My regular comic store, Comic Quest, didn’t get any copies of Peter David’s Spike: Old Times. Yesterday I checked at Comics Toons and Toys. They were also sold out. Today I started looking around more of the Orange County area.

First step: Mile High Comics. I figured it was a long shot, since they’re the most well-known comic store on the internet, but I wasn’t in a hurry to read it, and it would save me the trouble of driving around the county. Naturally, they didn’t have it.

So I started calling stores I knew. As I was about to start, I noticed an email on SuperHeroNews saying, “Mile High Comics in LA, burned down last night, more information as we get it.” The first store on my list was Netherworld Comics, which used to be a Mile High store, but is in Garden Grove, not Los Angeles. Their phone isn’t picking up. And they’re still listed as an affiliate on Mile High’s website. And there aren’t any other Mile High stores in southern California. This doesn’t look good for Netherworld. Edit Sep. 7: Yes, it was them []. Figures. I’d only been in there a couple of times, but it was a nice store.

Okaaay… Next step: Diamond’s Comic Shop Locator. Unfortunately it only lets you search by ZIP code, and only shows the nearest three. Since I’d already been to two of the stores, I only got one phone number out of it. No luck there.

Time to do it the old-fashioned way: the phone book. (Katie remarked, “There’s nothing wrong with being old-fashioned, especially about a book called Old Times.”) There are surprisingly few comic stores in central Orange County. I only got three more numbers out of it, and one of them specializes in vintage comics. Not surprisingly, none of them had any copies either. (One offered to order it for me, but I simply declined rather than pointing out that it was already sold out at both the publisher and distributor.)

Next stop: eBay…