It’s not an understatement to say that with the current global pandemic, the comic book retailers currently stand upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and they will fail, to the ruin of all. I don’t think First Run Features could have anticipated the most unusual timing when it released the documentary My Comic Shop Country from filmmaker Anthony Desiato.
Last summer, I had the opportunity to interview Desiato about the genesis of the project that examines the challenges of the modern day comic book retailer. My Comic Shop Country is now available to buy/rent on Apple TV and coming to Amazon Prime on April 7.
Comic book characters are box office gold, but why do comic book stores struggle to survive?
In My Comic Shop Country, filmmaker Anthony Desiato sets out on a quest to explore the culture, business, and fandom of comic shops across America. Venturing behind the scenes in stores from coast to coast, he reveals an industry in transition as shops strive to remain relevant to the growing hordes of fans of movies, online gaming and mega-conventions. The film is a heartfelt exploration of the power of comic shops to build a community that honors the original form of the superhero: the comic book.Director Biography
Director Anthony Desiato has been chronicling the culture of comic shops through documentaries and podcasts for the past decade.
While attending law school, Anthony fulfilled a long-held ambition by turning the camera on Alternate Realities, the New York comic book store where he worked. The result, My Comic Shop Documentary, screened at film festivals across the country and garnered press in multiple media outlets, including The New York Times. Anthony followed up his debut with the award-winning short By Spoon! and the feature-length Wacky Man: The Rise of a Puppeteer.
With the Kickstarter-funded My Comic Shop Country, Anthony has widened his focus to comics retail across America, shining a light on an oft-overlooked side of the industry.
As a podcaster, Anthony hosts the My Comic Shop History series.
“Comic book stores: they are clubhouses, time capsules, gathering places, and destinations. They are—individually and collectively—a community. At a time where face-to-face interactions, let alone meaningful ones, are increasingly rare, comic shops are struggling but enduring by remaining part of people’s routines.
My hope is that the documentary inspires its viewers to reflect on the places & rituals (comic shops or otherwise) that have given them a sense of belonging, as my comic shop did for me. I know this is an especially trying time, but I like to think that the camaraderie & connection you see in the doc is a hopeful reminder of what’s waiting for us on the other side of this difficult period of social distancing.
If you’re a comics fan, if you’re curious about an oft-overlooked side of the industry, if you dig the superhero movies but have never stepped foot inside a comic book store, if you long for the face-to-face interactions of a record store or a bookstore, if you’re passionate about something & appreciate the importance of having a place to share that passion—well, do I have a movie for you.
Please check out the film, and if you like what you see, I hope you’ll leave a rating/review, tell a friend, and help spread the word on social media. Every like, comment, and share helps others find out about the documentary. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for listening, watching, and supporting. Enjoy.”