I had the chance to swing by WonderWorld Comics the other day, when they were host to a book signing by writer, Dirk Manning. It was my first time at the shop; it was quite easy to find right off the main drag, there, nestled between an ominous Chinese restaurant and a Coney. The store was friendly, well-lit, and well-kept. T-shirts hung from the ceiling on display and the walls were lined with neatly organized comics and collectibles. The center of the store featured a line-up of tables, that day in use by a gamer tournament. Don’t ask which one, that is another geek avenue I am quite new to; regardless, the guys seemed to be having a real good time.
Upon entry, we were greeted by the staff and offered a Shirley Temple, Mr Manning’s drink of choice. Tony Miello, artist and right-hand man in running an endless amount of things, sat next to Mr Manning as his handler. He tended to the needs of Mr Manning as they arose and generally kept him company in between adoring fans. Mr Manning, himself, was dressed in his usual uniform of black on black on black; the man really should have an action figure by now. He was friendly and attentive, even taking time out to discuss his books with a fan who called into the store. My companion and myself each picked up a copy or two of his work, especially “Love Stories (to die for)” which was the reason behind the book-signing event. This weekend was his second of 10 consecutive appearances to promote this new work of his. In addition to that new comic, he had his series “Nightmare World” available, as well as a few of his other recent works.
We had our second moment of attention when WonderWorld Comics owner Dennis Barger Jr walked into the store. He was good friends with my companion and was kind enough to invite us to the Coney next door, to have a little lunch with him and his children (adorable kids, by the way, and so smart!). After a lovely bite to eat, he invited us to tour the warehouse. Always up for a behind the scenes tour, we happily accepted and walked down to the warehouse with him. That was so cool. I just wanted to spend days in there… of course, we did not. After a neat little tour, we returned to the store to hear some stories, and get a little more time in with the guest of honor. Everyone there was just so friendly and approachable. As the end of the time drew near, we got our hugs and headed out to continue on our intended adventure.
It was a really great experience. If you live in the Taylor/South Detroit area, you have to stop by the shop! It is such a great resource, and with such an interesting and knowledgable staff. If you missed out on this great in-store appearance by Mr Manning, be sure to like him and WonderWorld Comics on Facebook to keep up on future appearances, as well as other WonderWorld events. My next planned run-in with this group is at Detroit Fanfare, near the end of October. Mr Barger, in addition to running his impressive little empire, is a co-promoter of Detroit Fanfare.
Oh, and of course be sure to pick up a copy of the the new book: “Love Stories (to die for),” featuring two stories in one book! I may end up being the last person in the tristate area to read and review it, but you can be sure I will.
Note: All photographs accompanying this article are borrowed from WonderWorld Comics.