They have no superpowers, 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.
He reminds us of Puck from Alpha Flight and his name had us humming “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,” but there is nothing but respect for Jo Schmidt who at the tender age of 23 is an advanced scholar when it comes to comics. He works at Collector’s Edge Comics (2330 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI;  481-5055), which has four locations and more than a million back issues.
What’s the best comic book to snuggle with on a cold day?
“Watchmen!” It’s the best comic book of all time. Hands down, there’s nothing that competes with it. Well the only thing would be “Maus,” but that’s a completely different category. There’s nothing like it. It’s something that you can curl up with on a cold day and absorb. You can really, really get into get to all the layers of “Watchmen.”
So you must have seen the “Watchmen” movie by now?
I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It was as good as it could be, without seeing the director’s cut, of course. Purists already have it in their mind they are not going to like it no matter what. There will never be another director that will care about the material as much as Zack Snyder did and will be as good as this director is. You can tell he did it out of love instead of money, not like Michael Bay.
If you could steal any superhero’s accessory, what would it be?
The Green Lantern ring. It can do anything you want it to. It’s only restricted by the user’s imagination and willpower. It’s the ultimate weapon in the universe. Besides the fact it can make you fly in space, you can create any construct that you want.
What comic book movie needs a do-over?
“Daredevil,” because the first one suffered from poor casting choices and poor writing and directing choices. The supporting characters were significantly perfected — well, except for Elektra, she’s just trash. They need to pick someone better, someone who isn’t Ben Affleck.
If you could write a comic book series based on events in your home town, what would it be about?
It would be about the comic book store called “The Comic Book Store.” It would be just about the random things that happen. It would be a sitcom. We’ve got lots of strong personalities here.
– Michelle Castillo
Photos: Jo Schmidt from Collector’s Edge Comics; Jo’s comic book doppelganger Puck (from Alpha Flight) Credits: Courtesy of Collector’s Edge Comics; Courtesy of Marvel
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