Whether you’re riding the L train through hipster Brooklyn or the 7 to Flushing, chances are good somebody nearby will be reading a comic book or graphic novel. Chances are also good they won’t be a kid.
No, the world of comic books and graphic novels has changed dramatically in recent years. Just as Tom Adams, who opened his very own comic book store, Bergen Street Comics, last March, in the process fulfilling what he said was a lifelong dream.
Adams opened his store off Flatbush Avenue at just the right time. The country may be experiencing the worst recession since the Great Depression, but the comic book world is experiencing a major renaissance.
“There’s been a huge resurgence in comics in the last few years,” said Adams.
He said the popularity of recent Hollywood superhero movies- from Spiderman to the Incredible Hulk- have helped boost the genre. Graphic novels have also gone mainstream, he said.
“It is a great time” to open a comic book store, Adams said. “That’s why you see so many shops popping up.”
Bergen Street Comics store provides a good example of the direction comic book stores are taking these days. The colorful, inviting one-room shop is designed and decorated much more like a bookstore than the grubby comic book/baseball card den many of us frequented years ago.
Sleek book shelves line the walls, which are hung with original comic book art selling for a good deal more than the average nine-year-old’s weekly allowance. Reading chairs allow shoppers to browse comfortably before buying.
The store is stocked with everything imaginable, from Calvin and Hobbes to Superman comics to the latest graphic novels.
Adams, who grew up on Long Island, said he gave up his nine-to-five Manhattan job to open the store with his wife. So far, the adventure hasn’t disappointed, he said.
“I still love comics,” Adams said. “I’m a kid in a candy store most days.”