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 looks at a new sales tool for stores, crossovers, and some new comics worth reading.

There's a trade-off to being so often wrong; you can't help but learn a few things if you just pay attention. For instance, the last time I went to Super-Fly Comics & Games owner Tony Barry took me back to the store computer and looked up our location on Google Maps.  If you do you'll find that not only does our listing have the standard "Street View" of our store, there's also a box marked "See Inside."  Click on it and you'll find that, you guessed it, not only can you look inside our store, you'll get a 360-degree virtual tour of it.

Along with this being pretty cool in and of itself, I also see it as a powerful sales tool.  Not only will those who already read comics be able to check out the layout of your store, but it could be a way of helping get potential readers into our shops.  People who have no preconceived idea of what a comic book shop is can find out what they're like for themselves.  And, hopefully, being able to actually see inside one might change the minds of people who already have a negative opinion about them thanks to their appearances in the popular culture.*

But what is even cooler is… not every comic book shop's listing on Google Maps has this feature.  Not yet anyway.  This may not be for everyone, but if any of this is of any interest you might want to find out more by Googling "'See Inside' with Google Maps Business View."

We seem to have reached that point in a comic book boom where everyone will be meeting absolutely everyone else.  I place into evidence one crossover I could never have imagined; The Twilight Zone--The Shadow mini-series from Dynamite Entertainment.  There's nothing really wrong with the premise, I suppose, and from the preview pages that have been posted on the Comic Book Resources website, it doesn't look bad.  I have nothing against the comic though I can't believe The Shadow doesn't even get top billing.

Then there's Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  It's a preposterous team-up from the get-go and it's admittedly more than a little disconcerting seeing The Batman being drawn in the TMNT's signature distorted art style.  Clearly this one isn't for me, but it's done so well and is so well-meaning that I find myself agreeing with something B. Alan Orange wrote in a piece on the Movieweb: site: this comic is definitely "any 8-year old kid’s dream come true!"  Or as Michelangelo himself puts it while in the Batcave astride a giant robot dinosaur in #3, "This is everything I have ever wanted in my entire life!"

I'm a little behind on my comic reading, which is the only excuse I have for only having read a couple of comics definitely worth reading.  You've all probably already aware of at least one of them, if only because the first issue has been a consistent sellout and has gone into a third printing.  I ask you to, in the words of a piece on the A-Plus website by Clarissa-Jan Lim, "Meet Faith, The-Plus Size Superhero You Never Knew You Needed To See" by Clarissa-Jan Lim.  I also have to concur with the subheading, "In a medium known for its unrealistic depictions of women, Faith is a breath of fresh air."

I'm talking of course about Valiant's Faith, written by Jody Houser and drawn by Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage.  It is in fact about a "plus-size" superhero, and being plus-sized myself I was naturally interested in this one.  But I'm happy to report that the least important thing about Faith, or Zephyr to use her superhero name, is her size.  It's a solid superhero comic that manages to be both overwhelmingly hopeful and (dare I say it?) fun.  If you haven't read it already, do try and snag a copy of the first issues' upcoming third printing.

In the past, I have also expressed an inordinate interest in the doughy sidekicks that superheroes used to pal around with back in the Gold and Silver Ages of Comics.  They've become almost extinct; the only one I can think of is Matt Murdock's partner Foggy Nelson, and the last time I checked in on him he did not look at all well.  Which is why I was so pleased to discover that Wonder Woman’s old friend Etta Candy was currently appearing in issues of The Legend of Wonder Woman comic written and drawn by Renae DeLiz.

For those who only know her from brief appearances in the 1977 Wonder Woman TV series, Etta was a short, plump college girl who for some reason always seemed to be dressed for track.  Perhaps because she was always racing around trying to help Wonder Woman, usually with her all-purpose cry of exaltation "Woo! Woo!" on her lips.  She's long been considered an embarrassment better left forgotten, but Renae DeLiz has done a remarkable job of turning the stridently silly character into an actual person, one who should be introduced into the regular DCU Wonder Woman comic book ASAP.

* I generally have no problems with how the comic book shop Komix Korner is usually depicted in Tom Batiuk's Funky Winkerbean comic strip, but I had to flinch when I saw the Sunday strip from 2/7/2016 on the GoComics website.  Maybe because making a (rather poor) joke out of a rival comic shop going out of business struck a little too close to home.

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of