They Used To Be All In Color For A Dime…
This past week I treated to a very unexpected but welcome delight: a welcome home gift, if you will. Upon arriving back in Hutchinson, it did not take me long at all to stop by my favorite hang-out here in town, Hastings. What is Hastings, you might ask? Well, only the GREATEST entertainment store EVER!!! With movies to rent and buy, video games, CD’s, books, magazines, and comics, plus its own coffee shop, Hastings is a small town dream that has made living in Hutchinson much more manageable. As is customary with my visits to the store, my first stop is usually the comic book section to see what’s new out. This past year they had really revamped how they did comics, increasing the number of titles they carried from maybe the 15-20 books they would get back during my community college days, to a much needed expansion of 45-50 books. It provided for a more satisfactory experience in being able to find titles I was interested in. As I walked up to the comic book aisle, my heart quickly sank. Where once had stood the rack of comics, now there was no trace left to be found. I sadly turned away, discouraged by the tragic loss of a crucial element of what had made Hastings such a joy to visit.
That was when I was confronted with a rather shocking sight, one that I thought I would never see. “By the beard of Odin, what is this!?!” I exclaimed in astonishment (although it might have just been in my head). What greeted me was the scene you see pictured above. Hastings had finally gone all-in with their commitment to be the premier (and only) comic book venue in Hutchinson. They had removed an entire aisle out of their music department and inserted in a true comic book shop-worthy shelf system filled to the brim with an array of comics that before would only have been available locally over at Prairie Dog Comics in Wichita (if even there). Now they had several hundred titles to choose from, and that was not all. On the back side of the shelf they had added back-issue bins full of old comics as well (pictured below). Needless to say, that made my night. I very much look forward to exploring this grand addition to my favorite retail store during my free time here in Hutch.
As to why I believe that comic books are one of the most underrated and overlooked story-telling mediums and art-forms of the 20th & 21st Centuries, that will have to wait for another day.