Fans of comic books come from all walks of life and do not fit into any particular mold. Yet, I would imagine one thing remains the same across the majority of readers – the enjoyment of visiting the local comic shop. Wednesdays are traditionally Comic Book Day, the day new books arrive and the busiest day of the week for specialty shops. So, readers of the comic lore, sit back and marvel at the bombshell of a story. The epic adventure of my former-but-stil favorite comic book shop.
The Epic Discovery of Bombshell Comics and Stuff
This post is more than a review. It is a tale of an epic discovery of Bombshell Comics and Stuff. Again, readers of the comic lore, sit back and marvel as we begin many, many years ago.
The Early Days
I’ve been reading comics since (practically) before I could read. In those days, the late 70s and early 80s, comics were bought on a rack in the local drugstore, supermarket, or something like. The prices ranged from $0.35-$.50. Back then, with just $5.00, imagine the amount of comics someone could buy!
While the direct-market dates back to the 1970s, it was either 1984-85 when I found the first comic book speciality shop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I don’t remember anything more than it being a shop – that sold nothing more than comic books! Imagine a kid who was 11 or 12 and who loved comics coming into a store that had nothing BUT his favorite thing!?!? Forget being a kid in a candy store.
By the time I was old enough to drive, comics had shifted away from newsstand distribution. I would find an excuse (eventually comic books becoming the excuse) to go to Hattiesburg on Comic Book Day. (Sometimes I think that new book day was at one time on Thursday instead of Wednesday?)
1990s – 2000s
Hattiesburg was never without a comic book shop in the 1990s and 2000s. Certain retailers would close shop while others would open – and I seemed to follow. Then, in the early 2000s, I arrived on a Wednesday to find a note posted on the door of the shop. It was closed – gone out of business – kaput. A message to customers told of another shop on the other side of town and provided the address.
I drove over and explained to the guy behind the counter why I was there. Let’s assume the story above was 2001 – I still remember it in 2015 as clear as if it were yesterday. It was on this day that I met Justin Adcock.
With due respect to any retailer prior to Justin or any who are current or future, Justin is different. When I first became a customer I did not know (or honestly care) if he was an employee or the owner because it didn’t matter to me. What I wanted was simple:
- I wanted the books on my list.
- I wanted someone with adequate customer service skills.
Two simple requirements, right?
It was not long before I realized the difference. Justin went beyond simply taking a list and pulling them each week. He took the time to learn what his customers wanted. He would remember that they were or were not a fan of this or that – or not. He found ways to connect with the customer on levels outside of comics. (For me, we both shared an enjoyment of pro-wrestling.)
Comics and Stuff Wednesdays
About once a month, if I happened to be the only one in the shop, I would ask how’s business. This was probably after about three or four years of being a customer. I never told Justin why I asked it, but I will tell it here…right now. Yes, I was being concerned about his business…I wanted him to be successful. The REAL reason? 100% selfish – I was happy being a customer.
Work permitting, effort was given to arriving at just the right time so that the usual Wednesday crew would be there – and I would always want to stay a bit longer instead of hurrying back to work.
In the years after 2005, Justin picked up on my love for all things Doctor Who by giving me the nickname “Doctor Jones” – something used to this day.
My Move to Ridgeland
In early 2015, I made the decision to move to Ridgeland. What most do not know is, when the opportunity presented itself, one of my first “Oh, I can’t” arguments was: What about Wednesday? I CAN’T miss comic books at Bombshell!
Seriously….not exaggerating. 100% true!
And, just as vivid as my first visit, I remember the last regular visit and the empty punch to the stomach feeling of walking to leave. (I had already found a new comic shop in Ridgeland so why should it matter, right?)
The Bombshell Difference
A Google search prior to writing this review took me to the following interview on Silbermedia.com dated April 2015.
QRD – What makes your store special to your community that another store transplanted from another city wouldn’t have going for it?
Justin – Me. Just me.
I couldn’t agree more.
If I could rate my experience with Justin’s comic shop on a scale of 1-10…it would be 1,000,000.
If you are in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and are a comic book fan, I urge you to take the trip to visit Justin and tell him Doctor Jones sent you.
To learn more about Comics & Stuff, Like the shop on Facebook.
To read the entire interview referenced above, click here.
The following is a video provided by Jay Gunn showcasing Free Comic Book Day 2015.
Comics & Stuff is located at:
2103 Hardy St
Hattiesburg, MS 39401