BEST COMIC-BOOK SHOP - 2001
Big Brain Comics
Phooey to punk music, independent film, and all that other nonsense. Comic books are the great American counterculture. No other medium can nurse us through adolescence (with Richie Rich and the Archie gang), lead us into our teen years (with superhero fantasies such as the X-Men), then drag us into adulthood (with reprints of classic underground comix such as Jimmy Corrigan and Dan Clowes's Ghost World). Thanks to stores such as Big Brain Comics, the great national passion for illustrated, brightly colored stories has become part of the over-the-counter-culture. Many comic-book stores are poorly organized and offer only a mediocre selection of popular, juvenile titles--making them little better than the dusty supermarket racks or sloppy head shops that once served as the art form's only outlet. Fortunately, Big Brain proprietor Michael Drivas has a superheroic instinct for organization. His catalog is near-absolute, well-placed, and easy to locate--you will never find old DC Comics mixed in with contemporary manga, for example. And when you glance through a section promising giant robots, you won't be assaulted with a series of severed heads and gleaming viscera. No, Drivas knows his business: The giant robots go here, and the gleaming viscera go here.