Comic Book Store Clerks of America, No. 7: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

March 08, 2009 | 12:55 a.m.

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.

Jo Schmidt from Collector's Edge ComicsHe 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; [414] 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?

Puck from Alpha FlightDaredevil,” 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


Think your fav store has a clerk who is worthy of our spotlight? Tell us in the comments section below…

More in: Uncategorized, Comic Book Store Clerks of America


8 Responses to Comic Book Store Clerks of America, No. 7: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  1. This series is a great idea. Someone needs to do the same thing for us librarians.

  2. Jon Jordan says:

    I shop at Collectors Edge.
    Jo really knows his stuff and has never steered me wrong with a recommendation

  3. Former Collector&amp says:

    Collector's Edge is a great store. with great employees.. and a terrible owner.
    They have a million back issues, sure. Good luck getting the owner to get off his can to go unlock the basement to go get them. He'll grudgingly go get them on Friday or Saturday (if he shows up to work, and he often doesn't). Otherwise the back issue storage is open once a year, right after Christmas.
    The owner actually trotted out the "this ain't a library" line (actually, he pronounced it 'lie-berry') to a friend of mine who grabbed a trade to read the indicia to see if it reprinted the issue he was looking for. My friend immediately put the trade back and left the store. I told the owner that the guy was with me (a package customer at the time) and the owner said "oh, if I had known that…" like it should make a difference.
    The Edge has a great set of stores, great employees, great ordering staff, and great back issues. And I'll never go there again because the owner treats customers poorly. I don't need the hassle, now I order my weekly books online and throw my back issues in as well.

  4. Steve Owner-Man says:

    It's amazing that anyone who has access to a computer can anonymously slander a person without consequences. "Former Collector's Edge customer" obviously has issues that he needs deal with unfortunately lying is one of them. I feel sorry for him and wish him well in his comic reading in the future.
    When in Milwaukee, visit Collector's Edge. You'll be glad you did.

  5. Office Assistant-gir says:

    Hey, I appreciate his "Great Ordering Staff" comment. Aside from that, the rest of "Former"'s comment is crap. I mean, yeah, we all expect you to buy a book or two, rather than read them. But he's not rude to the customers. We've one too many local "Best Of" contests for anyone to think otherwise.
    Stop at the Edge! You'll be glad you did. :D

  6. Jon Jordan says:

    I've been in a lot of comic books stores since I started going to them in the late seventies. Steve is one of the nicest and easiest to deal with owners I've met, and I've met a lot of them. On any number of occasions he's gone way out of his way to help me and I've never once been gouged with the prices.
    I'm proud to spend my money there and will continue to do so as long as they are open.

  7. J Cox says:

    Well I don't know about the other poster but I have been a customer for over a year there and I shop nowhere else. The staff and especially the clerk Neil will go out of there way to make sure that I get exactly what I want. And I am not a easy customer to deal with as I must have most of my stuff in best condition possible ( I can be really anal about it). If I need a back issue all I have to is ask and the next time I come in its there waiting for me. Some folks gotta understand that Steve is running 4 stores, granted with alot of help but its still 4 stores and taxes his time. I doubt anyone is gonna fall over dead because they just have to have a certian back issue right that moment, but hey you never know.. Also the sale after Christmas is awesome. Thats the time of year to buy high ticket items and put yourself deeper in debt like I did, but Odin was worth it.
    Keep up the good work Collectors Edge and I'll keep coming. And Neil "Your Awesome"

  8. Richard says:

    What are you talking about,Steve at collectors edge is awesome I do a lot of selling to him and he always is fair,yea I’d love to get eBay prices but I’m happy to help him as he also is very fair and is never rude to me or any of his customers. So maybe you were just illusinating.

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