Brave New Worlds is a geek’s wonderland. Floor to ceiling bookshelves are festooned with hundreds of comic books, glass cases show off exquisite figurines of your favorite characters, and any and every novelty from stuffed companion cubes to lovecraftian board games can be found. Brave New Worlds is a place where a geek’s wallet goes to die, but you’ll be happy that it did, because you’ll come home with so many wonderful things.
Located at 55 N. Second street, Brave New Worlds is tucked snugly into historic Old City. There is even a park nearby for you to relax and read your favorite new comics on a Wednesday afternoon.
On my hunt for Magic: The Gathering cards, I had a chance to talk to Rob Lefevre, the manager of Brave New Worlds. He told me a little about the history of the store and why they decided to make a short move down the street.
How long have you been working at Brave New Worlds? What drew you to the store?I have been working on and off in some capacity at the various Brave New Worlds locations since I was 13 (1995, I am old). What originally drew me to the store was that it opened 2 blocks from my childhood home and I would no longer have to take a bus to a crappy bookstore on the other side of town in hopes that they wouldn’t sell out of the one copy of Batman they got each month.
How did Brave New World’s start?
From what the owner has told me, it started on a dare in 1989 when an owner of a less than good comic book store told my boss (the owner of BNW) that if he doesn’t like how the store looks he should go open his own. The rest is history.
What sort of merchandise do you guys normally carry? Do you offer membership for frequent comics aficionados?
We stock full lines of mainstream and independent comics and graphic novels. We also have a wide variety of action figures, vinyl toys, t-shirts, posters, statues, models, board games, card games, and I’m sure a lot of other stuff I’m forgetting about, like super-hero themed lamps.
We offer a great subscription service to any customer who gets at least 10 regular comic titles. We will hold them in our super safe filing cabinet system so that they won’t sell out if you can’t make it in. And because our system is fully automated there’s no chance of human error preventing you from getting your copy of Super Underpants Man #1
What are some unique features about the store?
1. We keep the store super clean and are incredibly accessible to hardcore fans and more casual folks as well. If you have to take your mom into a comic book store, this is the one to choose.
2. We carry more new comics than anyone else ever.
3. We do restocks multiple times a week so while we are rarely out of what you are looking for, chances are good we will be getting it back in post haste!
4. Brian Johnson works here. He is twitter famous. @frankenlincoln
5. We used to have a haunted iMac, but thankfully that has been vanquished! All safe now.
The new place looks fantastic! What spurred the move a few doors down?
It was a whirlwind of factors that ultimately came down to a much better space opening 5 doors down from our old location at the exact same time our lease was ending in the old joint. You might just say that fate intervened. (If you’re into that sort of thing).
What are some comics that newbies to the medium should check out?
What a loaded question! Without knowing what this particular “newbie” is into, I’d imagine that those who have never read comics would enjoy:
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn
Sandman by Neil Gaiman
All Star Superman by Grant Morrison
Batman: Year One by Frank Miller
Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman
Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon (Yes, THAT Joss Whedon)
Black Hole by Charles Burns
Watchmen by Alan Moore
The Survivalist by Box Brown (Philadelphia Native and all around sweet dude)
and last but obviously not least, THE WALKING DEAD by Robert Kirkman
Or just swing by the shop and we will find something awesome that you will definitely love.
What is your favorite bit of memorabilia in the store? The full size Darth Vader Statue? Ghostbusters neon light?
It would have to be the GIANT Little Nemo in Slumberland book we have prominently on display. One day when I am a thousandaire I will be able to afford to plop down the 125 bucks and take it home with me.
If you’re the area, no wait, you should go out of you way to check out Brave New Worlds new store. They have anything you could ever want and much more.