What is it about comic books that every week we are compelled to flock to the comic book shop and pick up our books of choice? To think I used to laugh at my sister when she said she needed to watch General Hospital. I guess I am worse because I never outgrew my need to read the adventures of Daredevil or the X-Men, amongst so many other heroes and villains. I go every Wednesday after work, taking the bus and the El miles away from my home to go to Fat Jack’s Comiccrypt. I have ulterior motives though, because I also get to spend breakfast with my Dad, but this isn’t about my father, this is about Fat Jack’s.
This wasn’t always my comic book store of choice. The first comic book shop I loved and frequented with more regularity than a school’s bathroom was ComiCards. This store has long been gone, and one proprietor of that store only recently passed away. To this day, I judge every comic book store against that one. Some match its muster, but most fail. Fat Jack’s is outside that area of grey. It isn’t better and it isn’t worse. The reason for that is because I have also been going to Fat Jack’s for a great many years. My father owned a shop right on 20th street called “Especially for You,” a failed attempt of a business that I still mock to this day. The only great thing about that store was it’s location in relation to Fat Jack’s which was right around the corner on Sansom Street.
On the weekends when I was grounded (or punished), take your pick of words, I had to spend a dreary amount of time on the second floor of the shop (my father’s, not Fat Jack’s) doing my studies. I made a mock attempt of doing my work to my fullest capacity, but mostly I paid lingering attention and spent more time daydreaming outside the bay window. On rare occurrences, my father let me wander around the corner for a break with a strict thirty minute limit. The one thing I am good at is being on time.
Fat Jack’s has a special section for New Releases to the right of the doors. To the left is a larger area of books which spans in alphabetical order for 13 book shelves. These books are no more than a month old. I tend to turn left once I’m in the store before looking at the right. This is in case there was something I missed the prior week, or to pick up a book a fellow writer wrote about. I am not ashamed to say that the trades of Fables are starting to look really good. Every Wednesday I arrive at the shop at ten o’clock and pick up my wares, occasionally making my way over the back issues for no other reason than I like to look.
The store does have an abundance of back issues, and if you are Philadelphia-bound for the Wizard World Convention in June, I suggest heading on over there. The Manager and staff are more than able and happy to assist you. They have a “card” program which is simple, fill out your information on a card, let them know what you are looking for, and they will see if they have it or if they can get it for you. With one store in walking distance, and seven other stores easily accessible, why is Fat Jack’s my Comic book shop?
I have nothing against all the other shops, in fact I frequent them from time to time with the exclusion of one. Eventually I will write about them. Every Wednesday, I go without fail (provided a holiday does not push the release date back a day). I also suggest if Fat Jack’s is not your comic book store of choice then check them out. I recommend it, whether you are buying new or back issues, trades or manga, or even the small amount of table top games they have. If they don’t have it, they will special order items for you. You can visit them at 2006 Sansom St, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 or call them at 215-963-0788. And I wouldn’t mind at all if you let them know Comic Booked sent you.
Thanks for Reading
PS. I apologize about picture quality, apparently I did need the flash.