Movie Review: My Comic Shop DocumentARy
My Comic Shop DocumentARy is a movie, released today, that looks at the comic shop Alternate Realities, its owner Steve Oto, and the various personalities that hang out at the shop. During my mid to late teenage years, and a bit into my 20s, I was a counter jockey at a few comic and game shops. It was a great time, leaving me with numerous memories and some friendships that last to this day over a dozen years later. There’s a comradery that is often at shops, filled with social misfits, awkward individuals, and at the same time personalities larger than life. It was a half dozen years or so for me working in a shop, and I miss it.
Director Anthony Desiato attempts to capture all of that in a documentary released today on Youtube and you can view below. Desiato nails it, and some may say I’m writing this with too much nostalgia, the wacky world that is the comic book shop world is depicted accurately and quite well. It’s a movie I’d hand to someone if they ever inquired what working in a shop was like, and what it entailed. This is pretty damn close to my experience, crazy characters ana ll.
Desiato also deftly knows that there’s more to the “story” than just the individuals that go in and out of Alternate Realities. While the movie might focus on Oto, his staff, and the customers, there’s also a light shown on some of what goes into running a shop as well. Driving to the local UPS depot early in the morning to get your shipment, moving vast amounts of stock around, going through a thick monthly catalog figuring out what might sell three months down the road, it’s all here and more. That love of detail is due to the insight Desiato has from working in the shop he decided to film. And though he worked there, the film covers the shop fairly, warts and all, showing off the competition, and allowing pretty frank depictions and discussions.
While I could say there’s a script and plot, the flow of the movie is natural, broken up in segments covering certain topics. During each, we’re shown the world and individuals that inhabits the store, both inside and at outside activities and all of it is fascinating. Many of the “characters” you might recognize from your local store, showing the comic experience is universal.
For those who work at a shop, have wondered what it might be like, or want a glimpse into the rather unique world of comic book retail, this is a great film that you can walk away from with a good sense of what its like.
You can read an interview we did with Desiato here, catch a trailer of his next film a spin-off of this one, and also watch the full movie below!
Direction: 8 Acting: N/A Plot: 8 Overall: 8