Monday, May 26, 2008

the Earth, R.I.P. the end of an era.

this past weekend, on our way out of town, i decided to make a quick stop by the comic store. since it had been awhile, i made it a point to stop by the next door toy store, the Earth, only to find out it was the last day it would be open.

one of the first things i did when i got to Cincinnati (other than finding an apartment), was finding a comic store. this was the only way i knew i'd make this new place a home (i could no longer feasibly stay with my hometown comic shop). now picking a new comic store is an important decision. it dictates where you're going to get your weekly/monthly fix of graphic art enabled fiction, as well as an outlet to talk the latest geek things face to face (good writing, bad art, movie reviews, sci fi tv, etc) with other like-minded individuals.

what sealed the deal with my comic store was not the hold policy, discounts, selection of books, or friendly staff (though those were all excellent), but rather what was next door - not only was there a cool indie record store, but a toy store. and not just any toy store. the Earth. i had discovered the coolest corner in the Universe. and it was in Pleasant Ridge.

when people ask me what is cool about Cincinnati, or more importantly when they come to visit, it's stores like the Earth that i tell them of (or take them to). privately owned (ie, not a chain), the Earth did more than just sell the latest toys + collectibles off the shelf - they sold USED toys...OUT of the box.

toys weren't meant to sit in boxes and collect dust. they were meant to be standing and posed, like the modern day totem-like tributes to the graphic medium (of comics, film, and TV) that they are. and believe you me, there is NOTHING cooler than having Green Lantern standing in front of your TV (especially around Saint Patrick's day). or Nightcrawler hanging upside down at your desk at work. or giving your friend who just discovered comics (and likes Wolverine or Spider-Man) their own. or setting aside primo bookshelf space to show Godzilla w/ a duck nose VS Marvel+DC...
every few weeks when i'd make my stop by the comic store for my fix, i'd pop into the Earth. i'd rummage through old toys, recognizing far too many obscure sci-fi/comics references, and sometimes just picking up something because it looked cool. and when these toys are already out of the packaging, it became a low-priced flight of fancy. and the staff? friendly as anyone else, always willing to talk about the latest going on in and outside of their medium (i still remember striking up a 10 min conversation with one of the main guys there on why he was done with Marvel (and was selling off everything Marvel book in his collection). a bold move indeed.

but now those days are gone. the Earth has closed it's doors (though they're maintaining their online presence), but Cincinnati has lost one of it's more unique stores. i guess we all have to grow up sometime.

...but at least i'll be able to keep Mr. Freeze in check with Luke Cage at my desk.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:15 PM

    Hey, I think I recognize that framed photo of you and Kat! Didn't I take that on my old porch in Columbus before moving to Portland?


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