By Sean McHugh
Gone are the days in which enjoying comics solidified your status as a “nerd.” With the explosion of comic book lore over the past decade, comic book culture is a general part of the national zeitgeist. Iron Man made Robert Downey Jr. a household name, and the Joker is now considered one of the most vaunted roles in all of Hollywood; but there’s so much more to comic culture than the Hollywood blockbusters.
Comics have been an integral part of modern cultural for a while now (since 1933, to be exact), and the industry itself has experienced its ups and downs throughout the years. I’ll admit, I was much more into professional sports while growing up in the 90s, but as my interests have expanded into all forms of entertainment, my most recent entertainment kick has been comic books. An old college roommate of mine, Jacob, had prodded me for years trying to get me to humor him by going to his favorite Nashville comic book shop, The Great Escape. While he lived in Nashville, I never got a chance to go, so it wasn’t until Jacob had moved to New York and came back to visit Nashville one week that we finally went to The Great Escape. In short, I had been missing out big time.
The Great Escape is located in West Nashville, just a quick hop off of West End onto 440 W and then exit 205. The shop is one of the most legendary of comic book shops in the Southeast, with everything from comic books, LPs, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, rare memorabilia, and collectibles. The original Great Escape was located on Broadway for 33 years, before moving to the current location on Charlotte Ave. The bread and butter of The Great Escape have got to be its expansive collection of LP records and comic books. According to the store’s site, they have over 20,000 records in stock; a truly gargantuan collection.
The other strong suit of The Great Escape is of course its collection of comics. The store has a wide range of comics including newest releases, back order, and rare prints as well. They have all of their newest releases up on the wall racks, while older editions are organized alphabetically for curious perusal or direct search for a specific title. That certainly makes things easier for someone such as myself, who’s only just begun to dive into comics – so far I’ve picked up comics for Iron Fist, Deadpool, Spider-Woman, and Shazam.
On top of the exquisite selection of vinyl records and comic books, The Great Escape also has a variety of DVDs and Blu-Rays lining the right side wall, as well as autographed memorabilia, collectible figures, and even laser disks. It’s a great spot for the most committed of comic book fans, music lovers, and collectors; as well as for casual beginners such as myself. So if you find yourself with some free time, be sure to check The Great Escape out, you’re bound to find something that’ll pique your interest.