Best Comic Book Store - 2008
Star Clipper Comics
Perennial winner of this particular honor, Star Clipper has a very fine staff, an excellent selection of comic books and graphic novels (duh) and a beguiling array of toys that have nothing to do with comics but are fun to poke through nonetheless. Let us talk now about Star Clipper's art gallery, which has gained renown for the quality of the work exhibited (the customizable vinyl toy mannequin known as Munny and two different shows of Mark Mothersbaugh's art, for example), and the raucousness of its opening receptions, replete with DJs wrecking shop and crowds standing butts-to-nuts just to get a peek at the art. In the late 1960s, Marvel Comics marketed its superhero books as "Marvel Pop Art" in an attempt to draw a more sophisticated audience; Star Clipper has lifted again that banner, celebrating the possibilities of the comic book and comic-book culture as an art form. Star Clipper's gallery shows bring together musicians, graffiti artists, more traditional "fine" artists, pop-culture lovers and unallied folks simply looking for something fun to do on a Friday night, then shakes them up and releases them back into the world with a new perspective on comic books and art and how the two relate. That gallery is an incubator for the next generation of comic-book artists; twenty years in the business and Star Clipper continues to find new ways to spread the Four-Color Gospel. That's commendable, but it's downright exciting to imagine what they'll do in the next twenty years.