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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #377  (Vol. 8, No. 24) This edition is for the week of June 11--17, 2007.

The Tampa Film Review for June  by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum
"Ocean's 13"  by Mike Smith
Comics & Critters Too - Largo's Newest Comic Book Store - Grand Opening Weekend  by Andy Lalino
When It Rains, It Pours  by John Lewis
Everything Just Goes Black....Danger, Bruce Banner....Where's Helen Slater?....Whatever Happened To --? Chapter 22: Warren Beatty  by Mike Smith
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Oddservations by Andy Lalino

Comics & Critters Too - Largo's Newest Comic Book Store - Grand Opening Weekend

I heard rumblings from PCR contributor/elder Crazed Fanboy John Lewis himself announcing the Grand Opening of his all-new comic book store to open in Largo, Florida on June 9th: Comics & Critters Too. This indeed was good news for the well-rounded Mr. Lewis, who is quite knowledgeable and has experience in many facets of Crazed Fandom: comics, RPG's, horror, filmmaking, writing, etc.. I pledged my attendance, and wound up visiting the new store at the very last minute: late Sunday afternoon after most of the festivities had concluded.

So what's up with the "critters"?

For those new to PCR, John Lewis is an avid reptile-lover. His interest influenced the overall concept of the store, half of which is devoted to fish, snakes, lizards, centipedes and other interesting beasties. A very nice complement to the cosmic world of comics!

I arrived at the shop at about 3:45pm, greeted by a life-sized Spider-Man right at the door. John's sister was minding the register while John was caring for the critters. While John made the rounds making sure the reppies were radiant, I perused the mouth-watering selections of comics, magazines, RPG accessories, action figures and other marvy memorabilia.

I thought John carried a great cross-section of merchandise. My favorite piece: a wonderfully boxed action figure set of Marvel's monsters. The store was, intentionally, dominated by comics, but had decent representation of other factions of fandom. John explained that in the near future, he would be carrying even more tantalizing merchandise, some expressly for the horror/cult movie connoisseur. The store was well-balanced out between DC & Marvel (maybe with a slight Marvel edge). There were some interesting rarities, including an Avengers #1 and some '50s EC-inspired horror comics. I purchased a nice edition of Marvel Essentials: Horror. For frequent customers, Comics & Critters Too has a program that for $20, you can get 20% off certain types of merchandise, which I took advantage of.

Gamers take note: There is a sizable gaming area surrounded by an enthralling mural of Gotham City. John plans to cater to the gaming crowd and may even run some campaigns himself, including D&D and Call of Cthulhu. Just beyond the gaming area is a wide array of gaming supplies and tomes from various game lines (Gurps, Star Wars, etc.). If you're looking for dice, head up to the register where they are kept in a glass case, along with the now-popular card games such as Magic: The Gathering.

I chatted with John a good long time, while he wasn't catering to customers, most of who came in to purchase fish, reptiles and supplies. About half-an-hour after I arrived, Ashley Lewis, John's daughter, walked in, and we chatted about the shop and John's plans for the future. Apparently they had a bang-up, Godzilla-sized Grand Opening weekend. I didn't know it beforehand, but John had told me the store had been open a week previously (known as a soft launch). It was good to hear that the shop had a strong opener, which seems likely to continue as more and more fans get turned on to the shop.

Comics & Critters Too seems to be destined as a headquarters for indie filmmakers, authors, gamers, comic book/horror/sci-fi fans, and damn near everything else. Thanks to John for having the courage to make his dreams come true, and for giving us fans a place to hang and buy cool stuff!

"Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.