Tuesday, September 29, 2009

That's Entertainment!

Last Sunday I helped Liz set up at a craft show in Worcester called stART on the Street.

There were hundreds of craft vendors set up on Park Ave.; a mile of white tents running double down the center line.

Hundreds, nay, thousands of people walked through during the beautiful Sunday, checking out the crafts, food, and entertainment, which included poetry slams, bands, singers, and exotic belly-type dancing.

After I finished my rigorous setting up duties, I went a walkin' to check out the scene. A few yards up Park Street from Liz's tent (she was sharing with Candace of the Intuitive Garden) I spied a store called That’s Entertainment.

I went to college in Worcester back in the day, but I don't remember any store like this. And it looks like it's been there awhile. (However, I do remember Al-bums. Stacks of cool vinyl.)

That's Entertainment is a warehouse chock full of new and used comics, graphic novels, action figures, toys, records, books, and other various memorabilia and ephemera.

I spent almost 2 hours browsing, checking out the huge selection of unusual comics and graphic novels. At the back of the store I found a trove of used books. Mostly fantasy and sci-fi, but also some tasty pulp novels from the fifties. I picked up a lot of 12 John D. MacDonald paperbacks.

Mostly pre-Travis McGee era titles, with names like One Monday We Killed Them All, You Live Once, and Dead Low Tide. Complete with appropriately lurid cover illustrations:

Pretty hot stuff for the 1950s. I've only read titles from MacDonald's color-themed Travis McGee novels (Nightmare in Pink, Darker Than Amber, A Purple Place for Dying) so it'll be fun to see how it all began.

I picked up a new graphic novel I'd been looking for called Filthy Rich. A crime story that takes place in the 60s. I guess my mind has climbed in the wayback machine and broke off the knob somewhere around the end of the film noir era.

I couldn't resist this oddity from Peter Bagge (creator of Hate and Neat Stuff) called Apocalypse Nerd, about a couple of buddies who return to Seattle after camping in the mountains and discover their city's been nuked. Hilarity ensues.

Actually, it kind of does, with Bagge's spot-on character studies of nervous losers and slackers in extremis. This is the first of 6 issues. Guess I'll have to track down the other five to see how it turns out for A. Nerd.

When I finally went up front to pay, I realized the place was jammed with curious and collectors alike. Maybe this had something to do with the crowd:

The next time you're in Worcester, head on down to Park Ave. and check out That's Entertainment. Oh, and see you at next year's stART on the Street.


Robin said...

Dell -- It looks like Worcester is hopping with fun things to do. I loved Liz's table filled with her colorful crafts (kudos to the photographer, too). I also enjoyed reading about your literary finds. Thanks for the post!

Cynthia Sherrick said...

Sounds like you had a great day all around. 12 John D's. Fun!

Dell Smith said...

Worcester IS hopping. Who knew? Liz will be back there in November to do a show at the Worcester Center for Crafts. Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. I don't know if I'll have time to peruse the local books stores, however.
Cindy, I couldn't resist picking up 12 John D's in one shot. I guess I'm a collector now. I remember you gave me his novel Condominium to read a few years ago. I guess it's time to dust that one off.

Cynthia Sherrick said...

I read Condominium years ago and really liked it. Although I don't really remember it too well. Maybe time to give it another read since it takes place down here in Florida where I live now. ;]

paul howley said...

Hey! I just stumbled on your blog post about my store, That's Entertainment, and I wanted to thank you for the kind words about the store! We've been in Worcester for 31 years now! We were previously on Chandler Street but we moved to our 244 Park Avenue location in 1992 when we bought the huge building. We thought we'd never fill it up...and now we're bursting at the seams! Thanks again...Paul (owner of That's Entertainment)