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LCS Spotlight: Station 1 Records & Books (NJ). Great comics can be found where you least expect!


Robert Ketterer photo

I frequent a lot of hobby shops, whether comic, record, video game, book, or just antique-related. I have my go-to shops for comics, for records, for video games, and I'm always exploring new ones. I was looking for a new record shop one day and came across Station 1 Books in Pompton Plains, NJ. About a 35-40 min drive from my house, I decided to check it out.


Mind. Blown.


To paraphrase Stefon (Bill Hader) from SNL: This shop had everything. Vintage books, records, trade paperbacks, new books, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, magazines, video games, you name it. I was overwhelmed, but headed over to the used record section. Then I actually found something in the video game section I wanted and that was my first transaction. I thought I'd need at least one more time in there to really absorb it all. So I left feeling good about my purchase, and that was that. Then I went back. Then I went back again, this time bringing things to sell. And again... and again in the same week, selling, buying, etc.


I got to know Dan and Joe, who you'll meet in a second, as I traded in/sold my first pressings of albums, some video games, graphic novels, and stuff I had no room for (really it was to make more room for the same stuff). They're two of the most down-to-earth people I've met and they treated me really well. So when they re-did their comic section, I had to check it out.


When you're a shop that has everything, I think you start to cater to certain crowds. You've got your record crowd, your DVD/VHS crowd, your book crowd, your video game crowd. But they're building up their comic crowd. I'm here to tell you all that they have a great selection, not just of floppies, but graphic novels and trades, comic-related books, and those old magazines like Savage Tales and Eerie! So, please, enjoy my interview with Dan below, and then if you're in the area (Western/Central/North NJ; Southern NY), or visiting from out of town, you NEED to stop by. I'm sure you'll walk out with something, whether it's comics, or comics AND a book; comics AND a record; comics AND a poster... I could go on. I'll let Dan tell it.


Oh, did I mention it's located in an old train station? Freakin' cool.


Some of the shops newly priced books


Michael (M): Who are you guys and what is Station 1 Books?! Dan (D): Hi, thanks for taking time to interview us. We’re an independent book & record store located in a turn of the century train station in downtown Pompton Lakes. I’m Daniel, the owner, and I’ve been collecting books, records, and weird stuff my whole life and have been selling for 20 years.

Joe runs the shop, especially when it comes to vinyl, and indeed this is our most popular product line, so he’s constantly buying and pricing records to put out for sale. M: How would you describe your shop? What do you sell? Who do you try to cater to? D: The shop is ever-evolving as we gain new customers and adjust to what sells best. So we are constantly curating our inventory. We’re a busy little store and put out thousands of unique items a week. Because 90% of what we sell is vintage media, what’s for sale at any given time depends on what we have found to sell. For example earlier this year we bought an estate of a screenwriter and for a month we were putting out hundreds of interesting movies daily. It’s our customers who ultimately define the nature of what we sell. For example, when we noticed more people picking up VHS we started bringing in more and dedicated a whole section to tapes (curated to focus on Horror and Weird).

Conversely, when we noticed we hadn’t sold a single military history book in a month we took them all out and made room for more manga and graphic novels. So, yeah it’s constantly changing. Who knows, maybe in 10 years I’ll bring back those history books. M: How long have you been in business?

D: The shop is coming up on 5 years! Thanks, actually, for asking this question because I honestly just realized it’s our 5th year anniversary. Sounds like a good reason to have a party! [O]r at least an anniversary sale. M: Congrats! I know you have a plethora of collectibles for all types of collectors, but recently got into (or more into) comics. Why the move?


D: Comics and video games were always things we loved to have around but because we were so focused on music and movies, they were always somewhat neglected. We didn’t have proper displays and while some people enjoy digging through unsorted boxes or cluttered shelves we decided it was time to step up our game. We got new shelves, bagged and boarded and priced our back stock, bought some more collections, and put out a nice display of comics. M: What kind of comics do you offer now and what do you hope to do with comics in the future? (It can be a tough but very rewarding venture)

D: Now we have a solid collection of Marvel and DC, a lot of current but some Silver Age and older. Also, we always loved to bring in underground titles so we have those too.


We have some nice wall items and plentiful $2 books (10 for $15). As for the future plans for comics, I’m just going to go with it like everything else. If we gain a lot of new comic buyers, we’ll eventually buy more cool books and expand the section. M: You sell some awesome comic-related stuff: trade paperbacks and graphic novels; books about comic artists; comic magazines like Eerie and Savage Tales. Do you see interest in that? D: Personally, this is my favorite type of stuff to buy, collect, and sell. It’s widely popular with our customers. Even those who usually strictly come in for vinyl will occasionally pick up a horror zine or graphic novel. M: Can you show our readers some of the awesome inventory you have?


M: Whoa that’s some nice stuff! People, come on by and take advantage of these deals so they can move inventory and bring in more!

Anything else you want to tell our readers?

D: I appreciate you speaking with me and I like to see when people appreciate our efforts and keep coming in. Our customers have created a space where they can come and see some of their favorite pop culture or weird stuff, talk about music and books, and comb through shelves of media. I love when people find gems hidden in our inventory.

M: Thanks guys, for speaking with me, and you know I’ll be back in. Hoping some of our North Jersey/Southern NY friends make the trip! You can buy comics and peruse the thousands of other items while you’re at it.


Station 1 Books & Records is located at

1 Station Plaza

Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442

USA


You can reach them by phone at (973) 307-0212

Or Instagram


 


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