Thursday, January 30, 2014

Local Business of the Week: Death Ray Comics

OK, OK, so it's more like business of the month or year, give me a break, I'm a busy girl.

Maybe you hear "comic book store" and think this:

or this:

And you'd probably be right.  There are comic book stores and comic book store guys like you see in those clips, but Death Ray Comics defies all these stereotypes.  Let me back up and tell you a little bit about my introduction to the world of comics.

Comics are a natural fit for me.  I grew up in a house filled with photos, art, and books of all kinds.  As a result I love having art in my home.  And I also love having books in my home.  Please see Exhibits A and B.

Exhibit A: My living room
Exhibit B: My computer room/library

Please note we're not even going to go near the precarious situation that is my bedside table because I have so many books stacked that the slightest movement may cause a landslide that could bury me for good.

When I was growing up it was not cool to be into comics.  Comics were for nerds, and no one wanted to be called a nerd.  The only comics I read were a few old Archie and Jughead books that I found at my grandmother's house, tucked away on her bookshelves among the golden books and coloring books.  Up until that point most of my early experiences with the comic format were the funny pages in the newspaper, and Saturday morning cartoons adapted from comic series.

Flash forward to 1999.  I was living in Ireland and my friends Cathy and Fiona introduce me to the authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and their works in the comic book field, Sandman and Mort Big Comic respectively.  Later I found and fell in love with Terry Pratchett's The Last Hero which was somewhere between novella and graphic novel.  My fascination with comics and graphic novels had officially begun.

Then one night last month I was introduced to Death Ray Comics while I working at the Persian Peacock in downtown Logan.  The mastermind behind DRC, Trent Hunsaker, stopped by the Peacock to pick up some old store fixtures that my boss, Jess, was giving away.  He gave Jess some awesome graphic t-shirts (Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and one with his store's logo on it) in exchange for the display racks, and my curiosity was piqued. 

I asked Trent a lot of annoying questions (like I have a tendency to do), and he was kind enough to answer them all.  A few days later I stopped by Death Ray Comics to pick up some books to keep at my house for my nieces and nephews to read when I'm babysitting them...

...and I walked out with more than a few items for myself (like I have a tendency to do).  Now I'm hooked.

DRC is located at 72 W Center St, Logan UT next to the Starsteppers dance studio, and
they are open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 11pm.  Prior to DRC, the building housed Logan Hobby, and before that it was Somer's Video.  The store opened in the spring of 2013 and is quickly approaching it's first anniversary.  And while customers pretend to be there for the merchandise, we all know the star of the show is Sherman.

Sherman is a Bernese Mountain Dog that belongs to Trent.  Sherman is so famous that the shop was almost named after him.  If you want love and affection go straight to Sherman, he gives it away free.  However, if you want sound advice from the resident comic book expert, go straight to Trent.

This store is Trent's baby and he knows comic books like no one else I've ever known.  Looking for the newest installment of your grandson's favorite comic series?  Trent will find it for you.  Need a birthday present for your Batman er, I mean husband?  Trent will walk you through comics, t-shirts, artwork, and action figures.  You're new to comics and not sure where to start.  Trent will talk with you about what you like and give you an awesome selection to choose from.  Special orders?  Trent to the rescue.  Basically, Trent is your man when it comes to the world of comics.

"What do you mean you haven't seen High Fidelity?!?  Get out of my store!  Just kidding, but no, really, go watch High Fidelity."
In addition to comic books, DRC also hosts trivia nights, movie screenings, a comic book reading club, and podcasts.  And Trent also makes wicked awesome mix "tapes", is a contributor and co-publisher of Pew!Pew! zine, and he also blogs here and here.  Oh and I almost forgot to mention that DRC also hosts the Logan Out Loud improv comedy group.

What I like most about Death Ray Comics is that I can walk in and shop in a friendly environment.  This is, sadly, not always the case with comic book stores.  I've walked into comic cooks shops and been glared at, ignored, or stared at in horror like I had leprosy and just asked the clerk to sew one of my fingers back on.  I've been in shops where I when I asked for help finding something specific I was mocked for liking that comic or graphic novel and told to leave.  DRC isn't like that, it's a judgment free zone, and that feels pretty great.

The kid section has something for just about every kid on your list.

You love Cervantes or Joyce?  Yeah, they've got a manga for that.
I love how Hellboy's fist looks like it's smashing Hawkeye in the face.

I can't go back into the shop until someone buys this hoodie, or else I have to buy it and bring it home to my excessive sweater collection.
This one's for Cordelia.
I still have no idea how I walked out of there without this one.
I own one of these shirts, guess which one and you win a free throat hug!
All I can say is: Heck.Yes.
Hmmmm I think I need a Sandman poster, yeah I definitely need a Sandman poster.

How is this NOT a comic book unto itself?
Hey look, my dad's a comic book character!

You can visit DRC's website here:
Or their facebook page here:
Or follow them on twitter here:
Or my personal favorite, get out from behind your computer screen and visit them in person here:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A great shop and if you need some answers on comics the "BIG HAIRY GUY", knows the answers! If he doesn't know you can still scratch his belly, or you can scratch Sherman's belly! I prefer Sherman!