Name: Devon Sanders
Geek Classification:Comic Book Geek
Geek Cred: Blogs at http://secondprinting.blogspot.com/ and http://sevenhells.blogspot.com/ . Writes columns for Pop Culture Shock and CHUD. Also, a host and interviewer for Fantastic Forum. Manager of Fantom Comics in Union Station.
1st Comic Book Ever?Amazing Spiderman #141 from the local drugstore.
How did you become a geek?Adam West. Saw the Batman live-action show and was hooked. Then Super Friends, and went onto the next logical step: comic books. Also, my mom was insanely good about letting me do that type of thing. She actually encouraged me.
List all your jobs?Graphic designer, teacher’s assistant, cashier in a department store, George Clooney’s job in Up in the Air with a twist (blogger’s note: if you haven’t seen the movie, go now), Another Universe cComics manager, Beyond Comics manager, Big Monkey Comics manager, Fantom Comics manager.
Born and raised here. It’s always been home.
What’s your favorite thing about DC?
If you look hard enough, it’s not a transient spot. It has all the amenities of a big city but still has a small town feel.
Which parts still feel like a small town?
Adams Morgan, in the areas away from the bars, there are families who have lived there for forty years.
So, that’s where you live?
Why Adams Morgan?
‘Cause I can still afford the rent there.
Your favorite hang-out spot?
Where do you go on the weekends?
The Raven, a little dive bar that’s been in Mount Pleasant since the ’80s. No beer on tap. Everything’s straight cash. It’s one of the last things that’s still true about DC. It’s been taken over by white collar hipsters but the aesthetic is definitely blue collar.
What are your current favorite comic books?
Scalped, best book on the stands right now. Loving Thunder Agents and the new Daredevil. FF because it’s what if DARPA met Planetary featuring Spider-man and the Fantastic Four.
Have you noticed any trends lately in DC comic book readership?
Yes, that it’s growing. It’s the week after Justice League #1’s release, and I’ve seen more people than I have ever. We’ve had civilians asking to subscribe and become repeat customers, which is a big deal. They’re sticking to mainstream but they’re also wanting to pick up books they’ve heard about. Our sales of Walking Dead have been incredible. Sometimes when customers walk in, they don’t realize that Walking Dead was a comic book so it gives them another level of appreciation for the concept.
What do you think of Justice League #1?
I enjoyed it. Did it change my world or anything? No, but I enjoyed it.
DC or Marvel?
DC. I’ll always be a DC fan. DC is uh, somehow, it’s comics’ Mac.
Are you a geek hipster?
Yeah. No. No. I don’t know what I am.
Where can a geek find a hang-out to shoot the shit and gossip about the latest issues?
My shop, Fantom Comics. Every Wednesday.
Tell me more about Wednesdays at the store?
They are what they are. We’ve created an environment where if you love comics, want to love comics, or even just know about comics, it’s very open and inviting. It’s a come as you are (obligatory Nirvana ref.) environment.
Are you secretly British?
No, my name is, though. Being American kicks ass.
Devon, in your own words, could you describe the essence of you?
Rawhide and incense. No, seriously, I’m a 13 year old geek trapped in a 30-something year old body. I still love comics books so much.
Do you consider yourself a geek in any other way?
Very much a music geek. I love finding new bands, love discvoring old music. Especially lost R&B groups from the 60’s and 70’s on. Nothing makes me happier than finding a vinyl or unreleased track. Luckily DC still has a few vinyl places, SOM records on 14th and T St. Also, Crooked Beat on 18th St. I prefer SOM records because they’ve got a better selection and power records. Power records are these 45s that actors would actually do where they would basically do radio programs but for superheroes. So you’d have them recreating Spider-man meets the Wolf-man for the first time. I remember listening to these on the record player, and even though they didn’t sound like the Spider-man from the cartoons, they definitely had the feel of the comic book.
(Interview pauses as customer buys Static Shock) Lil’ Wayne stopped at Another Universe Comics in Georgetown, 2002, and asked for a Static Shock comic. I’ve kind of been operating under this theory that Static Shock influenced Lil’ Wayne to grow out his dreadlocks.
Coincidence? I think not.