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ReTales: Dave Pifer, Owner of Secret Headquarters

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Wood floors and leather arm chairs make Secret Headquarters feel more like a gentleman’s study than a comic book store. Among titles and characters that you may not recognize, there’s enough inventory of mainstream comics so even non-junkies (like us) can poke around and find something fun. Customers can subscribe to their favorite series through the store and come pick them up on new release Wednesday, which owner Dave Pifer says is his favorite part of the job. “The ordering process makes it easy to get to know the customers personally.” In the interest of getting personal, we had a few questions for Dave.

Why this store, now, in Silver Lake?
Me and my business partner wanted to open a skate shop, but it really wasn’t a good area for it. This side of town isn’t serviced by a comic book store. We have a lot of customers coming from Echo Park and down town, too.

What’s been flying off the shelves?
Currently, Walking Dead, a zombie series with a soap opera like following. And we’ve been selling more Batman comics with the movie release of Dark Knight.

What are you most excited about in-store right now that's maybe not flying off the shelves?
I’m going to shout out Fear Agent. The lead character is like a drunk Han Solo. I just cannot get people to read it.

You have $100 to shop in LA—where do you go?
That’s tough, because I can be a bit of a clotheshorse. I like South Willard on 3rd a lot, but with a hundred dollars, you can only really get like a pair of socks.

Make that $1,000.
Oh, let me change my answer. South Willard if I had a thousand, but with a hundred I’d probably just head to the newsstand. I really like Vanity Fair, Mojo and Fantastic Man. I actually just read Radar for the first time today, which I really enjoyed.

Can you explain DC’s Infinite Crisis in once sentence?
[Laughs ] Wow. Who fed you that question? I guess I’ll say its Grant Morrison’s attempt to take the DC universe into the year 2010.
· Secret Headquarters [thesecretheadquarters.com]