Page 10-C-Thursday, September 10, 1981-The Michigan Daily
A TRIP TO THE EYE OF AGAMOTTO
Probing the comic book frontier
By ANDREW CHAPMAN
"The X-men." "The Hands of Shang Chi." "Kona:
Monarch of Monster Isle." "Matt Fury."
Yes, comic book fans, this really is the final fron-
tier. There is refuge in Ann Arborfor die-hard collec-
THE EYE OF Agamotto (the name comes from Dr.
Strange's mystical amulet), located above Tice's on
South State Street, is the only comic book store in Ann
Arbor, and has been since it opened for business in
"We sell anything that is fantasy, and fantasy is
just about anything," said owner and manager Norm
"Basically we sell comic books," Harris said, "but
the word comic book sometimes conjures up a
negative image; you can call it sequential panel story
THE WALLS OF the Eye of Agamotto are lined
with comic books-some from as long ago as the
1940s, others as recent as last week. For those more
interested in the popular heroes, there are "Super-
man," ";Spicerman," or "the Lone Ranger." For the
more eccentric tastes, there's "Hansi: The Girl Who
Loved the Swastika," or a series on "Superman's.
Pal: Jimmy Olsen."
"You can't really stereotype the comic book
reader," Harris said. "I've seen all types in
here-doctors, lawyers, students. They come in
waves. In the summer I get more high school kids.
During the school year it's mostly University studen-
Barbara Niemeyer, a high school senior, browsed
through the latest edition of "Elfquest." "I've been
collecting comics for the past year and a half, but all I
really like is Elfquest. It's the best thing they stock,"
she said. (Elfquest is a fantasy comic roughly based
on Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
THE PRICES range from a quarter to $50 an issue,
depending on the age, condition, popularity and
rarity of the comic book.
"I've seen people come in here and drop $300 in one
shot, but that's rare, Harris said. "Most people just
browse and buy a comic or two."
Harris opened the store after he graduated from
the University. "I read comics all through college,"
he said. "My grades got better after I started reading
Harris claims the student population hasn't really
changed much in the time he's been here. "There's
been a change in the faces, but not in the attitudes,"
"SOME PEOPLE come in to look at things for their
nostalgia aspect, but it's mostly the contemporary
stuff that sells the best," Harris said.
The store consists of two small second-floor rooms
at South State and East William. There's no large
sign in front, so the entrance is hard to find. But the
true enthusiast shouldn't have a problem.
"People who shop in places like this are a closed
entity," explained Harris. "Most of my customers
know this stuff pretty well."
A poster in the hal leading into the store reads:
"June is X-month." ("The X-men" is the store's most
popular comic book.) " 'The X-men' used to do
terribly, but now it's a best seller," Harris said. "It's
not a supermarket seller like Batman or Spiderman.
It's a comic that sells basically out of places like this.
This constitutes a big shift from what the comic book
market used to be."
The Ann Arbor clientele is not quite as enthusiastic
as Harris would like. At a comic book convention,
held in Ann Arbor last year, turnout was less than
"The convention was held on a beautiful fall day
last year," Harris said. "And it bombed. Nobody
showed up from the student body. They'll never have
another convention here again.
Harris is at his most persuasive when defending the
merits of the comic book. "A comic book has a
limited format so it can't be as subtle as a novel, nor
have as much character development, he said. "But
a good artist and a good writer can make for a very
interesting and quite good piece of art."
Daily Photo by JACKIE BELL'
NORM HARRIS, owner of the Eye of Agamotto, said he has seen some
people come into his comic book store and "drop $300 in one shot."
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Specialty shops an Ann Arbor specialty
(Continued from Page 8)
tattoo on a customer's arm over the
word "CINDY." A woman looked on
approvingly while "CINDY" ,changed
into a rose design.
You can choose from about 5,000 dif-
ferent stencils varying from heart
designs with the words "I love you,
Mom and Dad" to skulls bearing swor-
ds and swastikas. Painless John said
having a tattoo is about as painful as
pulling out a hair.
About 80 percent of his customers are
women, who have tattoos put "just
about anywhere." He said he tries to
talk customers out of having tattoos put
on their hands, face or feet. When tat-
tooing in private areas, Painless John
draws the curtain so that driv
Main Street don't look in.
John has 100 tattoos on his own
He said he's put tattoos on all s
people-doctors, lawyers, n
motorcycle riders. He even wor
one project with the Universit
tooing 52 African mole rats f
JOHN'S SHOP IS A GOOD plac
for some interesting old yarns-a
man who had the date of his ar
sary tattooed because he always
it, or a woman who tired of penci
her eyebrows and resorted to1
them tattooed in.
The stories are free, but tattooe
Ann Arbor Shirt Studio is anot
teresting spot, more geared to stu
Stepping off the sidewalk of State
and down the stairs into this littl
is like descending into a different world
of leopard skin T-shirts, leather stud-
ded belts, and wrap around glasses-all
in the rhythmic atmosphere of punk
rock music. Shoppers browse through
the wide selection of pipes, bongs, post-
cards, novelty pin buttons, and T-shirts.
unwanted hair that
electrolysis can bring.
* TO Years Experience
* Medically Approved Process
* Insulated Probe available for
+ Reasonable rates
Call for free consultation
216 S. State, Suite 3
Above Marti Walkers
mark J. wanless clinic
Furniture, Antiques, Plants, Jewelry,
New & Used
46,000 Sq. Ft.-150 Dealers-Air Conditioned
214 E. Michigan at Park
Washtenaw to Mich. Ave.
6 PM-10 PM FRIDAY
10 AM-6 PM SAT & SUN
March of Dimi
117) 11BIurH DEFECTSFOUNDATIONU
or the ON THE MORE traditional level,
Suwanee Springs Leather Works-the
e to go oldest leather shop in town-offers
about a cowboy hats, vests, blazers, wallets,
nniver- belts, valises-all done in leather or
forget suede. Items can be made to order, and
iling in the leather sandals have a 5-year
having guarantee. The workshop, where most
of the goods are designed and made, is
as start located on North Main St.
Lake's Gallery is the "odd" shop,
her in- located on State Street with the oriental
idents. porcelain masks and a sandcastle in the
Street window. Inside is brass, silver, and gold
le shop jewelry (you'd be surprised ;at the
prices), Cinnabar vases and stands,
cloisonne vases, earrings, and beads.
Most of the jewelry is handmade, 'and
es Lake's accepts custom orders.
And Middle Earth-a sort of hodge
podge shop-has- jewelry, t-shirts,
blankets, straw hats, African masks,
parasols and just about anything else
you can think of. All this, and a large
flowing fountain inside.
Exact fare (coins only) or one token is required as
your operator carries no money to make change. Pay
your fare when boarding the bus.
Children under the age of 5 ride for free when
accompanied by a paying adult.
AATA Reduced Fare
Seniors, handicappers, low income citizens and
primary and secondary students ride for half fare,
with an AATA ID card. These cards may be obtained
at 331 South Fourth Avenue in Ann Arbor or at 3700
Carpenter Road in Ypsilanti between 8:00am-5:00pm
for free. Seniors need to bring proof of age, low
income citizens need proof of their financial state.
Student cards are available at theindividual schools.
Tokens are available at many convenient locations.
Call 996-0400 for one of the token outlets near you.
Transfers are free, just ask the driver for a transfer
when boarding the bus.
General Service Hours
Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
CoBThe map will give you a general picture of the routes,
give us a call at 996-0400 and our information
operators will assist you in planning your trip. When
you call be sure to state where you wish to board the
bus, your destination and the time of day you wish to
make-the trip. They will plan your trip from start to
Time schedules and route maps are available at 331
GLACIER GLACIER South Fourth Avenue(between Liberty and Williams)
' Sx .HURO N LUM Aopin Ann Arbor or you may call Ride Information at996-
"""" 0400, request the routes you would like a timetable
Ifor and we will be happy to mail them to you for free.
SDRIVE CL ARK MLOLOS
LC E Y*EISENHOWER P MAN FOREST
LIET E"+o KRDNWCROSS vs OAK
~ A LLy a CONGRESS
ELLSWORTH ¢ zTOR
Ann Arbor Monday-Friday
Route, Schedule and Fare Information
Customer Services 996-0400
Suggestions, Compliments & Complaints
Lost & Found
Route 1 Pontiac
Serves Broadway Shopping Area, Riverview Medical
Center, Northside School. Arrowwood Community Center
Route 2 Plymouth
Serves Plymouth Mall. Plymouth/Green Shopping/
Employment Area. Greenbrier Apts. Green Rd Housing
Project, uM North Campus. Green Hills School.Concordia
College, Geddes Lake Townhouses. Huron H S
Route 3 Huron River
Serves Fuller Park, Huron Towers. V A Hospilal. Huron
H.S. Concordia College W C C. St Joseph Hospital.
Rout 4t Was1Ihtenaw..
Route 6 State-Ellsworth
Serves u M Central Campus. Briarwood Research Park.
Varsity Drive. Bryant School Sloneybrook. Pittsfield
School, Arborland St Joseph Hospital. W C C
Route 7 S. Main-HURON PARKWAY
Serves Pioneer H S.. Briarwood, Arborland, Huron H S.
Geddes Lake Townhouses. Plymouth Mall. Traver Glen,
Clague School. Orchard Hills, Chapel Hil ,Plymouth/Green
Routes 8A Liberty-Pauline & 8B Pauline-Liberty
Serves Slauson JHS Adrienne, Chatham Village
Route 9 Jackson
Route 10 Ypsilanti Northeast
Serves Depot Town, Residential Neighborhoods.
Route 11 Ypsilanti South
Serves Beyer Hospital, Dept of Social Services, Resi-
Route 12 Stadium/Miller
Serves Maple Village, W Stadium Shopping, Pioneer
H.S. St. Francis, Tappan JHS, Arborland, and Miller
Routes 13A Newport-Miller& 13B Newport-N. Main
Serves Miller Manor, Forsythe JHS, Wines School, Mack
School. Residential Neighborhoods.N. Main Community
Center. Farmers Market
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