Been on the ground for a while, following a flight that was jammed with Comic-Con personnel…many of them unknown to me, and working for street teams and book publishers and so on. Well, even The Beat can’t keep track of 125,000 people. By pure chance, our row on the plane included the charming John Nee, so good times were had. Currently bunkered at the hotel, eating some sushi from Ralphs, so for everyone keeping score, the meal count is at 0.

Took a little wander around and things are very quiet–on the streets anyway. Plenty of sushi and pasta salad at Ralphs! It is worth noting that when we stopped for a reviving mocha blast at a coffee kiosk the young lad there asked if we were shopping or what, and when we replied we were in town for Comic-Con, he got very enthusiastic. It seemed that a friend of a friend had promised to “hook him up” with tickets, but never came through, so now he was going for just two days, but was volunteering to get the full experience. “It should be a lot of fun!” he said. So at least, in one incredibly unscientific poll, one local likes the show!

We did have a Thomas Wolfe moment that has nothing to do with comics but much to do with our own con history. We went off to Horton Plaza for a few forgotten staples, but to be honest, we forgot them just so we could go to Long’s Pharmacy. We’ve been going there as long as we’ve been going to the con, and have seen it go from an old timey pseudo Schwab’s complete with a soda fountain, to a still kinda weird drug store of the kind we call “Old Californian Lady Stores” because they have huge cosmetics sections with all kinds of strange elixirs in never heard of brands, and hair dye for the rockers and jewelry and everything else. Rexall Square across from the Beverly Center is (or was last time we checked) still this kind of drug store, but they are, on our experience, only found in Cali, and nowhere else…it’s something to do with looking good in the blazing sunlight, we guess.

Anyway, it looks like Long’s has been purchased by some other consortium or is undergoing a radical makeover…all the shelves bare or being rearranged and the make-up section is no different than what we’d find at a Duane Reade. Sniff…you can’t go home again…or go away, either, it seems.


  1. as i mentioned in one of the other threads, the amount of froo froo restaurants that have sprung up (NOBU!) is amazing. A local friend was explaining to me while at the padres game that much of it has to do with the guy who owns the baseball team and how he owned much of this land down here and that’s why the park is here and the resturants and so on.

    Is it wrong that I miss the Spaghetti Factory?

  2. Rexall’s is/was a franchised chain of drug stores. I remember them in Omaha… one had a soda fountain, and all had 1940s neon signage. They gave out S&H green stamps. I guess the New York equivalent would be Love Stores.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a variety store graveyard…where the last copy of an item to be sold in a discount/variety/five-and-dime found its way there. Just follow the neon signs reading Woolco, Turnstyle, Woolworth’s…

  3. Rexall’s is/was a franchised chain of drug stores.

    There are still Rexall Drug stores; MapMuse said 130, but that’s probably an underestimate, since the ND stores weren’t listed. The Rexall Drug in McVille, ND was one of my main sources for Marvel comics back in the ’70s.

    There are still variety stores, in the form of dollar stores.