The following is easily the most “personal” of all the LCBS write ups I’ve done. Why, you ask? Well, because this was my LCBS shop for the greater part of 6-7 years. That’s a long time to frequent a shop, if I do say so myself. This place, to me, was the comic equivalent of the Cheers bar. And although I have not been there since I moved, I still look fondly back at my time there as one would other early “childhood” memories. Heck, I look back more favorably at Legends than I do something like my first girlfriend, so I hope that helps illuminate the sort of positive experience this store has been for me and continues to be for many more.
I suppose I should point out that, as much as I treat it so, Legends wasn’t my first LCBS. It was actually my third. First I had this little shop which I can’t even remember the name of, but I remember it had no windows or lights on ever, sold me a lot of Venom comics, and then moved to another town. My second comic shop was in Littleton and called Jams, and they too gave me a lot of my Venom comics, as well as introduced me to Deadpool and, at too young an age to “get it”, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. But as traveling out to Littleton for comics because more and more of a chore and that Deadpool book slowly lost steam (the first time), I found myself getting farther from comics, although still keeping up with what was happening as well as various trades and specific stories. Then, a young man named Joshua Mocle (who I frequently reference if only to make him happy and help him feel relevant) re-sparked my interest in comics with the Ultimate Spider-Man book and work of Brian Michael Bendis (which I stated in my Author Retrospective of the man). It was then that I found myself walking down the not-so-busy streets of downtown Maynard, finding myself walking into a little comic book store with bright windows and lots of fun posters on the wall called Legends.
Legends then is different from Legends now. What used to be Legends is now part of a completely unnecesarry CVS, and what Legends is now is a shop down the street, out of sight, yet a little bit bigger. I imagine that the best way to currently describe Legends is “hidden gem,” although I don’t want to overhype it. You see, I already said that the best comic store in Massachusetts was That’s Entertainment! in Worcester, and the reason it’s the best is because it offers everything. TE! is, for me, the standard by which I measure all other stores. Legends offers a great deal, but it’s no TE! However, while Legends does have it’s fair share of extra merchandise, it makes up for everything else in some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced in a comic book store.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first. I need to point out right off the bat: When it comes to new releases, Legends has a good deal, but nothing spectacular. The way the shop keep runs the place, he only grabs the things he know will sell or that people specifically ask for. There have been occasions where I wanted the latest issue of Daredevil, but since no one else wanted Daredevil, he didn’t have any Daredevil. This isn’t to say he wouldn’t carry Daredevil, but I just had to wait for him to put in the order for new issues before I could get it. As far as old releases go, there are usually plenty of back issues to go around, as well as a good section of back back issues. There are several tables stalked with back issues, and there are some great finds in there. At least, there have been for me. I grabbed the Sabretooth death issue as well as early issues of Darwyn Cooke’s The Spirit back in the day. When it comes to graphic novels, you’re out of luck. There aren’t too many, and the ones that he does have are rather sporadic. Toys, however, there is a good selection. All of it rather specific, but the stuff he has are great. We’re talking some hard to find DC Direct action figures, as well as many more related to various comic enterprises. And if you’re a tabletop gaming fan, he’s got the best – the latest in board games as well as table top role-playing games. Throw in some HeroClix and Magic the Gathering, and you’re set!Continued below
Now, as you can see, the selection from an outside perspective is not that great. Legends isn’t the comic shop you just wander in to from off the street and end up leaving with a bunch of random things. Sure, you can. There is certainly a good deal of collectible items that I’d still love to own. What makes Legends so special is that when you’re there, you’re family (much like a certain Italian restaurant I don’t frequent). The atmosphere in Legends is essentially nerd paradise, and when walking in you’re bound to see one of the following things: a) an episode of Smallville on TV, b) a game of Magic the Gathering going on, c) any one of numerous roleplaying games being held, d) when I was there, you could be sure to come in to find me in a heated debate with the owner about comics while I scowl at other customers who try to interject and assert dominance (the famous (to me) “Australian Wolverine” debate was held at this comic store). And there was never a case of not really being able to get something. If I even remotely showed interest in something, I would be offered by the owner himself to have it special ordered. In a nut shell, this is the LCBS that you make your own.
That might seem an odd comment to make. I mean, unless you’re in the area of it (Boxborough, Maynard, Acton, Concord), what’s the point? Well, just as That’s Entertainment! sets the standard for all comic shops I visit, Legends sets the standard to me of an LCBS. See, as much as New England Comics is currently my LCBS, it doesn’t meet the standards of Legends because although they are incredibly personal and friendly, Legends created a real family like nerd atmosphere. This is what most stores, despite all the stock they carry, should really thrive to help endorse. Everyone knew me by name, and I wouldn’t miss a Wednesday without at least a phone call to explain why.
You must know the feeling. If you frequent our site I’m going to guess you’re just as epic a nerd as any one of us, so you definitely have your own LCBS. We all do. Legends was “my” LCBS, and at the end of the day, I can’t give it a glowing review for the average comic book enthusiast. If you want to visit a comic store with the chance of really finding something rare you can’t find somewhere else, you’ll need to go elsewhere. BUT! If you happen to live in the local area or plan to move there for whatever reason, I implore you: this is the shop to settle down in.
Legends Comix and Games is located at 33 River St. Maynard, MA