Bookstore

Comic Logic: NOVA’s Local Comic Store ‘Where everybody knows your name’

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By Joey Payton

If you picture the comic book guy from the Simpson’s when you think of a local comic store, then Northern Virginia’s Comic Logic Books & Artwork will reshape your paradigm of what a community comic book shop should be.

“I think a lot of people have in their minds that comic book stores are like the one in the Simpson’s with a snooty comic book guy behind the counter,” said Kristin Unger, life-long comic book enthusiast and Comic Logic associate.

But that image is far from the Comic Logic scene.

Put at ease by a nostalgic sci-fi tune (imagine the Star Trek theme song), there are familiar figurines of your childhood heroes dispersed throughout, vibrant covers lining the walls and elated faces of the Comic Logic staff assisting customers.

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Comic Logic’s Rich Gollhofer and Kristin Unger believe if you give them a chance, they can make a comic lover out of you.

A place for Nerds

“Instead of a sports bar, this is like a nerd bar,” said Rich Gollhofer, one of the shop’s co-owners and comic aficionado. “It’s a safe space for nerds.”

Gollhofer, whose love for comics began during his childhood when he would read his dad’s hand-me-down DC and Marvel comics, never saw comics as anything other than another way to consume media, he said.

“I was never taught that comics were less than books. They’re all on the same level. I think you get a bit of the best of best worlds with comics,” said Gollhofer. “You can put prose in comics, but also with the art, you have that same aspect that’s in film and television where you can tell more with a picture sometimes than with words.”

If you don’t do comics, give Gollhofer and Unger a chance and they’ll make a comic lover out of you.

“I think one of things we’ve been successful with is converting people who don’t read comics into comic book readers,” said Unger.

If you think comics are stupid, then you’ll be singing another tune once they get the epic sci-fi fantasy, Saga, into your hands.

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Local writers and artists are featured on a Comic Logic’s bookshelf.

A place for Creators

Earlier this month Comic Logic celebrated its second birthday, but it attributes its success to its customers and local creators.

“A sense of community is what we’re trying to build. It’s only through their support that we get to exist,” said Gollhofer.

Comic Logic’s loyalty to its local writers and artists is evident in the significant amount of space allocated their original artwork on the walls and shelves.

“The original art that you see on the wall is from local artists. The local writers on the shelf include a kid that’s still in high school. That’s part of the community that we are trying to build and maintain,” said Gollhofer.

This year the new shop has the distinction of being one of the sponsors for NOVA CON 2017 in Tysons Corner, Va., July 28 – 30. Even at this huge event, Comic Logic plans to include some of its local artists.

“We’re curating local creators and artists to come in and show off their wears.”

Some of the notable creators that will be featured at NOVA CON include Tyrone Selby, creator and writer of Elements of Light, and gamer and costume designer extraordinaire, Misty the “Imperial Grrrl,” so check them out.

A place for Community 

There’s something to buy and something to do for everyone at Comic Logic.

Comic Logic is a Local Comic Store that aims to be everything that a LCS can be,” said Gollhofer. “We’re looking for more like the Cheers-type ‘everybody knows your name’ when you come here.”

Whether you’re in the market for a crisp and glossy paperback or looking to socialize with friendly comic lovers, your trip to this blossoming comic store will be well-served.

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Comic Logic staff share their suggested comics for any interested and inquiring readers.

Fast Facts

Place: Comic Logic Books & Artwork in Ashburn, Va.

General theme: Comic book themed with something for kids through adults. And did you know they have a theme song called “Superior” by Burn the Ballroom?

Hours: Monday-Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (And they’re open most federal holidays, too!)

A Brief History: Co-founded & owned by NOVA comic enthusiasts in April 2015

Food/Drink: No, not usually, but if you come to ‘Drink and Draw’ nights I hear it totally makes-up for it.

Wifi: Nope, because you should be reading comics, anyway

Events: Kids drawing classes, Drink and Draw, Free Comic Book Day and NOVA CON

Appointment necessary: None needed. Everyone is welcome.

If this place were band: Wintergatan – Marble Machine
Continue reading “Comic Logic: NOVA’s Local Comic Store ‘Where everybody knows your name’”

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Bookstore · Events · Reviews

5 Bookstores a Day Trip From DC

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By Molly Korroch

There is nothing so sweet as stumbling upon a fantastic independent bookstore.

While we’ve discussed several that are located in downtown D.C., sometimes you must stretch your legs to stretch your mind. If you need a weekend getaway from the city, here are five fantastic bookstores (and cities) that are only a day trip away.

Atomic Books

Baltimore, MD
3620 Falls Road

Atomic Books lives up to its quirky and modern name. Its motto is “Literary finds for mutated minds.” Thoroughly invested in the literary and local community, Atomic Books hosts a variety of events, including readings, signings, books clubs and beer nights–and that’s only the stuff that’s happening over the next couple of weeks. Fun Fact: The actor/director, John Waters, picks up his fan mail via Atomic Books. It’s true!

Riverby Books

Fredricksburg, VA
805 Caroline Street

Riverby Books is quaint and cozy. While technically this store has a D.C. location, take an afternoon to check out its Fredricksburg site. They specialize in used books, including the rarer and out-of-print titles. (Its Facebook page recently boasted a first edition of Ralph Ellison’s famed Invisible Man.) This is the perfect spot for a wander or to find something special for the book lover in your life.

Chop Suey

Richmond, VA
2913 West Cary Street

Chop Suey Books is a haven for readers and writers alike. Next door is the home of the Richmond Young Writers. (But, don’t let the word “Young” fool you. It offer classes and workshops for all ages.) Though it only began in 2002, Chop Suey has the kind of presence in the community that makes it feel like it’s been there forever. Its two story bookshop offers both new and used titles of all genres imaginable. Chop Suey also has a special relationship with many local writers and authors, and the staff are always happy to recommend what is sure to become your next favorite book.

The Annapolis Bookstore

Annapolis, MD
53 Maryland Avenue

The Annapolis Bookstore looks exactly like the children’s bookstore from You’ve Got Mail. It’s classic, simple and there’s something comforting about it. At this store there’s a focus on maritime lit and children’s books. It also sells quite a few rare books. Its events include a weekly story time with ‘Nanny K’ and conversations with noted scholars.

Daedalus Bookshop

Charlottesville, VA
123 Fourth Street NE

When you walk into Daedalus Bookshop you are immediately washed with the smell of old books. Located right off the Charlottesville’s downtown mall, Daedalus feels like your grandmother’s attic: piles upon piles upon stacks of used books. There’s literally thousands of books! Every single bit of wall space is comprised of book-stuffed shelves. It’s the perfect place for a bibliophile to wander because you’re sure to find something you love–and for a great price. The building is a bit wobbly. The stairs creak, and it’s easy to get lost, but in the most delicious of ways.

Authors · Events

A Bookstore to Remember: For and By People of Color

By Isabella Basco

On April 10, Angela Maria Spring announced a Kickstarter campaign to fund the launch of a pop-up, multicultural bookstore in the Duende District. After managing the popular Politics and Prose, Spring left her job to start Duende District.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter

Inspired by her roots as a daughter and granddaughter of Latin American immigrants, Spring left the popular D.C. bookstore, which is in a majority-white neighborhood, to create a space for people of color to celebrate diversity.

When Duende District Bookstore opens, Spring hopes to build purposeful partnerships with minority organizations and communities in the city.

Spring’s goal is to raise $9,000 so if you’re interested in contributing to her mission, you can donate to her campaign here.

You can donate to her campaign here and the GU Book Crew will be sure to continue covering this exciting new spot.

Bookstore · Uncategorized

Learn from the past with Sankofa Video, Books & Café

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By Joey Payton

Did you know there are only 54 black-owned bookstores remaining in the U.S.?

GU Book Crew recently took a trip to Middle East Books and More, but now our journey brings us to Georgia Ave., where we found one of only three black bookstores in D.C.: Sankofa Video, Books & Café.

The bookstore, which is located across the street from Howard University, is known for emphasizing the significant history and posterity of black people.

“This bookstore is very important because we need to see ourselves,” said Sankofa employee, Makala Scurlock. “We need to be able to read and know that we come from something. Our history doesn’t begin with slavery.”

Scurlock, a senior at Howard University majoring in African Studies, also teaches at the Afrikan Centered School Nation House. She was happy to answer our questions about the African-inspired bookstore.

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Sankofa Video, Books & Cafe employee, Makala Scurlock

GUBC: What is Sankofa?

Scurlock: It was founded in about 1997. We have the largest amount of children’s book by and about African people about the African diaspora—that’s what this whole bookstore is all about. The name comes from an Adinkra symbol. Sankofa is a bird, and if you see the bird, most of the time it’s clutching an egg. The egg is symbolic of history because if you hold it too tightly, then it will crack, and if you hold it too loosely, it’ll fall. So if you understand your history, then you can continue moving forward and not repeat the same mistakes. It’s also the name-sake of the co-owners’ movie, SANKOFA.

GUBC: Where is Sankofa located? Any significance?

Scurlock: We are across the street from Howard University. That speaks for itself, since it’s one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities. Also, it’s on Georgia Ave., Washington, D.C., which was also known as the ‘Nile Valley,’ because there used to be a bunch of black-owned business all along this street.

GUBC: When is Sankofa open?

Scurlock: We’re open every day. 11am to 8 pm, Monday through Saturday. And Sundays we’re open 11am to 6pm. And every Sunday we have ‘Happy Nappy Storytelling.’ It’s free. Bring your kids.

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GUBC: Who should come to Sankofa?

Scurlock: Everyone! Anyone who is interested in learning about the African diaspora. Or if you’re an African and you’re interested in learning about yourself. Come and get education about it.

GUBC: Why go to Sankofa?

Scurlock: Because of the energy. You have the option of a place to come and sit and be around people who might not think like you but who have the same goal, which is to learn. Not only do we have books, but we have well-known influencers who come here that do workshops. That’s very special to have a space where you can come and hear that. If you only see black people from the perspective of the media, then you’re only going to have a one-dimensional knowledge of them. This includes African people themselves.

GUBC: How to find out more about Sankofa?

Scurlock: Go to our website, sankofa.com. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you have any questions, email us at sankofa@gmail.com.

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Fast Facts

Place: Sankofa Video, Books & Café, Along the ‘Nile Valley’ on Georgia Ave., Washington, D.C.

General theme: African inspired. Emphasis on African diaspora and people of African descent. Books and videos ranges from children’s to adult literature.

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A Brief History: Opened in 1997 by Haile and Shirikiana Gerima, a filmmaking couple who produced and directed the internationally acclaimed film, SANKOFA. Since then, it has continued to spread black stories through books, films and events.

Food/Drink: Yes. The Sankofa Café offers a phenomenal menu of African inspired cuisine. You can enjoy food and beverage on the front patio, in the café or in the reading area. Ask for the Larry Clark!

Wifi: Yes.

Appointment necessary: None needed. Everyone is welcome.

If this place were band: Fela Ransome Kuti & African 70 – V.I.P. (Vagabonds in Power)

Libraries · Library · Reviews

Beauty and the Books

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By Angelica Cruz

Straight out of a fairytale, Georgetown’s Riggs library is exactly like a scene from Beauty and the Beast. Walking in is like looking at your fairytale dreams come to life.

John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University along with The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and the Pontifical Council for Culture hosted an event at Riggs library this past Friday Towards a New Economy: Justice, Culture and the Social Market.

As Georgetown students, we have the availability of attending all events hosted by the university including those at Riggs library. GU Book Crew took a trip to main campus to check out the event but mostly to see what the hype was about – and it was worth it.

As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the smell of old books and the sun shining through the windows. The books are climbing up the walls only held back by the rails. The spiral staircase is the only way to get to the books, but its closed. Nonetheless, it is beautiful.

General theme: None, but lets say its fairytale fantasy.

Time of our visit: Friday, 9am

Hours: unavailable – not open to the public 😦

A Brief History: From 1891 to 1970, Riggs Library was Georgetown’s main library. Financed by E. Francis Riggs of the Washington banking firm as a memorial to his late father and to his brother who had attended Georgetown. Riggs one of the few remaining cast iron libraries in the country. It’s used as a reception space and is still used as a library today (meaning you can still check out books as a student).

Food? No 😦

Wifi? Yes, but through the Georgetown wifi!

Drinks? No 😦

Events: Keep up with your GU emails because events are not listed nor public.

Why you should go here: Besides the fact that its beautiful, its historical!

If this place were a band: Beauty and the Beast – A Tale As Old As Times

 

Uncategorized

Best Reading Spots in DC

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By Molly Korroch

Greetings fellow book nerds!

While D.C. and the DMV area certainly have some lovely aspects–bookstores and libraries galore–sometimes what you really need is an escape. According to research, these are the best spots to dive into your current read and forget about life for a while. Here’s your guide to finding the perfect hiding spot for you:

For the outdoorsman

Curbed offers a list for the outdoorsman of readers. The weather is warming up, and if you enjoy donning a hat and reading on a bench somewhere then this list is for a reader like you.

For the caffeine addict 

Can’t enjoy a good book without a good cup of coffee? Look no further than this thorough list by Yelp. There is a coffee shop there for every preference.

For the cool kids

Refinery 29 offers a short yet complete list of snazzy reading locales in the DMV area. It includes local coffeeshops Tryst and Baked & Wired. If it’s on Refinery 29, you can be sure that someone with the latest RayBans or headphone technology will be in the vicinity.

For the hidden gems 

Ah, Reddit. The holy of holies as far as hidden gems. This list will provide you with everything you could possibly need to know about reading spots in the District and beyond. You just have to be willing to wade through some of the more ridiculous comments. But, that is the story and glory of Reddit.

For the student friendly

Georgetown University’s own student newspaper, The Hoya, brings us a list of D.C. reading spots specially curated for our city’s vast student population. The school library isn’t the only place to get your book on.

Photo via National Portrait Gallery 
Authors · Events

Filipina female trailblazers discuss and write about leadership in DC

By Isabella Basco

At the Filipino embassy last Wednesday, several Filipina trailblazers in the military, law and medicine came together to read their excerpts from the new book, DISRUPT 2.0, Filipina Women: Daring to Lead.

The book is a collection of stories by 35 different Filipina thought leaders and some of the “disruptions” they have faced in their personal and professional lives, hence the title.

The Philippines is in a unique position compared to other countries when it comes to women and leadership. It is the highest-ranked country in Asia when it comes to closing the gender gap and is a traditionally matriarchal society: the country has already had two female presidents.

The event was organized and sponsored by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), an organization devoted to promoting Filipina female leadership. FWN has been traveling across the country on a “road show” to advertise the launch of the book.

Some of the leaders who spoke were Sonia Delen, the Senior Vice President of Bank of America Leasing; Shirley Raguindin, the Director of Equal Opportunity for the Dept. of Defense and Col. in the Air National Guard; and Maria Nieves Santos-Graves, the President of Surrey Hearing Care, Inc.

Their journeys were different, but their themes were the same because all were immigrants or the children of immigrants who faced unique struggles in their journeys to leadership due to their genders and races.

Santos-Graves spoke about her arduous path as an immigrant. She earned a pharmacy degree from a respectable university in the Philippines, but she could not find a job after moving to Canada because they did not recognize “outside degrees.” She worked at a dollar store, sold education savings plans and at a call center before going into business herself.

FWN Daring to Lead

Filipina Women’s Network

Many of the leaders told their stories and offered wisdom for the future. Eileen Mitzi Pickard, a notable Filipino-American community organizer in Washington, encouraged readers to take advantage of life’s opportunities.

“Do what you can in the time that you have in the place that you are,” Mitzi Pickard said.

Cris Comerford, the first woman and person of Asian descent to hold the title of White House Chef, also wrote an excerpt in the book.

Going Pinay

DISRUPT 2.0 demonstrated that gender equality and women’s empowerment are not just about breaking glass ceilings and opening doors, but about mentoring and supporting each other in our personal and professional journeys.

While the event was eye-opening and gave a unique lens into some of the “trials and tribulations” many Filipina women normally face in a new country, it would have been wonderful if there were a panel of women who gave direct advice to other younger Filipina women who are just beginning their careers.

Still, organizations like the Filipina Women’s Network and their launch of DISRUPT 2.0 shows how powerful the “written word” is.

The book is available on Amazon and Kindle.