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February 27, 2009 11:36 AM   Subscribe

The Secret Lives of Comic Store Employees presented by Wired.

Superman has Clark Kent. Spider-Man has Peter Parker. But it's not just superheroes who have secret identities. Wired.com's new "Secret Lives" series looks at individuals you encounter every day and reveals a side of them you normally wouldn't see.
posted by gman (77 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting..I have my very own comic store boy right here, I'll have to see what he thinks of the article.
posted by HopperFan at 11:41 AM on February 27, 2009


I try to pretend I'm not a giant nerd but then I see

“He also brought back the Green Lantern Core.”

and see red because Wired obviously sent some guy out who does not know that Core and Corps are homonyms and is not at all versed in the rich legacy of the Oans and their commitment to Galactic Justice and realize I am a lost cause.
posted by Shepherd at 11:42 AM on February 27, 2009 [25 favorites]


It would certainly help if the author of the article bothered to check his spelling. "Green Lantern Core", indeed.
posted by LN at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2009


jinx, Shepherd! :)
posted by LN at 11:43 AM on February 27, 2009


Actually, I am not going to let him see this article, because of this image.

"See, honey? That's exactly what I've been talking about putting up in the living room!"
posted by HopperFan at 11:47 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Man, that was disappointing. I was hoping to read about comic book store employees who actually had secret lives. "I like Daredevil" isn't exactly blowing my fucking mind over here, Wired.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:49 AM on February 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


Shepherd - that bugged me too.

I'm hearing very good things about Green Lantern at the moment, I must figure out what GNs I need to read to get up to speed on that.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on February 27, 2009


Wired obviously sent some guy out who does not know...
He also wrote "the clerks" instead of "Clerks", assuming it was a bunch of guys instead of a movie.
I don't go to the comic book store much any more, I'll just buy off the internet. At the store by my house, if I ask for Dork, I end up with some snarky guy telling me, "Obviously, you mean Dork Tower. It's over there." No, asswipe. I meant Dork. Don't get sanctimonious on me if you don't know who Evan Dorkin is.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 11:49 AM on February 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Neat. Also:

Why is there such a big crossover between comic book fans and tech junkies?
Also, on another level it's interesting to see where technology can go through comics. Like Ironman who bases all his inventions on things humanity may need in 10 or 20 years. It's very much in line with what's the next technology will be. It can be inspiring.


This is interesting and makes me think there's something even further there. There's a Scott Adams book (if I may invoke the name without derision) where he says something about an engineer being a person who views the world as underfeatured and suboptimized. Maybe that's the attraction of SF and comics to geeks and nerds: It shows something really amazing you could do with the stuff that's "out there". Like bio/social/physical engineering porn.
posted by DU at 11:50 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't get sanctimonious on me if you don't know who Evan Dorkin is.

Fucker. He needs a visit from Milk and Cheese. With violence!
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


I try to pretend I'm not a giant nerd but then I see

“He also brought back the Green Lantern Core.”

and see red because Wired obviously sent some guy out who does not know that Core and Corps are homonyms and is not at all versed in the rich legacy of the Oans....
posted by Shepherd at 2:42 PM on February 27 [+] [!]



Obviously, the writer should have come here first. Metafilter and its denizens are famous practitioners of Oanism.
posted by Verdant at 11:52 AM on February 27, 2009


I've never known a nerd that didn't have a girlfriend or boyfriend. They also seemed to be doing all sorts of weird sex stuff and obsessively talked about it. I don't know where this idea came from that nerds don't have girlfriends, although, when you hear one too many discussions about what happens in the hotel rooms at comics conventions, you sort of wish they didn't.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:55 AM on February 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Did anyone else find it odd, or interesting, that so many answered the "least nerdy thing" question by mentioning either their girlfriend or giving evidence of their sexual competence?
posted by oddman at 11:57 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like the "If you could be any comic book character" question, but like, who the hell picks Superman when they could go with MARTIAN MOTHERFUCKING MANHUNTER?

Firemen are excluded from my summary judgement, of course.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:59 AM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I noticed that the least nerdy thing was a woman too. OTOH, they are interested in comic books and SF. What other nerd stereotype is left to defy? "I don't wear glasses"?
posted by DU at 12:01 PM on February 27, 2009


Dude, Superman is SUPERMAN. Martian manhunter is some mopey green guy with the same powers who likes cookies.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else find it odd, or interesting, that so many answered the "least nerdy thing" question by mentioning either their girlfriend or giving evidence of their sexual competence?

All the guys did. The one gal they interviewed said she was in a band. It's probably just a guy thing - "my sexual prowess directly correlates to my worth as a human being".
posted by backseatpilot at 12:01 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't collect comics anymore, but my local comic store was run by a guy who was almost exactly like the comic store guy on the Simpsons (saving a few appearance things - my comic store guy was not as fat, and a little older/greyer). The resemblance in personality and look was otherwise totally uncanny.

The first time I saw comic-store guy I couldn't stop laughing. I can even remember trying to figure out if someone local had moved on and modelled comic-store guy on him... EVERYBODY who bought comics there thought this.
posted by Deep Dish at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2009


Dude, Superman is SUPERMAN. Martian manhunter is some mopey green guy with the same powers who likes cookies.

Plus shapeshifting! And telepathy! And really, his obsession with Oreos is something that I think we can all identify with.

Also awesome brow ridges
posted by Greg Nog at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2009


Oh and yeah, Comic Book Store Guy totally lives. Even some people who claim to be self-aware and non-NERDs (likely including myself) have at least a little CBSG. I knew such a fellow in HS who ran a video game arcade but was also into D&D and comics. And come to think of it, HE had a girlfriend TOO.
posted by DU at 12:04 PM on February 27, 2009


I've never known a nerd that didn't have a girlfriend or boyfriend.

I find that hard to believe. Are there any nerds in this thread who have gone long periods without an SO?
posted by delmoi at 12:04 PM on February 27, 2009


But no cheesy grins or winks. When I want to read about a sulking superhero I've got Batman.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on February 27, 2009


Nerds bond for life. Except the swingers.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on February 27, 2009


The amount of Superman love was kinda strange. Back when I was a comic book nerd, the big blue boyscout was typically reviled as being an utterly boring character who's sheer superiority over the rest of the DC denizens made his accomplishments pretty much worthless. With the exception of a handful of writers and storylines (All-Star Superman, Byrne's run on Superman in the 80s, etc) very few creative teams seem to be able to do anything remotely interesting with the character.

Of course there is also a lot of love for Spiderman among the employees which kinda boggles the mind as with few exceptions Spiderman has been utter crap for ages. A state of affairs which Quesada and company seem perfectly happy with continue indefinitely. And that's coming from someone that used to be a hardcore Marvel Zombie back in the day.
posted by vuron at 12:10 PM on February 27, 2009


I found this a bit funny:
Biggest pet peeve about customers?
Odors. Most people are fine, but there is one that comes wearing just a pair of jogging shorts (he's not in good shape), a wifebeater, and a towel around his neck. He's perpetually mopping his head and his neck with his towel.
Also, heh
If you could be any comic book character, who would it be?
Obviously Superman because he has no weaknesses except a green rock. But realistically, I'd say Spider-Man.
Yeah let's not get to unrealistic with our superpowers here.
posted by delmoi at 12:14 PM on February 27, 2009


They're both awesome characters that transend the shitness of whatever is happening to them in continuity. I haven't read a Spiderman comic in years, but I still think he's aces.
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM on February 27, 2009


This was my train of thought:
-- okay, interesting
-- oh, neat they interviewed a girl, funny her name is Panter and she's named after Olive Oyl, wouldn't that be funny if she's related to Gary Panter
-- wow she actually mentioned Charles Burns and Adrian Tomine
-- Oh. Her dad IS Gary Panter
-- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Ho Hum. The only person who even mentions non-superhero comix is Gary Panter's daughter. And no classics either? McCay Herriman Herge Crumb Burns Clowes Ware, those are my heroes. Oh God and how I love Jeffery Brown.

If you could be any comic book [superhero], who would it be?
Shaolin Cowboy
posted by headless at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2009


So the only girl they could find is the daughter of a pro and kinda 'hangs around' in comic shops....

And from my perspective over here in the UK is the CBSG is by far more the average than than anything approaching cool. Well apart from the borderline psychotics... who just tend to be the owners.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


sorry, Jeffrey Brown
posted by headless at 12:19 PM on February 27, 2009


The article could've been worse. It's not as if the author mentioned "Love & Rockets, a music group", Art Speigelman's "The Mouse", or "employees stocking a hundred bullets behind the counter."
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:24 PM on February 27, 2009


I expected more Counter Candy.
posted by sourwookie at 12:29 PM on February 27, 2009


I found the article interesting because it's a world I know nothing about. Having said that, I find the discourse in this thread far more enlightening. Cheers.
posted by gman at 12:29 PM on February 27, 2009


On Charles Burns.
posted by Artw at 12:29 PM on February 27, 2009


Non-nerdy = girlfriend because of the stereotype nerdy = awkward with the ladies. I think the whole article was to show the public how non-nerdy comic book store guys (and gals) are, nothing so fantastic in their secret lives (though helping to run a burlesque show sounds like fun).

I'm also sad at the love of Supes. And mainstream comics in general, except for the one girl who is into some of the stranger comics (I love Johnny Ryan and I always have. But it's getting pretty repetitive these days. Less anal rape.) I'd say the last two lines could be a MeFi tagline, but I think I might get flagged as tasteless.

HopperFan - to be fair, that image looks like it's a bedroom. Which is totally OK. (For full disclosure: my music collection is like that, but less organized and boxed, and my wife would probably agree with you).

Personally, I like The Tick, with Paul the Samurai as a close 2nd, mostly because he was never much of a main character. And I don't know if he even had a battle cry.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:31 PM on February 27, 2009


The questions they ask are pretty superhero-oriented, though; "What title has gotten better/worse" is the kind of thing that's not nearly as interesting to think about if the comic's been done by the same one cartoonist over many years. And who would respond to "Which character would you want to be?" with, like, "Julie Doucet"?
posted by Greg Nog at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2009


filthy light thief, I know it's a bedroom. He was already lobbying for that, but I nixed it - now he's trying to appropriate the living room. :)

(We already have 1/3 of the garage, 2 shelving units in the kitchen, and the entire space under the kitchen table full. Love the guy, though.)
posted by HopperFan at 12:38 PM on February 27, 2009


Weird, headless, I was about to post my own train of thought when reading Olive Panter's section, though mine ended with "holy shit that's Gary Panter's daughter!?" instead of zzzzzz. Your conclusions are your own, of course; I just thought it was neat that we both used the same rhetorical structure to express wildly different views.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:40 PM on February 27, 2009


I'd say the last two lines could be a MeFi tagline, but I think I might get flagged as tasteless.

I think she meant to direct that "less anal rape" comment to comics as a whole, and not to Johnny Ryan, but -- I'm not really a big Johnny Ryan reader, so for all I know, maybe that was what she meant.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:42 PM on February 27, 2009


The increasing numbers of comic book nerds with girlfriends and SOs definitely seems to be a function of the number of girls that read comics (and related material like anime and manga) and the relative social acceptance that has been bestowed on the hobby in the past couple of decades. Having exposure to individuals of the opposite sex that have the same interests as you can go a long way towards allowing you to develop romantic entanglements.

Back when I was a comic book nerd (or at least more of one) than I currently am, there wasn't a ton of comic book girls that often came into the comic book stores. Most of the ones that did come in seemed utterly uninterested in the standard superhero comics and were drawn to the alternative comic books like Strangers in Paradise or Poison Elves. Others were the SOs of geeks that had met in some other venue (SCA seemed to be a popular venue for hooking up with geek girls). There was somewhat of an influx of new blood with the advent of Vampire: the Masquerade and LARP but in many cases the pickings seemed to be slim.

So nerds either did without sex or they were willing to moderate their geekiness outside of the store in order to attract a "normal" girl. If you were lucky your significant other would allow you to spend a decent amount of time hanging out at the comic book store, inevitably talking about all the geek subjects that still drive nerd rage today, or you would be unfortunate and you'd need to cut back your visits and eventually drop out of the comic book scene. This happened to quite a number of friends over the years thereby confirming the hypothesis that sex > comic books.

Based upon observation it seems that there is less of a stigma placed on nerd interests these days and more girls find it socially acceptable to experiment with these nerd interests themselves.
posted by vuron at 12:47 PM on February 27, 2009


Actually is every comic shop employee and aspiring comics artist/writer...? Coz that would be slightly sad.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:48 PM on February 27, 2009


less anal rape

I interpreted this as being entirely about Mark Millar.
posted by Artw at 12:51 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


As for all the issue of all the guys listing their girlfriends as proof that they're not TOTAL nerds, I think this blog entry explains it pretty well:
When geeks have sex, they do it loudly, which is not to say that they make a lot of noise during the process, but that they make a lot of noise after the process. A geek that has had sexual congress must make sure the world is aware of this fact and will therefore mention his or her sexual adventures often. It seems that nobody believes the myth of geek chastity more than geeks themselves and thus they feel they must demonstrate to others how that certainly doesn’t apply to them.
[...]
Despite its prevalence among geeks, having sex is one way they can prove themselves to be alpha geeks, much closer to being one of the normal people that they supposedly resent.
(From the incisive and biting Stuff Geeks Love, which is probably the best of the countless Stuff White People Like copycats because it, like SWPL, goes beyond schtick to become an insightful dissection of a subculture, written by one of its own. Highly recommended if you're interested in the sort of Geek Studies issues that come up a lot in these sorts of MeFi threads.) (I just wish they'd change the name so I could recommend it without appending the previous paragraph every time.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


@kittens: that WAS what she meant. Mike Diana is worse (better?)
@Ian A.T. , she's certainly a looker but "now I come and don't do anything"... "but I do get creepy stares all the time. I'm kind of used to it now. The clientele can just be a bit irritating." She's a stacked 18-yr old art school student with a penchant for designer jeans who got her "job" because the owner loves her dad and she zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
posted by headless at 1:05 PM on February 27, 2009


Ho Hum. The only person who even mentions non-superhero comix is Gary Panter's daughter.

This really aggravated me too. What is worse is that they all (excepting Olive and the last guy) focused on Marvel/DC titles at the same time as they were concluding that they were over-volumed and crappish.

Although I am now curious about this Booster Gold reboot.....
posted by butterstick at 1:15 PM on February 27, 2009


This would have been more interesting if they'd had different questions for each of them, as opposed to the same (really boring) questions. I mean, I guess it was mildly interesting to compare answers, but not interesting enough to overcome the fact that most of their answers were pretty much the same.

Also, man, I really wish I liked comics - I am missing out on a huge source of geeky enjoyment. I just can't read them, though - my brain doesn't work that way.
posted by marginaliana at 1:20 PM on February 27, 2009


headless: Oh, I totally agree with you there. In fact, her whole Q&A reminded me strongly of this classic Onion article.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:20 PM on February 27, 2009


I'm hearing very good things about Green Lantern at the moment, I must figure out what GNs I need to read to get up to speed on that.

Start with Green Lantern: Rebirth. Read everything after that. You could get some more background from Final Night, but be warned that it is downright awful. The Sinestro Corps War was probably the best 'event' I've read in comics ever.
posted by graventy at 1:40 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, but they don't number them. Probably there's a wiki or something somewhere.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on February 27, 2009


This really aggravated me too. What is worse is that they all (excepting Olive and the last guy) focused on Marvel/DC titles at the same time as they were concluding that they were over-volumed and crappish.

To be fair, comic stores pretty much exist to be an outlet for Marvel/DC titles, with Dark Horse and the like coming in behind that, and artsy stuff like Tomine and Charles Burns pretty far behind that.

Now, if this was The Secret Lives of People who Work in the Comics Section of Indie Bookstores...
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on February 27, 2009


'What's the least nerdy thing about you?
The fact that I help run a burlesque show.'


Sorry, dude. That's still nerdy. Nerds love burlesque because it's like safe old timey cosplay stripping.

Also, nerdy: Trumpeting that you have a girlfriend.

This is not to say I'm not nerdy myself, of course.
posted by ignignokt at 1:50 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Liked the phrasing of the first guy's answer:
Obviously Superman because he has no weaknesses except a green rock. But realistically, I'd say Spider-Man.
Yeah, because realistically you'd never get a chance to be Superman. Spidey - totally achievable...

delmoi: "I find that hard to believe. Are there any nerds in this thread who have gone long periods without an SO?"

Dunno, is 36 years a long time?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 2:22 PM on February 27, 2009


Hey, all it takes is a radioactive spider...
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on February 27, 2009


“No, asswipe. I meant Dork. Don't get sanctimonious on me if you don't know who Evan Dorkin is.”

Fuckin’ A’ Bubba. How to Get Your Ass Kicked in 3 E-Z Lessons indeed. Straight out of Eltingville mother fucker!

I can see being Superman. Nothing much bad happens to him - at least in contrast to other characters. Who the hell would want to be Spiderman with all that guys been put through? I wouldn’t even want to be Nine Continents tho.
Realistically? Reid Fleming.

But having lived several years of my life in alternately, a Kung Fu movie, war film and action flick - pass. ‘Super’ is overrated. Who wants to go to work and have the world in their hands every day for the rest of their lives?
You stop to have a life, tell your wife you love her, something, and 10 people die in car crashes, falls, etc. etc. Oh Superman, where were you? My moms dead! Uh, getting a sandwich with my wife, sorry.

Astro City did that with the Samaritan. Pretty accurate depiction of a more realistic lifestyle of a superhero.
Plus - you know how messed up someone is if they bust their ass to save someone’s life and they die anyway? Talk to a fireman or a paramedic about the first person he lost. Sticks.
I think Raph Soohoo’s right about why people want to be Superman - “When Superman jumps off stuff, he flies. It's what you want to be rather than what's real. I like that approach better.”
Although Eldredge seems to have it together - Tom Strong’s got a decent life. And the 'pass' on the least geeky thing was a nifty move.

Still - caring about things, that’s geeky? I don’t have those extremes. I enjoy firearms, but y’know, just tools. I collect comics, but in the way dust collects, not like, bagged, pristine, etc. Some stuff I’m pretty serious about (typically ideological), but I notice that creates drama. For good or ill. But you can’t be ‘cool’ your whole life tho like some jaded European royal sophisticate. *draws on gold-tipped black cigarette* ‘You like drinking blood during sex, how nice for you. Yawn.’ Ok, you don’t find swinging a hammer for some poor folks as fun, I geek out about it. Oh, boy we’re building a house. I got to the comic shop alone, I browse, I pick up a few things, kinda boring. I go with a geek buddy of mine, it’s an adventure. Again, for good or ill - but at least it’s something going on. The guy with the B.O. is a pain, but he’s a good story.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:38 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nerdy. You have no idea. I grew up so embroiled in it that it's kind of stupid to make myself not nerdy. I'm in a band, so maybe that's not nerdy. But I even wear glasses and I go to art school and I work in a comic shop. There's nothing not nerdy about me. I have a designer jean fixation, but that's kind of retarded.

This chick reminds me of this girl I lived with who would talk about how she wished she'd been teased as a kid because it would have made her more interesting.

Sorry, but your incredibly cool interests (or the fact that you wear--gasp!--glasses) don't make you a nerd, even if your awesome, subversive, famous father might have really been one.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:46 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was hoping The Sassy Princess of Underground Comics would be cuter.
posted by blue ruin at 3:05 PM on February 27, 2009


And for the comic obsessives out there, here's an authoritative review of the Watchmen movie.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:58 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "And for the comic obsessives out there, here's an authoritative review of the Watchmen movie."

So authoritative it thinks the comic was written by Neil Gaiman.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:03 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Many people would assume that i wear glasses - BUT I DO NOT!
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nerds!
posted by doublesix at 4:13 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


My 2nd favorite minimum wage college-age slacker job was working at the comic store. (1st favorite? Projectionist at one of the last of the great old Movie Houses. That is a whole FPP in and of itself.)

Most of the regular customers are fun, artsy, quirky people who get into one meaningful conversation a week, and you're it. A retired lawyer who started buying comics for his son in the hospital across the street, but kept coming back for his own reasons. The short-order cook with the leather motorcycle jacket and dreadlocks. The lesbian couple who liked fantasy comics. The blind black guy who dressed like Han Solo (no lie!) and who's wife would read and describe the comics to him at home.

With you, the nerd behind the counter who loves to talk shop, they're unguarded. They are as thoughtful, funny, insightful and intelligent as anyone I've met, and the conversations run far afield from comics, delving into everything from local politics to sports to why falling in love hurts more than falling out of love, in one memorable afternoon.

Then there was That Guy. Creepy and crazy all at once, in a nerd population chock-full of creeps and crazies, he really stood out. He didn't come in every week, or every month, but you knew he was coming back all the same. We were fairly certain he realized that Superman was a fictional character, and Metropolis was a made-up place, but all bets were off when it came to Star Trek.

Still, it was the best five-bucks-an-hour day job ever. One day, I'll retire, and open a comics shop in a college town. Not to make a living. Just to talk shop with whoever comes in the door, and see where the discussion goes.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:04 PM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hear, hear Slap*Happy.

My best undergrad job, aside from working as a lab assistant, was at the local comic book store. The pay wasn't bad, but the perks were dragging home half the store on a Saturday evening to get 'caught up' with the new releases, find new series, and generally spend most of the night reading comic books. We had our amusing, stereotypical customers, but we also had some completely fascinating people, the monthly meeting of the anime club, and then...the Pokemon card players. That was truly a time when I began to notice for the first time that some people had disposable income to blow on whatever caught their interest that month. We had regulars that would walk out of the door with well over $100 in books each month. Or more when something special in Previews hit.

Man, I miss that job now. Not to mention the people I got to work with -- who were orders of magnitude more interesting than those in the article. Between DJs, local writers (and not 'aspiring comic book writers'), and former tech support people, we had quite an interesting collection. The best perk was working conventions and getting to meet a whole new range of people and spend an hour taking about nothing but some odd particular about a sci-fi movie or shocking kids by telling them I had never seen Star Wars (only to see their reactions, priceless).

And the article? I think some people need to get out of the coasts and get into some of the central part of the country. Mile High Comics anyone? We have our own little in-land comic empire in Colorado that was completely ignored. Thanks, Wired, for forgetting about most of the country.
posted by rand at 5:37 PM on February 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Obviously Superman because he has no weaknesses except a green rock. But realistically, I'd say Spider-Man.

Yeah, I stared at that sentence for way too long trying to figure out what 'realistically' meant in that context.
posted by painquale at 6:01 PM on February 27, 2009


Yeah, because the way to uncover the secret lives of various individuals is to email them all the same questionnaire. Doesn't anybody actually interview anymore? When was the last time you saw someone ask a followup question that actually derived from their response to the previous question?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:50 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


When the girl mentions that her dad is famous, they follow up by asking her who her dad is. Not that your point isn't accurate, though.
posted by painquale at 7:00 PM on February 27, 2009


Some day mainstream magazine article writers will venture further from San Francisco, New York City, etc. and converse with some of us comic book store guys out here in the sticks... I got yer "secret life" RIGHT HERE!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 7:25 PM on February 27, 2009


Honest question from someone who loves, loves, loves comics but hasn't bought one in years: how do you fucking afford them now?
posted by yhbc at 7:53 PM on February 27, 2009


So authoritative it thinks the comic was written by Neil Gaiman.

Um...not to spoil it for ya there Joe, but Truth Media reviews are specifically designed to generate nerd rage in whatever fan community the product has. Fantastically off on purpose.
posted by graventy at 8:10 PM on February 27, 2009


yhbc, I think trade paperbacks are what the frugal comic consumer is relying on these days. In addition there are a handful of decent "complete" collections out there for some of the major marvel titles. It's one of the few ways to actually catch up on the 60s-80s without putting yourself into the poorhouse purchasing back issues. However some of the collections become incomprehensible in the 90s due to the sheer number of crossover and event series. Finally if you are really desperate to get the recent comics and don't want to actually pay for them I guess you can download scanned versions from bittorrent.
posted by vuron at 8:21 PM on February 27, 2009


That's a shame. In the late sixties through the mid-seventies I was buying about 20-30 comics a month, but at 10-12 cents (25 cents for the jumbos!) it was affordable for a kid. When I got back into the books in the late eighties, they were (I think) only a buck or so each, so I was able to buy 10-20 titles each month without even thinking about it. Now I can't imagine buying any at all, and the trade paperbacks seem a pale substiute for the tactile experience of a real, single-issue comic book in your hands; a bittorrent scan even less so.
posted by yhbc at 8:30 PM on February 27, 2009


Comics != Superheroes

FFS
posted by autodidact at 6:47 AM on February 28, 2009


You are not your interests.
posted by autodidact at 6:51 AM on February 28, 2009


That's a shame. In the late sixties through the mid-seventies I was buying about 20-30 comics a month, but at 10-12 cents (25 cents for the jumbos!) it was affordable for a kid. When I got back into the books in the late eighties, they were (I think) only a buck or so each, so I was able to buy 10-20 titles each month without even thinking about it. Now I can't imagine buying any at all...

Plus they take away valuable time that could be better spent telling kids to get off your lawn.
posted by Legomancer at 7:15 AM on February 28, 2009


I'm impressed by the insightful, mature, and introspective comments from comics fans in this thread.

Why is it that, despite the sophisticated adult readers who browse at comics stores, superhero comics--with a few notable exceptions--adhere to writing and stories that are so formulaic and juvenile?
posted by Gordion Knott at 8:14 AM on February 28, 2009


i read that "Something Awful" article East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 posted and was mildly irked about some of the plot twists that the writer revealed, but i have enough perspective to understand that, yes, that's what Hollywood does.

Dr.Atomic? i remember Dr.Manhattan, but no Dr.Atomic. no, the Comedian was not based on the Punisher, he was a version of the Peacemaker, a Charlton comics character. all the characters were originally supposed to be Charlton comics characters.

...i was okay for most of the article, geek submissive, until the end of the article: Neil Gaiman?!?! it was ALAN MOORE THAT WROTE WATCHMEN. and was Adrian Brody even in the cast? Billy Crudup played the so-called "Dr. Atomic'. now that i think of it, even IMDB lists the character as Dr.Manhattan.

...and despite what i've just said, i think i've managed to suppress my outer geek fairly well publicly, as i've often gotten blank stares and snores from my common man when i "go off". (see above.)

i agree with Legomancer. no need to get surly about the prices of comics. just the way of the world. i've been pleasantly suprised at a lot of comicbook stores around here coming around to the idea of $1 comics... the new version of the quarter comic bin.
the Panter girl? definitely faux cool. pretty but pose-y. too cool for the nerd click and no time for the misunderstood lowly customers... hope she's not running the register with her aura of disdain. talk about mutant power. ick.

also... Martian Manhunter over Superman any day of the week, too bad they killed him in Final Crisis: Requiem. or Hourman. or Morrison's Cliff Steele.

so much for suppression of the geek gene.
posted by swindlehorne at 10:40 AM on February 28, 2009


For the record I would be the Beyonder. Nah actually he was too tortured and alienated despite embodying the power of an entire universe. As a kid I really wanted to be Iceman because it looked so fun to get around on ice slides like in Spider Man and his Amazing Friends.
posted by autodidact at 10:51 AM on February 28, 2009


"but Truth Media reviews are specifically designed to generate nerd rage in whatever fan community the product has. Fantastically off on purpose."

I do that. Me and Joe Pesci hop in my jeep and yell "homo" at hot looking women. He heard about it from some comedian. You cannot stop Joe Pesci. You can't even slow Pesci down man.

I'll Nth Martian Manhunter being a niftier character - more pathos, better powers, far far more dangerous - with a very realistic psychological block on why he doesn't use his powers full out.

Superman... you gotta figure he's just showboating. Which makes him a real big asshole when lives are in peril.
I suspect most folks would wind up being Molecule Man tho. All the power, none of the headache, nice zoftig wife.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:41 AM on February 28, 2009


A funnybook store I used to frequent (despite its location on a sketchy midtown block) prominently displayed a poster of caricaturist Drew Freidman's COMIC SHOP CLERKS OF NORTH AMERICA (© 1988) by the cash register as a memorial to their antecedents. At the time, it was only a humorous exaggeration of some of the types who had chosen or fallen into the profession, a shared joke between employees and customers. Compared to the presentable, hipster-ish clerks profiled in Wired, it's safe to say that nobody wants to learn about the inner lives of Benny, Dogderbek, or "Chappy".
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:28 PM on February 28, 2009


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