Got Hero Worship? . . . Well, Find Them All Here

About Comics: Darryl Gangloff
The Justice League from DC Comics

In 1994, my father fulfilled every kid’s dream when he opened a comic book store called the Comic Corner in Lakeville, CT. If you drove down Main Street in the mid-1990s, chances are you would have seen a giant Spider-Man balloon hanging outside our tiny shop.

The staff was comprised of my parents and my 11-year-old self. My “work” generally involved reading every comic possible — Spider-Man, the X-Men, Batman, Superman, the Flash, the Avengers, you name it.

The Comic Corner moved to Pawling, NY, in 1997 and closed in 2003. Even though it’s been 12 years, my storage shed is still filled with thousands of comics. They remind me of those comic shop days, and with the resurgence of comics in movies and television, it’s fun to flip through the source material.

Marvel Comics is dominating theaters these days with its cinematic universe, including the just-released “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (which is reviewed in this issue of Compass). On the small screen, ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD” is entertaining, and Netflix’s “Daredevil” contains some mesmerizing fight scenes. 

As for DC Comics, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” comes out March 25, 2016, and “Suicide Squad” cast photos are currently being teased on the Internet, with Will Smith as Deadshot and Jared Leto as the Joker. DC has a great television lineup on the CW with “Arrow,” “The Flash” and “iZombie,” and "Gotham" just finished its first season on Fox.

Some viewers may be surprised that AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is based on a comic book that is published by Image Comics. If you’re a fan of the show, I highly recommend the comic.

Which leads to the question: Where can you buy comics? There are multiple options, ranging from physical copies to digital issues.

• There are still plenty of local comic book stores out there, and they are a great resource for finding new titles or subscribing to your favorite series. Most stores will keep a pull list of your subscriptions so you’ll never miss an issue. My favorite local stores are Dragon’s Den in Poughkeepsie, NY, Gamer’s Gambit in Danbury, CT, and Zombie Planet in Albany, NY. The staff at each store is incredibly helpful, and the venues give you an opportunity to play games like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. To find a comic store near you, go to www.comicshoplocator.com and enter your zip code.

• While I love visiting comic stores, I seem to live in a one-hour radius from every shop. If you’re in a similar situation, I recommend signing up for Comic Cartel, a website that will mail you comics in stylish storage boxes that fit perfectly on a bookshelf. You can subscribe to titles or purchase single issues, and the staff happily treats you like an actual person, not as an account number. You can get more information at www.comiccartel.io.

• If you don’t have room to store physical comics, you can purchase them digitally through ComiXology. Simply buy the issues through their website and read them immediately on your phone, tablet or computer. The site offers regular sales, which makes it a great way to try out an issue or two of a title to see if you like it. For more information, go to www.comixology.com.

• If you’re a fan of the Marvel films and television shows, your best bet is to sign up for Marvel Unlimited, which gives you access to more than 15,000 issues on your computer, tablet or phone. Think of it as Netflix for Marvel Comics. If the number of issues available sounds daunting, the service contains curated reading lists that will guide you toward important storylines. Want to know more about Ultron, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver after watching the new Avengers movie? Marvel Unlimited will point you in the right direction. The service costs $9.99 a month, but you can sign up for a free month at www.marvel.com/ultron until May 17.

If all this  makes you want to go to a convention, New York Comic Con will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan Oct. 8-11. Tickets go on sale at www.newyorkcomiccon.com on May 13 at noon. 

See you there!