Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All Things Fun! for Best Comics Shop

Let's talk about comic book shops, shall we? When most folks think about comic book shops, the first thought that comes to mind is The Android's Dungeon, the place run by Comic Book Guy on "The Simpsons" and while there are places like that, they are not the norm. The next thing people think of is the comic book shop on "Big Bang Theory" which is a bit more reality-based, but still not an appetizing place to shop.

And there's All Things Fun! in West Berlin NJ, with a second store at McGuire Air Force Base. Both are run by the wonderful Ed and Dina Evans. The store is (and I admit I'm biased, but the truth is the truth) the best place for comics, games, and toys in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area. All Things Fun! is (like the name says) fun, inviting, and family friendly. Ed and Dina, and the entire staff are some of the coolest folks around, and they love what they do, are knowledgeable about the products, and just plain good people.

Today writer Gail Simone was talking on her Twitter about comic book shops and said the following: "Comic shops that are inviting and inclusive change not just their readership, but actually create communities and acceptance." This is exactly what All Things Fun! is about. I walk into the store, and I know I'll find friends either behind the counter or in front of it that will share my interests.

If you read further on Gail Simone's Twitter, you will find the discussion turning toward how comics shops treat female customers. Many are not very good at it, much like the "Simpsons" and "Big Bang Theory" examples cited at the start of this article, but ATF! is one of the best, not only is it female-friendly, it's also family-friendly.

All Things Fun! is where I met Allison Eckel who's a friend, fellow writer and sometime co-conspirator. With Allison, I write the All Things Fun! Blog, and for years we hosted, with ATF! owner Ed, the All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast, which on a weekly basis talked about new comics, and even featured kid comics segments for younger readers.

Honestly I can't think of any other comics shop that even comes close to ATF!, it's simply the best place for comics in this area. If you've experienced the store, the staff, and the community of All Things Fun!, maybe you might think about voting for them in the Philly Hot List for Best Comic Book Shop. You can vote here. And vote or not, you're not changing my mind, All Things Fun! is still the best comics shop in the area.

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