Our 2022 Road Trip #27: Rutland on the Way Out

A mural painted on a brick wall depicting Batman busting through the wall. Flying next to him is a griffin with a superhero-stylized "G" on its chest.

Detail from the mural Batman vs. Griffin by Kathryn Wiegers.

As a comics collector since age 6, I’d love it if every single one of our vacations made time for at least one comics-related stop. Sadly that’s a rare theme among those who start up new tourist attractions that aren’t amusement parks. Once upon a time, our next stop in Vermont used to have deep connections with the wild world of superhero comics. I’d hoped to enjoy evidence of that, but we got the impression the place just isn’t the same anymore. The same, I’m sure, could be said of many places we’ve been, but my hopes were perhaps a bit too high going in.

Because I insisted we make time for it, Rutland ended up as the last city we visited before we left Vermont. It was not our favorite.

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Our 2019 Road Trip, Part 19: The Hobbyist’s Shopping Interlude

wacky skull shop!

I was too buys getting my directions wrong to catch the name of this shop. I trust they sell cool stuff.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 my wife Anne and I have taken a trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. From 1999 to 2003 we did so as best friends; from 2004 to the present, as husband and wife. My son tagged along from 2003 until 2013 when he ventured off to college. We’ve taken two trips by airplane, but are much happier when we’re the ones behind the wheel — charting our own course, making unplanned stops anytime we want, availing ourselves of slightly better meal options, and keeping or ruining our own schedule as dictated by circumstances or whims. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

For years we’ve been telling friends in other states that we’d one day do Atlanta’s Dragon Con, one of the largest conventions in America that isn’t in California or New York. We’d been in Atlanta, but we hadn’t really done Atlanta. Hence this year’s vacation, in which we aimed for a double proficiency in Atlanta tourism and over-the-top Dragon Con goodness. Before we went to D*C, there was the road trip to get there, and the good times to be had before the great times at the big show.

Anne and I don’t shop a lot on vacation. As long as she can get her smashed pennies and some other relevant souvenirs for herself and a few key relatives, she’s generally not interested in high fashion, heavy knickknacks, home decor, or…well, whatever else the upper class buy when they’re off jet-setting and whatnot. Frankly, we wouldn’t know. Depending on where we are, sometimes I’ll look for shops that feed my core hobbies. I don’t like to take us too far out of our way for my art fixes, but if viable candidates just so happen to fall along a paths between Major Attraction A and Historical Point of Interest B, Anne is okay with me indulging as long as I keep us safe and we don’t have to forfeit sites she really wanted to see.

On our way back from Stone Mountain to the heart of Atlanta, Anne graciously allowed me to make a few stops along the way, and took photos of the scenery around us while I faked my way through unfamiliar turf. By and large, Google Maps did right by us on this leg of our journey and I only made two wrong turns, neither of them irreversible. And there was only one moment she officially deemed “scary”.

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Requiem for Another Indiana Comic Shop Closed

Android's Dungeon!

Whenever a comic shop closes its doors, Marvel kills off another Angel.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: in July 2014 I expressed hopes and well wishes for the Android’s Dungeon, a new comic book shop that had opened in Avon, Indiana, in a heavily commercial area in otherwise comics-less Hendricks County. The owners were a nice young couple; the selection was diverse; the perks were kind. All signs pointed to potential success.

On August 31st, last Wednesday, the Android’s Dungeon observed one last New Comics Day before closing its doors for good.

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Comic Shops Can Still Happen If You Want Them

Android's Dungeon!

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a brand new comic book shop.

The Android’s Dungeon has operated as an online store since 2009, but this year its owners saw their long-standing dream of a brick-and-mortar storefront come true. After months of searching and hoping for the right combination of location and timing, they planted stakes, opened their doors to the public in March, and made history as the first official comic shop in the ever-expanding town of Avon, Indiana.

Wishing them well in the face of considerable odds…

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