Two New Comic Day Incidents

By | Thursday, February 22, 2007 Leave a Comment
Okay, so yesterday, I went to my local comic shop to pick up this week's cache of new books. The owner was behind the counter, getting various things organized, his wife/manager was in the back room on the computer, and there were two customers already in the store. One customer was young-ish (early twenties, maybe) and looking at the new books on the shelves, and the other was older (fiftish) and chatting with the owner.

Incident #1 -- As I walked in, the owner said "hi" and turned around to get my file. The other customer continued talking (something about a promotional image of Power Girl sporting a camel toe in the latest Previews) and the owner handed me a stack of comics. He also took a moment to point out that the American Way TPB -- which I had asked about last week -- was on the shelf behind me if I was still interested.

What caught my attention was that he had recalled my offhand question about American Way very quickly. I didn't ask him to reserve a copy; I had just made an idle inquiry about wanting to take a look at it. He remembered that, and pointed it out when he got it in. Anyone who would've specifically ordered a copy would've had one in their file, and he only had one copy left. It probably would've sold to someone anyway, but the owner got a more solid sale by pointing it out to someone who had already expressed some interest in it.

My local shop has only been around for a little over three years, so I still have some concern in the back of my head about their longevity, but incidents like this one suggest to me that he really has a pretty good head for business, and will probably be around for a while.

Incident #2 -- As I picked up a few extra books off the shelf, I wandered back to the counter where the one customer was still talking. (The other had purchased a couple of books and left.) He had moved on to how some folks at DC were intentionally mis-directing fans about various plot points in 52. He would cite various message board posts from DC editors who had said thus-and-so about a character, and two weeks later an issue would come out contradicting that, and how this whole thing was being rolled out as some big mystery, and here's this one image of Ralph Dibney's nose twitching which means his powers are back, and how this was actually set up earlier, and how some fan had actually noticed it and placed a blown-up scan of the panel in question on another message board, and...

I was in the shop for about a half-hour, and this guy's diatribe was running in the background the whole time. He spent the entire time talking about plot points in various DC books -- he even walked me through the latest issue of Hawkgirl page by page, including a ton of back-story that, even with his extended explanations, made little sense to me. I heard more about the vast tapestry that is the DC Universe in that half-hour than I have in ages.

In short, this man -- this fiftish-year-old man -- was the biggest DC fanboy I think I've ever met.

Now I'm not making a judgement against him. He seemed like a nice enough guy and was fairly well-spoken. He clearly knew his stuff and if I were going to enter into some DC trivia contest, he'd be on my short list of people I'd want on my team. He was quite passionate about the DC mythos and heavily invested in it -- financially (he said at one point that he bought pretty much everthing DC puts out) and emotionally (judging by his enthusiasm).

I only bring it up as an "incident" because I don't run into people like this very often. Oh, I've met plenty of fanboy types before, but they're usually very young and not as versed in the comic stories as they'd like to be. I've met older fans, but they're either very nostalgic about comics from their youth or don't pay much attention to mainstream stuff because they "outgrew" it years ago. This gentleman -- who's name I didn't even catch, to be honest -- seemed to me something of a rarity. If I ever get around to writing my book about fandom, I'd definitely be interested in getting his thoughts and/or profile into it.
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