While hanging out in Burbank last week, I decide to finally check out The Perky Nerd. I had heard about a lot this relatively new store for quite a while, all good things. How could it not be great? It has two of my favorite things, coffee and of course, comics.
I was immediately blown away by their awesome set up and mix of comics, toys, gaming, etc. Their delicious coffee drinks were also a huge plus.
From the minute I walked in I was greeted by the owner, Tiffany, and her husband. Tiffany was sweet and very welcoming. I chatted with her for a few minutes and you can see her love for the culture as she talks about her store. So I decided I had to do a spotlight on her store. What a coincidence that they're up for an Eisner award this year.
If you're ever in Burbank, this should definitely be a stop you make. It's truly one of the best comic book stores I've ever been to.
COMIC LOUNGE: First off can you tell us a little about yourself?
TIFFANY MELIUS: Well I am a mom to a rascal of a 3 year old. Wife to a long time Amazing Spider-Man reader. We both cosplayed together at our first con as Black Widow & Captain America and got the con bug. Cosplay is what really got me immersed into the nerd world and all of the fandoms and merch out there. I became a collection of all things Carol Danvers, Chewbacca, Hulk, and Groot. The movies were a huge influence on my growing love of comics and finding out more about these characters. Actually, coming from an acting background, I really really wanted to play Carol Danvers in the movies when the MCU was in its early years. Since Black Widow was the only lady of badassery around, I learned more about her and dyed my hair red and that's why The Perky Nerd has red hair. I only recently back to my
blonde hair because of my first comic book love, Carol Danvers. And now, here I am 3 years into owning and running a comic book shop in Burbank.
CL: When did your love for comics first start?
TM: It was around 2006. I went on a comic book hunt with my husband and he was like you should find a comic too. I was definitely overwhelmed by the choices. Then I saw Carol Danvers on the cover of a Ms. Marvel issue and loved everything about her look. A badass in a leotard with thigh high boots that can fly. I'm in. I got all the issues they had and then never stopped reading. I loved her strong personality and how she seemed like someone I would want to be friends with. Plus, she had a cool style and a cat named Chewy. She was my first cosplay too.
CL: What made you decide to open up your own shop? How long have you guys been around?
TM: We've been around 3 years now. It's our first business venture and it all started because I wanted to open a cat cafe. I had a one woman show I was doing in festivals called CONFESSIONS OF A CAT LADY (with a side of crazy!) and I became known as a cat lady. I wanted to do something with that in mind, but then it turned into just a cat on our logo for a comic book shop that sells coffee. Coffee and comics. Then it kind of grew from there with the pop culture and art and we just keep adding.
CL: With so many comic shops out there, how do you make yourself stand out?
TM: Besides just comics, we have cold brew coffee, a variety of pop culture items like Funko Pops, fan art, apparel, accessories, and tons of events. We have workshops, tournaments, panels, gaming, signings, art shows, it's never ending with what we do here.
CL: What kind of events do you guys do to promote nerd culture?
TM: We are open late Tuesday and Thursday nights for gaming. And we are open late on Wednesday night for our comic book clubs the Reading RainBros & The Perky Bitches. Usually on Saturday there's some sort of event happening, a little bit of gaming like Star Wars Legion, X-Wing, or Destiny. Plus, we are known for our panels with guests from Paul Feig to Paul Dini. We have had fashions shows, art shows, a makers workshop with Paul Frank, calligraphy classes, on top of our signings with local writers & artists. We've even had two weddings here. We definitely like variety!
CL: Besides comics, what other stuff does tour shop offer?
TM: We have Funko pops, fan art, games, coffee, mugs, figures, purses, bags, home goods, paint, I mean the list goes on. We have Sideshow collectibles too! Plus, we keep a variety of cold brew coffee and snacks that comes in handy when you are gaming all day.
CL:What have been some of your fondest memories since opening the doors of The Perky Nerd?
TM: We have had so many awesome guests and events. One of our first art shows was GHOSTBUSTERS. And the amount of fans that came and the people that were guests, like Robin Shelby that played SLIMER, have been friends ever since. We even did a SLIMER DAY with Robin and she shared behind the scenes footage from her experience on set. Paul Feig has also done a panel with us and had tons of twinkies sent to the art show as well. I was even able to fulfill a longtime fan dream of mine by doing a workshop with Paul Frank. We made backpacks on two Sunday afternoons at the shop and it was so cool. I get to meet so many great people.
CL: Where do you hope to see the shop in the next 5 years?
TM: I'd love to have a full fledged coffee shop with beer and wine. A gaming area that we can keep up all the time, rather than break down for events. It would be nice to expand into more women's fashion and collaborate with some of the awesome designers I've met and make casual clothes that are up my alley. There's so many things I'd love to expand upon that we just do every now and then because of time and space. But I hope we can do it and franchise and get Perky Nerds popping up nationwide.
CL: I know you guys are nominated for an Eisner, why should people vote for your shop to win the award?
TM: I believe we are worthy of the award because we have such a variety of nerdery. We support the writers, the artists, the fans. We have a unique look to our shop and handmade wooden comic racks that I actually sanded myself. We have a fun social community of people that come out to all of our events. We welcome all nerds whether they are fans of the movies, the comics, the clothes, the games, all the newbies, and the lifelong fans. We not only cater to the traditional nerd crowd but also to creatives, families, moms, and fellow small business owners. I'd be so excited to have the title of award winning shop because it would make all the hard work more than that. It's recognized and they say I see you. I see what you're doing. Keep it up, we are here for you. That would be the ultimate!
Location: 1606 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91504
Hours: 11AM - 7PM Monday - Tuesday, Thursday - Saturday. Wednesday 11AM - 8PM, Sunday 12PM to 5PM.