Comic Books for the Community

Growing up in a suburban town kept me close to home and I usually never went out. In my area there are shops close buy but you have to utilize a car to get there. So when I saw Lewisburg, PA and the college town there, I was immediately amazed. The town was thriving with people going in and out of shops with smiles on their faces. I observed that there was a good mix of the ages there such as groups of college kids hanging out and older folks just enjoying a walk through town.

The store I observed was a place called Comics Metropolis LLC. The store is a very nice and quaint looking place surrounded by a lot of culture just on the street. Some of the competition that surrounds Comic Metropolis are Mondragon Books and Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University. This should not be a worry to Comic Metropolis since they are in a different market and will stand out. Comic Metropolis is the only comic book focused store in the area.

The community around Comic Metropolis is one that is connected and thriving. While I strolled around the area, it was nice to see that people weren’t just walking around but they were engaged with one another, even I had a conversation with a nice lady.

Lewisburg, PA is home to about 5,800 people (DataUSA), predominately white folks (81.4%). There are around 600 Hispanic residents (9.1%), about 220 Asian residents (3.75%) and 200 Black residents (3.47%)(DataUSA). The college town is also home to Bucknell University which has 3,600 undergraduate students (Bucknell University)

Comic Metropolis has a very welcoming feel from the outside which is a main idea in the book Reluctant Capitalists by Laura J. Miller. The ideas is that a bookstore should be a “community center”. That is the feel you get from just looking at Comic Metropolis. The outside is not too flashy but simple and attracting. The style of the building is more of a house look rather than a corporate building like Barnes & Nobles would look like. Just the outside of the building itself can attract a customer because it feels like a community center where people can go, hang out and converse with one another.

Picture of Comics Metropolis taken by Chris Naiman

Comics Metropolis is in a very good area where it will attract a lot of customers. On the same street as the store there are a couple landmarks that people stroll by and visit. One of them is a remaining corner stone of the Lewisburg Opera House that was built over 100 years ago in 1869.

Picture of Lewisburg Opera House remains taken by Chris Naiman

Sadly the Opera House was Burned to the ground on Sunday, December 27, 1908. Though they kept one of the remains there where it laid to remember it by. This indicates to me that the community really appreciates its history and has a love for it. There are old cathedral and churches surrounding the area that add a very nice aesthetic to it.

 

 

 

The whole idea and vibe I get from being in Lewisburg is a sense of community and welcomeness. Around the are there are eateries such as Pizza Phi and Siam Restaurant & Bar. There are places you hang out with some friends and relax together at the Greek Isles Salon & Spa. The area is filled with activities that you can hang around. Comics Metropolis LLC has that same feel with the way the design of establishment is and that it welcomes people. Creswell writes, “Massey’s Kilburn is, in her words, a ‘meeting place’ where a particular ‘constellation of social relations’ comes together in place. Her observations of Kilburn draws her toward a new ‘extrovert,’ ‘progressive,’ and ‘global’ sense of place marked by the following…Place as a site of multiple identities and histories” (Cresswell). Creswell’s quote can relate to Comic Metropolis in the sense that it is a meeting place for people and that there are multiple identities that surround the area such as the cathedrals and churches.

Lewisburg is a great place that has a great sense of community. There are so many surrounding business’ and it thrives with the people. Everyone is active in the community through people who live in town, out of town and even the college students. I look forward to returning to Comics Metropolis to discover more about it.

 

Sources

Images

  • Pictures taken by Chris Naiman

Texts

  • Cresswell, Tim. Place: a Short Introduction. Blackwell Pub., 2009.
  • Miller, Laura J. Reluctant Capitalists Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption. University of Chicago Press, 2014. Chapter 5 pg 124

Websites

  • “The Facts About Bucknell.” Bucknell University, www.bucknell.edu/About.
  • Cresswell, Tim. Place: a Short Introduction. Blackwell Pub., 2009.