Every week I went grocery shopping with my mother and ran off to the magazines to check out the comic books. After a few months I realized that there really was no rhyme or reason to the comics that were on the spin-rack, so I expanded out discovering Wizard Magazine, with comic book news, art, and a back issue price guide – giving me my first inclination that comics lasted longer than three months before disappearing. When this no longer kept me contained so mom could grocery shop in peace, my parents began taking me to local comic book shops (LCBS) that were found through the yellow pages. It took a few weeks until we ventured to Empire Comics. In this LCBS, I found organized rows of new comics, shelves like a book store filled with the most recent 6 months of each title, and longboxes filled with back issues. Empire Comics treated a comic book shop as more than just a secret club, but treated comic books themselves as the escapism that they had become for me. I scanned the shelves, intimidated by the independent comic books I had read about, and grabbed the issues to fill in the gaps in my new X-Men collection.