How many of us have them?!?
GEMS...ones we can depend on...
Now I’m sure all Posse members have their favorite stores, and that we all could probably rank them in order. I’m sure we all have our least favorites too (because ANY store w/ comics is still a “favorite”, right). But how many of us have a "GEM”?
I do. In true GEM fashion it’s not the place I keep my saver ((regular pull)) list. It’s not the super-duper glitzy comic-o-rama semi-chain that has more than one location in my city. It’s not even the place around the corner from my house that I hit up on days when I get some spare time and dough to waste. It’s none of those.
But I probably wouldn’t want to write about any of them.
As I define it: a GEM is a building in which I find the greatest deals in the history of the universe. Others may define GEM differently, and that’s their prerogative. Word to B. Brown.
I only tell two kinds of people about my GEM:
· Those whose collections, and collecting appetites, I respect but they DO NOT collect anything I might be after
· “Squares” ((People who have no use for comic books))
· My PTP brethren!!
My GEM is called GREAT ESCAPE GAMES, and is located at 1250 Howe Ave. here in Sacramento, CA. I shit you not, it is invisible from either of the two frontage roads you use to get to it and faces the back parking lot of an adjacent apartment complex. I am not kidding, still no shitting going on here, I once heard an employee describe to someone, over the phone, that in order to find the place once they got to the parking lot they should “pretend you’re going to go dump a couch”!!! I mean is that GEM material or not?
So what is so great about this place, aside from being utterly invisible to all who drive past it? Well, it’s not “really” a comic book shop. Nay. Nay I say. This store is probably about 10% comic book and 90% gamer. Not video-gamer, nay again, this place is for the serious “role player”. This place abounds with Worlds of Warcraft, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, D&D, and HeroClix ((the one I’d ever consider getting into)). They also have a shit load of those kind of board games that you’ve never heard of, cost $69.99, and have a baker’s dozen or so stickers on the front proclaiming that this game swept each category of the 2002 European “Toy of the Year” Awards. The store is also unique in that only the front 25% or so is devoted to retail. Pass through the make-shift 4’X9’ hole in the wall and you find yourself in Gamer Tournament Paradise. Table after table of acne-riddled sexual frustration can be found there 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, tackle boxes and expansion pack decks at the ready. Some tables are devoid of people but are covered with “terra”, half demolished castles, miniature houseplants representing the forest, miniature cacti representing the desert, and brown and green painted Styrofoam. The people watching in here is choice **smuah**
However, as fun as all of that may be for a couple of minutes, the true beauty to this GEM is to be found in the long boxes. For it is there, my fellow POSSE members, that you will find laminated 8.5X11 sheets of paper stating:
“Dollar Boxes – Buy 5 get 1 FREE, Buy 10 get 3 FREE”
“So what?” You may say out loud to noon in particular as you read that. Or you might scream it at some unsuspecting neighbor, and if you did you should now apologize. I’ll wait. Well, Mr./Mrs. So What, I’ll tell you “so what”:
In the 25 or so long boxes, stacked in such a way that there’s 10 on a table top ((2 rows of 5 back-to-back)) and 10 below, with another 5 set off in the corner, that comprise this discount comic book bonanza…you can find last week's books!! That’s right…that’s how they do around GREAT ESCAPE GAMES…they have the smallest shelf set up for the books that come out that week only. Anything older than that gets moved straight to the dollar bin section. I am still crapping you negative. Negatory are the B.M.s here, my friends. Not only is it possible to stumble upon that long sought after Action or Detective Comics you’ve been looking for since ’03, but its highly probable that you’ll stumble upon that long sought after LAST. WEEK’S. BOOK. And won’t that have been well worth the hunt?
It has been tres lovely, folks.
And I do mean tres.
For example: I only recently discovered that the current Ultimate Spider-man team is Bendis and Immonen, both guys whose works I find I tend to appreciate above most others. I had about 20 or so issues to back track and collect if I wanted the entire body of work. It’s a pricey situation, but that’s the way I have to have things. Well, thanks to the GEM known as G.E.G., I found 10 of those 20 for $10, and then got an additional 3 books for free…just on G.P.!
Here’s my haul from Feb. 17th, 2009, now mind, I paid $12.83 for this little bundle:
JLA - #29
JSA - ANNUAL #1
JSA - #12, 14, 15
Punisher MAX - #24, 29, 55, 62
New Avengers - #1 (3 copies – Imma see if I can peddle them elsewhere and for what value. There’s still 3 more #1s in the bin)
Amazing Spider-Man - #585
Ultimate Spider-man - #130
Daredevil - #115
EYE POOP EWE NON. (All palindrome style on that ass).
That’s just a little taste of how I feel about it, a little taste of why this place deserves to be written about.
What about you? Any GEMs in your area? Give ‘em some shine. What do you like about them?