Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#137 In which our hero discusses comic shops.

My comic book guy quit.

Unless you’re a comic book fan, this means nothing to you. But if you are, you know it’s a big pain in the ass. If you’re not a rabid comic book reader, you may not realize that you can’t really buy comic books on newsstands anymore, you have to go to a specialized comic book store. Matter of fact, one of the first things I did when I moved to Cleveland was scout the area to find a new comic book store.

See, new comics come out every week, so I’m in that shop every Thursday (new comics actually come out every Wednesday, meaning the store is jam-packed with hard-core comic geeks on that day, and it’s not that big of a place to start with… so I go the following day to avoid being touched by some unwashed freak). Which means you end up developing a relationship with the guy who sells you comics -- like it or not.

There are generally two types of people who work at comic book stores:
  1. Casual comic readers: aka, guys like me; younger, enjoy reading comics but aren’t fanatical about it, read maybe 3-8 titles a month, bathe regularly.
  2. Hard-core comic readers: older, been reading/involved with comics all of their life, read 20 or more titles a month, in fact, tend to have little life outside of comic books, generally kinda creepy, bathing is optional.
My comic book guy appears to be in the latter category, but honestly, he’s a bit of a anomaly; he’s overweight and geeky (which fits the pattern), but doesn’t appear to be that into comics. He just chats with customers and keeps the store running. I’ve never heard him engage in a protracted debate about, say, if the golden age Superman could beat the post-Crisis Superman in a fist-fight.

I have a great relationship with my comic book guy. He’s friendly, but not so much a fanboy that I get sucked into comic-related discourse with him. Which is just how I want it. I walk in the door, he recognizes me, hands me my pull, I browse what’s new on the tables a bit, pay and leave. Perfect.

But now that he’s gone (yesterday was his last day) this means that I have to deal with a new comic book guy. Probably the owner, who is friendly, but way creepy. He doesn’t know my face or name, so I’m going to have to wait in line and tell him my name in order to get my books. Who has time for that?

Also, I overheard the owner and my now-quit comic book guy talking, and the owner is going to sell the store in about five years. This sucks in that if someone buys it outright, then I have to deal with a whole new guy AND a whole new way of doing business. Or worse yet, if he can’t get someone to buy the shop and it closes, then I’ll have to find a whole other place to buy comics! Arrgh!

Goodbye comic book guy. I hardly knew ya. And that’s how I liked it.


Anonymous Garlanda said...

So, why don't you buy the store and turn it into the sort of fun, quirky, avant garde shop that only you could do? Something that does more than just comics?

7:13 PM

Blogger jkroy said...

Oh man....I feel a tear coming hooo....
Seriously though, I used to feel the same way going into my local game shop. I like what garlanda had to say. But do you want to have the great respondsiblity of being the guy all the comic geeks will like. That could be an awful heavy wait to bear. LOL

12:23 PM

Blogger craig said...

If you ever saw my checking account before The Scientist and I got joint-checking (and she wisely took over paying the bills) you'd understand why I should never run a business.

And besides, I don't even like to go into comic shops on new comic day... how much would it suck if it was my JOB to interact with those greasy geeks every day?

9:50 AM


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