Host Anthony Desiato reaches the end of the road–for now–as this era of My Comic Shop History draws to a close. Together with Alternate Realities legends Bill Maio, Rich Roney, and Steve Oto, Anthony reveals long-held secrets, ponders a rebirth, and looks to the future. Finale.
Host Anthony Desiato returns to the present to survey the Westchester comic shop scene of today. In this penultimate episode, Anthony and guest Sandro Prosperino (former Alternate Realities customer and the one-time co-owner of Near Mint Comics in Valhalla, NY) recount their post-AR experiences at The Spider’s Web, Aw Yeah Comics, Newbury Comics, New York Hardcore Comics, and more as they wrestle with what it would take for a new store to truly replace AR.
Host Anthony Desiato shines a light on the Cross County (Yonkers) location of DRAGON’S DEN with former customer & employee Chris Wilcock, painting a picture of a diversified hobby store, camaraderie-building (and often dangerous) hijinks, and some less-than-scrupulous business practices.
Host Anthony Desiato recalls everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Jay Meisel, and his decades-long tenure operating a booth at the Empire State Flea Market in Port Chester, with longtime JAY’S COMICS customer Jonathan Baylis.
Host Anthony Desiato finally comes face-to-face with another ALTERNATE REALITIES legend, former co-owner Prem Itharat, to mine stories about the eBay and Pokémon years, Prem’s formal (and informal) business education, and long-forgotten pranks at 700 Central Park Ave. in Scarsdale.
Host Anthony Desiato takes a ride to the Scarsdale/Yonkers border for an on-location recording at American Legends–formerly known as ONE IF BY CARDS, TWO IF BY COMICS–with co-owner Mark Rubin (wife & co-owner Donna tags in for Mark on the After Show, available on Patreon). Mark recounts opening across the street from Dragon’s Den, selecting the shop’s original name, navigating the sports card market, rebranding in 2002, and seeing most of the other shops in the area fall away.
Host Anthony Desiato revisits another former White Plains institution, COMIC BOOK HEAVEN, with longtime employee & customer Saad Siddiqui. They reminisce about the store’s owners (the husband & wife team of Morris & Irene), eccentric manager (“Bishop”), renowned back issue selection, various moves, and ultimate demise.
Host Anthony Desiato brings everything full-circle in Season 5 with a look back at the lost comic shops of Westchester County, capturing a microcosm of the comics industry during the pivotal 1990s. Up first is the White Plains, NY, location of distributor and retail chain HEROES WORLD, the site of Anthony’s first-ever comic book purchase. Along for the ride is legendary returning guest Steve Oto, who–years before he would co-found Alternate Realities–shopped and worked at Heroes World.
Host Anthony Desiato takes one last lap around the convention floor with Undiscovered Realm owner Chris Wilcock in the Season 4 finale. Anthony asks Chris about the life of a vendor on the road at three dozen conventions a year. My Comic Shop History returns with Season 5 in 2019. Additional podcast content (including a Season 4 epilogue with Archie Comics President Mike Pellerito on 12/12/18) is available year-round exclusively on the My Comic Shop History Patreon page.
Host Anthony Desiato goes old school with Jeff Beck (owner of East Side Mags in Montclair, NJ) to dig through long boxes at the Clifton Comic Book Expo, a traditional convention focused squarely on comics. They also unpack Jeff’s experiences as a retailer at conventions generally, from choosing shows and setting up a booth to interacting with guests and other dealers.
Host Anthony Desiato wades into the cosplay waters with his wife, Stephanie, and seasoned cosplayer Peggy Pincurls, who has appeared at comic conventions across the country as Agent Carter, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and more. As they explore this fascinating aspect of con life, Anthony, Stephanie, and Peggy address the power of cosplay to connect & inspire, important issues of gatekeeping & consent, and the practical realities & physical toll of donning a costume on the convention floor.
Host Anthony Desiato pulls back the curtain on the Diamond Retailer Appreciation Breakfast at New York Comic Con 2018. Anthony and former Alternate Realities owner Steve Oto recount their entire NYCC experience, from powdered eggs and retailer presentations to convention floor farewells and an impromptu back issue hunt.
Host Anthony Desiato pulls up a chair next to two New Jersey comic book artists, Len Danovich and Nick Justus, to talk about the convention grind from the perspective of a creator. They discuss cost-benefit analysis (in deciding which shows to attend), fan interactions, and networking at shows.
Host Anthony Desiato kicks off the second half of “Con Season” with industry veteran Vincent Zurzolo, COO of the famed Metropolis Collectibles. Anthony and Vincent view decades’ worth of convention history through the lens of Vincent’s extensive experience on the con floor.