With visions of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory dancing through our heads, we visited our local comic book stores for the first time. Though we aren’t comic book collectors by any means, we did find plenty of things to enjoy at both Strange Adventures and Quantum Frontier. The question is, does going to a comic book store make for a fun afternoon for two?
My first experience at a comic book store happened when we were in New York a few years ago. I had nightmares of large, bespectacled, balding men in black trench coats quietly flipping the pages of comic books as they judged me from afar for not belonging in their store. In fact, the only comic books I ever read growing up were of the Archie variety, so I didn’t have high hopes for that particular outing.
While my expectations were low, my actual experience was quite fun. Not only did they have the expected comic books, but their shelves were also lined with lots of different TV and movie related products. They had everything from miniature Lego-like figures of the cast of 24, to a “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” toy.
Also, there were no large, bespectacled, balding men in black trench coats judging me from afar. They were judging me from about a foot and a half away…. I kid, I kid!
So when Susan suggested we check out our local comic book store (yes, you read that right), I was actually pretty excited. We knew of two comic book stores in the Halifax area, Strange Adventures and Quantum Frontier, so we checked them both out.
First up was Strange Adventures. Though it feels somewhat cave-like, it is overflowing with geeky goodness. From action figures, to t-shirts, to graphic novels, you name it and they have it. I was especially excited by their board game selection. There were a few I had played before (like Carcassonne and Risk) but many that I had never heard of.
Next we went to Quantum Frontier. It has a completely different feel than Strange Adventures. It is much more open, and bright – a more typical business space. It felt like they had less product to browse than Strange Adventures, but that could have simply been a result of the layout of the room.
I really enjoyed looking through the display cases of action figures, the geeky t-shirts, and all the other products at both stores. It helped that Susan seemed genuinely interested in it all. I had fun telling her who the different super heroes were, what the symbols on the clothing stood for, etc.
Is going to a comic book store the best date idea ever? Maybe not. If you don’t know Star Wars from Star Trek, or Carcassonne from Settlers of Catan, it might not be up your alley. Then again, sometimes it’s fun to try something you wouldn’t normally do. We enjoyed ourselves, but it didn’t take long for us to go through both stores. So if you decide to check out your local comic book store you should probably include other plans in your day.
In conclusion, I have a quick piece of advice for the guys who are reading this blog post:
Do not, I repeat DO NOT surprise the special lady in your life with an afternoon at a comic book store. Make sure she is on board 100% before you step through that door. If you do not heed my advice your outing will surely go down in flames.
I’m not a die hard comic book collector and I probably couldn’t name more than 10 comic book series, but I do appreciate the art. I was only ever into Archie as a kid and would often beg my mother to buy me the Double Digests on display in the grocery line.
When I suggested going for a little outing to our local comic book stores, it was mostly because they do tend to have cool little figurines and unique gifts you can buy for your comic book loving friends. Since Brad’s birthday is coming up in April I thought I would go to get any possible birthday gift ideas.
Out of the two stores we went to in Halifax (Strange Adventures on Sackville Street and Quantum Frontier on Robie Street) Strange Adventures definitely had more selection, but I liked the layout of Quantum Frontier better because it seemed more organized and less cramped. Both places have good selections of t-shirts, figurines and, of course, comic books.
If you’re indifferent to comic books it might be worth it to plan to go somewhere afterwards that you enjoy to balance out the fun. On the other hand, if you’re both really into comics, you could create your own story using your own photos and one of the multiple comic creator software programs, such as Comic Life, and give it as a gift. Comic Life offers a 30 day free trial, can be used on a PC or a Mac and is super easy to use.
Finally, if you’re still leery of stepping foot inside a comic book store, if you wait until May 1st, you can take part in Free Comic Book Day. You check out all the fun products and maybe even get something for free.
What do you think, are we crazy for going to a comic book store as a thing to do for two? Or do you think it could be a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Let us know in the comments.