Browsing Through The Long Boxes

I've been visiting The Lovely Companion in Auburn, Alabama the last few weeks, and yesterday we stopped in at Collector's Corner, a fantastic comics shop hidden away in a mini strip mall on E. Glenn Ave. Run by the genial John Mullins (I can't help it, blogging about comics makes me alliterate like Stan Lee), the store feels like a throwback in an age when a lot of brick-and-mortar stores face declining sales and competition from online services. We'd initially stopped in because I was curious about the Obama Spider-Man comic that was released this week. Unsurprisingly, they'd sold out (which led to a very funny rant from Mr. Mullins about Marvel's marketing practices), but that disappointment was more than made up for by the vast selection of back issues, current issues and odd curios that the store had in abundance (who needs Obama, for instance, when you can find a rare copy of Dennis The Menace Goes To Washington on the shelves?). Here's my favorite find of the day:

I managed to find some well-priced Silver Age Avengers, some offbeat James Bond comics, some Iron Man back issues I'd been looking for, and a gorgeously illustrated issue of Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor, among other things (the Lovely Companion also had fun browsing through the back issues). Add that to the new stuff I got, and it was a good comics day.

But mostly, I was impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of Mr. Mullins, whose kindness and conversation made the whole experience worthwhile. His knowledge, passion, and sense of humor took what might have been a good retail experience and made it a very nice one; as he said when we were leaving, "I try to treat everyone the way I'd want to be treated." Nothing will ever replace my regular hometown comics shop (the excellent Infinite Monkey) in my heart, but Collector's Corner was a very pleasant find on a rainy January day. The next time you're in Auburn, stop in and say hello (and be sure to grab that groovy Man From U.N.C.L.E. comic before someone else snatches it up).


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