Brooklyn’s Bergen Street Comics on HBO’s ‘Bored to Death’
HBO’s “Bored to Death” should be required viewing for comics fans. Created by Jonathan Ames, the reliably hilarious series depicts the variously inept adventures of a lazy, underachieving writer whose natural disconnection from humanity is only strengthened by his dependence upon cheap wine, marijuana, an enabling and wealthy mentor, and a self-loathing comic book artist for a best friend. On second thought, maybe the series is just too painful for many of us to watch.
In any case, “Bored to Death” reasserted its comic book bona fides in its most recent episode, “I’ve Been Living Like a Demented God!”, the cast visited venerable Brooklyn-based comics retailer Bergen Street Comics, where Zach Galifanakis’s character Ray was selling a self-published autobio comic called, naturally, “Super Ray.”iFanboy’s Conor Kilpatrick is a regular customer at Bergen Street Comics, and notes that the store is a perfect fit for Ames’ idiosyncratic series, which itself is molded in the spirit of the New York neighborhood. However, for the purposes of comedy, “Bored to Death” used the location to present a familiar stereotype of comics stores and their proprietors.
In reality Bergen Street Comics is a very progressive, forward thinking shop that caters in large part to the indie crowd and the graphic novel crowd (while not at all neglecting the super hero crowd), so what was interesting, and ultimately not at all surprising, about the show last night was that they portrayed the owner (in the glasses and the Captain America t-shirt) and the customer (in the elf ears) in that typical way the mainstream media often does: geeky, socially awkward outcasts. It was not surprising, but it was a bit strange for a show that gets the details so right.