Back in March my old friend Jessica — a sweet-natured stoner and fellow comic book geek — alerted me to the opening of a brand new comics shop about nine blocks away from the Vault, but for some reason I put it out of my mind and got on with other things, most likely because the bulk of my main comics shopping is done at one of two Manhattan-based locations that I have frequented since the early-199o's. Then came this past weekend and my increasingly futile efforts at finding a copy of the first issue of DC's WEDNESDAY COMICS (more on that tomorrow), a book that proved sold out at seven of the eight comics shops I called to see if they had it. I was successful with my eighth attempt, namely when I called the newbie comics shop in my own neighborhood of Park Slope, Bergen Street Comics.
The aesthetic polar opposite of 5th Avenue's Galaxy Collectibles (also a stone's throw from the Vault), the vibe of Bergen Street Comics at first comes off as a comics shop for the many "hipsters" that infest the Slope. But don't be put off by its classy vibe and appointment; those aspects reflect the fact that owners/proprietors Tom Adams (late of Midtown Comics Grand Central) and his wife, Amy, take the medium seriously and respect its merits while providing a comics shop for grownups that refreshingly eschews the toys, statues and other assorted overpriced gewgaws that in this economy are not guaranteed to sell and often leave the retailer stuck with what amounts to pricey paperweights.
Store co-owner Tom Adams: a helluva nice guy who knows his shit.
Bergen Street Comics carries a good stock of weekly comic books and maintains a very good selection of trade paperbacks featuring collected ongoing series and graphic novels, as well as a good cross-section of what's going on with manga and other foreign properties. And speaking of the foreign stuff carried by the place, Bergen Street Comics is the only comics shop located within walking distance of my abode that carries 2000 A.D., so they automatically score points from me for that!
Another thing lending the place a touch of class is its displays of framed original comics art, examples of which can be found all over the store, providing an atmosphere that combines a library and an art gallery.
Collected editions, surmounted by original comics art pages.
Though a fledgling shop, Bergen Street Comics has gotten stuck in with special events. Ranging beyond the garden variety signing appearances by comics creators, the shop provides the fan with an interest in graphic entertainment as something other than spandex operas with diversions like the recent "cartoonist's brunch" that brought out Mike Dawson (ACE FACE, FREDDIE & ME), Alex Robinson (TOO COOL TO BE FORGOTTEN, BOX OFFICE POISON) and John Kerschbaum (PETEY & PUSSY, THE WIGGLY READER) for conversation and Sunday brunch. Coming up next is a launch party for Fred Chao's Eisner-nominated JOHNNY HIRO on Saturday, July 18th. from 7PM through closing, so come on down and check it out!
As a Park Slope resident, I'm very pleased to see this sort of thing going on and wish Tom and Amy nothing but resounding success. And, Tom: asking as a dyed-in-the-wool 2000 A.D. junkie, if you've ordered copies of their upcoming collection of FLESH (a classic series about what really happened to the dinosaurs), please count me in for one!
BERGEN STREET COMICS
Monday - closed
Tuesday - Friday 12:00pm - 9:00pm
Saturday - 11:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday - 12:00pm - 7:00pm
470 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Easily accessible from the 2,3,4,5,B,D,M,R & Q trains at the Pacific Street/Atlantic Avenue stop (at Flatbush Avenue) and the 2 & 3 trains at the Bergen Street/Flatbush Avenue stop.