There is no doubting or denying it. Being a geek, or a nerd, or whatever sub category you delineate yourself with is becoming not only tolerated, but embraced. Still, there will always be that percentage of the total population who can say that they eat, breath, and sleep the geek. I don’t think I can. Will Wheaten and Felicia Day defiantly can. Still, it is rare to see a television not only for geeks, but celebrates the lifestyle. Last night, I saw a television show slipped nicely into that Mylar sleeve. On July thirteenth Comic Store Heroes, a show about a comic store called Midtown Comics, premiered on NatGeo. In the special one hour opening, the show followed the owner, two of the main staffers, and two comic fans with unique stories as they all prepared for comic-con New York. The main players in this amazing episode included: Gerry Gladstone who is an owner, Thor Parker the marketing and events manager, Alex Roe, who is in charge of buying and selling merchandise, Jill Pantozzi a huge name in geek blogging, and Chris R.Notarile who is an aspiring comic book creator.
A simple synopsis of the hour long premiere is that Midtown Comics is preparing for Comic-Con. During this time Thor has to try to find a big name to sign autographs at their table and Alex must buy 10,000 comics along with the task of finding a special comic book for Gerry, “Hot Stuff, The Little Devil No.1″. Along the way we meet Chris Notarile , a man on a mission to get his comic on the shelves of Midtown Comics. To do this, he must woo Thor at comic-con with super ideas. Jill Pantozzi, a blogger with muscular dystrophy and 15,000+ views is featured. The teapot comes to a whistle as Comic-Con approaches and the pressure builds up. What happens? Watch the episode.
The first time I went to Midtown Comics was my freshman year of High school. I was on a trip with the orchestra and we had extra free time to walk around NYC. Something attracted me to that amazing shop, and every chance I can find myself in New York with extra time and extra money I head down there. As you watch the show, you can truly tell how special a comic book shop is. A community is formed, and as long as you have an interest in comics you are immediately accepted into the clan of collectors. Comic Store Hero is special because it does not try to build upon an age old stereotype. It shows a candid community of people who share a common bond and the extremes that they will go for their passion. Whether you have been reading comics since before you could talk or you have only seen The Amazing Spiderman in films, Comic Store Heroes is a show to watch. Sometimes, a super hero doesn’t have to fly. They just have to believe and move forward.