Historics by Comics Metropolis
In the thirteen minutes we had before the parking meter ran out, my group and I hastily walked up and down the blocks of S 3rd Street surrounding Comics Metropolis in Lewisburg, PA. It was windy and cold, so we only surveyed the area for a few minutes before rushing back to the car. We didn’t even have time to step foot in the bookstore. When we first spotted Comics Metropolis, it was not at all what we had anticipated our bookstore looking like. The building itself was white, clad with a porch off to the side and blue shutters accenting every window. To me, this comic book store looked more like a house than anything. I had imagined this store to be tall and sleek with a modern storefront, similar to something you’d find in the city.
Looking at the areas surrounding Comics Metropolis, this exterior made sense. Comics Metropolis is a family owned and operated business, bookended by Law of Attorney Graham Showalter as well as Santander Bank, both in buildings that could have once been homes. Most of the buildings on this street are painted pastel or light with a different color shutter, chimneys, rows of windows facing the street, et cetera. This aids to the Victorian image Lewisburg wanted to have before today, since they are now taking on the image of a Collegetown. Shown below is a street view of the Law of Attorney next door.
An interesting thing I happened to notice about the neighborhood surrounding Comics Metropolis were the amount of government-affiliated buildings and resources. There is a courthouse, a post office, two banks and an ATM, and Lewisburg’s Trust & Safe Deposit Company, all in addition to the real estate Attorney of Law. Not only this, but within two blocks, there are 3 churches: Beaver Memorial United Methodist, First Baptist Church, and Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. This area of Lewisburg seems to be more historic and focused on landmarks that leave behind something meaningful.
For example, there is a corner stone from the Lewisburg Opera House, which was built in 1869, and burnt to the ground December 27, 1908. The idea of physical movement and change seems relevant to a point Tim Cresswell makes in his book, Place: A Short Introduction: “… imagine not just all the physical movement, nor even all the often invisible communications, but also and especially all the social relations, all the links between people” (68-69). There was a time where people visited that Opera House, that also visited one of the churches such as Beaver Memorial which was built in 1890, and there are links between those people and those physical locations in which those people interacted. Lewisburg wanted its current patrons and visitors to know there was an Opera House there and now today it is something I would not have known had I not gone to visit Comics Metropolis. This too is something Cresswell makes a point out of, permanence of place (57).
The culture within Lewisburg has a lot to do with history, but with literature as well. First Baptist Church had boxes out front advertising take a book leave a book, one for adults and one for kids. Walking by, I was very curious to see what was left behind and discovered more books within the box for kids than in the one for adults. Additionally, there is something called PoetryPath that links all of the churches together.
It’s a project done by the Stadler Center at Bucknell University, where people visiting the historical town or university can listen to poetry read by its author. There are ten spots and each one showcases a poem for its “thematic resonance with a culturally significant Lewisburg locale” (Poetry Path, Bucknell.edu). In participating in this, people are both welcoming poetry and history into their contemporary lives. Relating back to Cresswell once again, he speaks on Massey’s three interconnected ways of connecting, highlighting specifically on the second one, to show how authentically places and their identities are rooted in history (72-73).
After simply surveying and analyzing the area surrounding Comics Metropolis, it is clear to me now that it emphasizes Cresswell’s definition for sense of place: the cultural, subjective, and emotional attachment people possess (7). Though places constantly undergo change, like the Opera House once did, it only makes the location so much more meaningful.
Yeager, Kaitlynn. Comics Metropolis. Digital file, 8 Feb. 2019.
Yeager, Kaitlynn. Corner Stone of Lewisburg Opera House. Digital file, 8 Feb. 2019.
Yeager, Kaitlynn. Poetry Path. Digital file, 8 Feb. 2019.
“Comics Metropolis LLC.” Comic Book Store in Lewisburg, comicsmetropolis.business.site/?fbclid=IwAR2EujnCwMVVjOa7n8xySfTxZ4J7f22hDo1xhwDSQBIhEPNMzdJPADxbIek.
“Poetry Path | Stadler Center for Poetry & Literary Arts.” Bucknell University, www.bucknell.edu/PoetryPath.
Cresswell, Tim. Place: a Short Introduction. Blackwell Pub., 2009.