If you’ve been a Geekadelphia reader for any time now, you probably are aware that we are all huge fans of Brave New Worlds. A huge part of the reason while the Old City-based store is such a must-see nerd destination is the work of Robert LeFevre.
As manager of the location, he keeps it running like the well-oiled machine that it is… dealing with customers and making sure that the orders get done properly along the way.
For this week’s Geek of the Week, I thought I’d ask Robert about his involvement with the store. Here’s what he had to say.
How did you initially get involved with Brave New Worlds?
Robert: A Brave New Worlds location opened literally 2 blocks from my house when I was 13 in Jenkintown. I have been a loyal indentured servant on and off ever since.
What are your day to day duties at the store?
As manager of our Old City store I am mostly in charge of ordering all the cool stuff you see in the shop. In addition I also spend most of my days making sure people who come in are able to find the comics they are looking for and recommend them ones that they will love that they don’t know about yet. I also have the unenviable task of telling people that we don’t want to buy their foil-embossed comics from the ’90s and letting others know that we aren’t hiring at this time.
What comics do you read? Who are your favorite artists and writers?
I read almost all the comics that come out on a weekly basis. (Such a hard life, I know). My favorite writers include Mike Carey (he writes my favorite series currently, the Unwritten), Grant Morrison, Jonathan Hickman, Evan Dorkin, Darwyn Cooke, and Charles Burns just to list a few off the top of my head. I’m mostly into comics for the writing, but one artist who’s work I am always drawn to (pun intended!) is Jae Lee. I also really enjoy the work of local indie comics creator Box Brown. I do not look forward to the day when he makes it big time and is too cool to talk to me.
Do you want to punch the guys on AMC’s Comic Book Men as much as I do?
I purposely have never watched that show because, just hearing about it from other people, I know it will make me want to throw my shoe through the TV.
What is the weirdest run in you ever had with a customer?
This story has been told to death but I will repeat it just in case anyone reading hasn’t heard it.
After Wizard World Philly one year we had an after party back at the store. Around 3am a scary looking dude comes in and asks if we are open. I say, “sure”. He tries to buy a three dollar comic book to which I have to inform him that we have a 5 dollar minimum for credit card transactions. He then points to a $350 dollar statue of Marv from Sin City and says to throw that in to get him over the limit.
As I’m ringing him up and picking my jaw up off the floor a stretch-hummer pulls up outside the store and picks the guy up and he goes off into the night with his new statue and his one comic book. Much like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, every year after Wizard World I sit up in the store hoping that guy will come back.
Am I the only customer who ever buys Archie comics there?
Most people who buy Archie comics are old ladies thinking their grandchildren will like them because that is what they liked as a kid. Also, some men in their twenties who suffer from severe Peter Pan syndrome and arrested development buy them as well. I don’t know which of those two camps you fall into.
Where do you like to hang out in Philly? What are some of your non-comics interests?
I tend to spend my free time at various bars around the city. I would have to say my #1 non-comic interest is various delicious beers of which Philadelphia seems to import an abundance of on a daily basis. I love when I run into customers around town, but if you’re going to ask my opinion of who would win in a fight between Swamp-Thing and Man-Thing, you should buy me a drink first. I also host the pub-quiz at National Mechanics every Wednesday night. Come out to that if that’s your sort of thing!
Any parting words to Geekadelphia readers?
If you haven’t read a comic book in a long time (or ever!) you should stop by the store and I will personally recommend to you at least five comics that you would think are the bee’s knees.
Right now the comics industry is producing some of the best written work in any field and I think everyone should give reading comics a chance.
Also, please never mention The Big Bang Theory to me ever.