Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett talks about a new comic store, Marvel in Disney Infinity, and the arrival of Doraemon.
Having worked in restaurants for over a decade I knew venturing out to eat at a sit-down restaurant on Mother's Day would mean full immersion into a wild scrum of celebrants of all things maternal.  But it was also that rarest of treasures, a Sunday off, my first in months and that could only mean one thing: lunch at my favorite Indian buffet.*  Hoping to avoid the full brunt of the holiday I got there early but as I pulled into the parking lot I saw that only available space was miraculously right up front, where I saw a line of people were already waiting in line to get in.  And just as I started thinking about what I was going to do until it opened I noticed, directly in front  of me, something so unexpected it took me a couple of seconds to accept what I was seeing:  a comic book store.  A new comic book shop.  In the weeks since my last visit, Astounding Comics & Games had opened.
Now the greater Cincinnati area has any number of fine comic book shops, Comic Book World in Kentucky, Up, Up & Away in Cheviot, but they were the very definition of destination locations, too far for me to frequent very often.  On the other hand Astounding Comics & Games is a couple blocks off the highway in an area of town I regularly frequent--in the three years I'd been here I finally had a comic book shop I could regularly visit without going too far out of my way.
It was a brief visit but I was there long enough for me to see that it was my kind of store.  It's very much a storefront and while its space is limited it fully utilizes that space and has a clean and uncluttered layout as well a friendly, informed staff.  And I think it says something that it wasn't empty on Sunday morning, on Mother's Day, and as far as I can tell nobody else there was waiting for the Indian restaurant to open.  Finding it was an unexpected pleasure, and I will be making a return visit soon.
I knew it was only a matter of time until the Marvel characters found their way into the Disney Infinity game and of course they have (see "'Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes'").  Naturally the first batch of characters will include The Avengers and, if this screen capture is to be believed, Loki and… Modok I guess.  It's really not his green skin that bothers me so much as the fact that somebody at Disney obviously decided it was important to slim down a giant hovering head so it wouldn’t be perceived as promoting bad eating habits for kids.  But the line from the ICv2 piece that intrigued me was that "additional Marvel and Disney characters to be announced later" as (heaven help me) I really do want to see the Hulk fighting side by side with Mickey Mouse.
I keep saying that the impossible happens with alarming frequency these days, but even I wasn't prepared for the news that the iconic Japanese robot cat Doraemon was finally going to break the States (see "Disney Acquires 'Doraemon' Rights").  As an anime fan I've been waiting literally for decades to see this series translated into English, but I just assumed it was just too intrinsically, idiosyncratically Japanese to ever make it in America.
Of course some of those off-putting Japanese elements are being "adapted;" names will be anglicized, food and objects Westernized, etc. The usual suspect hardcore anime fans will undoubtedly object, but of course this is intended for kids, and Doraemon obviously has a lot of inherent kid appeal.  Everyone involved is undoubtedly hoping this will be another Pokemon, and while the property obviously has a lot of kid appeal it's important to remember (as I said way back in 2008, see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--The King of Cartoons"), just because kids like anime doesn't mean they automatically like anime.  And since it’s going to be on Disney XD I'll be happy if it isn't another Slugterra.  Which, if you're unaware, is an animated series that's kind of like Pokemon, except  that instead of incredibly cute imaginary creatures, kids collect, um, slugs, which they fire out of, um, guns (I'm still trying to figure how the hell that got through Standards and Practices).
* Come for the goat curry, stay for the onion rings.  While onion rings are not traditionally considered Indian food these are the best ones I've ever had.  The onion is perfectly swaddled in an envelope of dough so you never have the experience of biting into one and pulling out the entire inner ring.  I just wish I could reverse engineer how they do it.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of