In honor of Fly After 5 becoming a bi-monthly publication, we’re here to bring you twice the Lancaster County fun. That means twice the music, twice the food and twice the arts and culture. Grab a copy of the Sept. 1 issue and be on the lookout for the next issue coming out on Sept. 15.
Like many currently-standing purveyors of niche goods, comic book shops remain open thanks to the wallets of geeks, nerds and the occasional dweeb. There is nothing quite like following the hunt of a recommendation or seeing a beloved character in a new series or setting, surrounded by the like-minded. Much like life itself, comics have been on the slow march to the internet for years now, but as long as the stores still exist, they will always be worth venturing out to as a bastion of knowledge and comradery. Central PA is lucky to be home to a dozen or so quality shops, but we’re going to highlight two brick and mortar shops still slangin’ the printed word.
Possibly the most to-the-point name of any shop around, The Comic Store has been a Lancaster landmark since 1977 (or as their website proudly proclaims, since the first “star Wars” was released). That means they’ve been around to see the entire comic book medium be modernized in the ’80s, D&D wildly fluctuate between “Abhorrently Uncool” and “Potential Multi-Million Dollar Film Franchise,” and enough tabletop games to cover the Earth’s surface. In all that time, it’s still the best way to kill time while you wait for your train to come. The Comic Store has enough capital to be present at most comic conventions in the tri-state area and always has good things going on for release days, Free Comic Book Day and any sort of nerd occasion you can think of. When your humble writer went hunting for the first trade paperback collection of “Y: The Last Man,” the Store employee was happy to not only find it, but recommend other great works by the author, Brian K. Vaughan.
28 McGovern Ave., Station Square, Lancaster
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: 12-5 p.m.
Far newer on the scene is 4th Wall Comics, who celebrated their year anniversary this past May. Thanks to a primo location by the Regal Theatre, fans young and old who check out the latest Marvel blockbuster (or DC dud) can then follow up on their enthusiasm and see where the big screen stories start out. Though smaller in size than The Comic Store, the same sort of community outreach is present via tournaments, weekly sales and game nights. As a personal aside, after an early showing of “Deadpool” earlier this year, I ambled into the store just in time to witness a young boy excitedly peruse the racks. He was lit up in a way that suggested this was his first time in a comic store, and all the while, his parental figure was haranguing him about the stupidity of it all. The shop employee calmly shot down the father figure, all the while encouraging the kid to seek out the various titles his gleaming eyes had caught. It was immensely heartwarming and the exact kind of thing Amazon or Comixology could never replace.
1224 Millersville Pike, Lancaster
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: 12-5 p.m.