Seth Talks Comics: Seth Hates Going to the Comic Book Store
Wednesday is almost a day of holy reverence in the realm of comic book collecting… it’s the day when many socially awkward misfits wipe the Cheeto dust from their fingers on their grease-stained Batman t-shirts and put on their “going out” sweatpants. They’ll tie their greasy, unwashed hair back into a ponytail and promise their mothers that they’ll pick up another bag of cat food on the way home as they head towards the bus stop. Even the homeless lunatics will give them a wide berth on the bus, not because of the aroma of cat urine and body odor that swims around our loner virgin heroes, but because they know not to get in the way of The Quest!
What’s The Quest? Well, I’m glad you asked, Nieces and Nephews! It’s time once again to sit on Uncle Manhammer’s lap as he drops some knowledge on you.
See, every Wednesday is New Comic Book Day. It’s a day where speculators and fans alike congregate in their selected store and paw through the new books, looking for that elusive 9.8 or perfect 10 (if the issue turns out to be a key, and they send it to the CGC ((Certified Guarantee Company)) to be “slabbed” and otherwise known as “unreadable and therefore defeating the purpose of comic books”)). It’s always a sea of larger than average men crammed into what’s usually the smallest space possible, offering the bare minimum of manners in a public setting while they snatch and grab and otherwise try and stop others from getting the specific issue they want.
Here’s where I”m going to get some flack about how things have changed. “Sure, it used to be like that, but not anymore!” My detractors are screaming now, “Even some women work in comic shops! You’re stuck in the past, Uncle Manhammer!”
And here’s where I say, “Sure, there are exceptions to every rule. But, for the most part, that’s bullshit.”
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re on the “I Hate The Big Bang Theory” bandwagon for their lack of accurate portrayal of “Nerd Culture” (whatever that is) and the unbelievable notion that the attractive women would find any of the men on that show desirable. But you know what they get spot on? The comic book store scenes. Where Stuart is weird and awkward, probably smells bad? You know what I’m talking about? I hate to tell you…from my experience that’s pretty accurate. Even down to the four dorks debating about Aquaman (and let’s not forget that for the first five seasons one was a borderline date-rapist).
I do the bulk of my comic book purchases via mail order. I’ve got a quaint little shop on Long Island in New York and I happily purchase from on a regular basis. I message the owner when I want to pick up my holds and he sends them to me. It’s nice I don’t have to go anywhere and my actual human contact is minimal. I prefer this, though I do have to make exceptions from time to time and venture out into the world of the unwashed masses. Like this past Wednesday. Because Diamond screwed up and released a comic I wanted three weeks early.
What was so important that I could not possibly wait for my mail order shipment on the off chance I wouldn’t have one?
Dave Sim’s newest Cerebus in Hell? #1… Watchvark.
It’s a simple book, each page being its own comic strip, and the premise is that everyone’s favorite grouchy aardvark is in Hell (after, ya know, dying in the main Cerebus series and all) and interacting with various folks in the seven circles. It’s fun, hilarious, and… well, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. You know, it’s a comic book after all, it’s not required to be high art.
The problem though is that it’s an ongoing series with a new title and new first issue. Every month. There were five issues of Cerebus in Hell? and after a short hiatus, Bat-Vark #1 appeared. Followed by Aardvark Comics #1. Strange Cerebus #1 was right behind them. This makes walking into a comic store and trying to explain what you’re looking for pretty difficult. So my guy in New York, he’s a Cerebus fan. He gets it. So I trust him to throw one in with my books when they come in. Except when my paranoia kicks in and I don’t want to miss the issue.
So that’s what I did this past Wednesday. Go buy Watchvark #1.