They have no super powers, but they are heroic — they are the store employees across America who sell comics and, like the guys in “High Fidelity,” bicker with one another all day long about the true treasures of the discount bin. They are the Comic Book Store Clerks of America and we salute them.
For the Cure, love came on Friday, but for Todd Matyja, 28, it’s all about Wednesdays. That’s when the new issues land at Comic City (5703 E. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 888-1877) and the customers follow. An avid comics reader for 16 years, Todd is proud that Comic City still has a major back-issues inventory even as other stores abandon the old stuff for space and allergy-inducing issues. We caught up with the Lex Luthor look-a-like while he was working the counter.
When you were a wee young lad, where did this whole comic-book problem start?
“X-Men“! Actually it was the cartoon series that got me reading the comics. It wasn’t any book. I just wanted to read “X-Men”!
You can own one piece of comic book art by any comics artist. What is it and where do you hang it?
It would be a piece by Alex Ross. He did a piece called, “Dedication for Alan Moore.” It had all the characters he had ever written, and his face is the background. I would frame it and put it up in the living room.
Think about the final issue of your favorite comic-book series. Is there one little thing you would change?
Well it would be “Preacher.” I really wouldn’t change it. I mean, how good was that? He road off into the sunset. How else could you end that? I’ve got nothing.
NBC has just hired you to save “Heroes,” where do you start?
Stop using story lines that have already been done in Marvel!
Should all Saturday morning cartoons be turned into anime?
No! This is a tough one. This can vilify me…. I like a couple of mangas, but I like comic books. I’m a comic book fan. They’ll write a manga about anything! There’s one called, “The Prince of Tennis.” What is that?
— Michelle Castillo
Photo credit: Comic City