shop and onto the sidewalk, holding the Enterprise in my hand, a pick-up truck stopped at the curb in front of the shop. The two guys in the truck looked out at me, and one asked the other "Is that Star Trek, man?" The other guy told him it was. Then the first guy leaned out the window and yelled out to me: "Hey man! Is that Star Trek?" I said yes, and held the Enterprise closer for him to inspect. He took a look and yelled out "I love that shit, man!" I said "I do, too," and then they pulled away, exulting about Star Trek. The Star Trek marathon at my place the next day was, obviously, off the hook.

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