§ June 1st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

1. Courtesy pal Tom again…more reviews of Green Arrow’s arrows. Hey, I think it’s funny.

2. Word on the street is that Thought Balloon’s Kevin Melrose has a new site, Scryptic Studios, for “aspiring, semi-professional, and professional comic book writers.” Neat! (I particularly like Kevin’s confession on this page.)

3. THE MEME: From the Comics Journal message board, a list of questions regarding comic stores and comic-buying habits…I see pal Ian answered those questions — that’s my place of employment he’s talkin’ ’bout, brother! I thought it might be at least a little interesting (well, for me, anyway) to answer these, at least from the perspective of someone who manages a comic shop:

A. Do you tend to go to the nearest store, the best store, any store, or does it matter?

I go to the store I work at. Actually, before I entered my indentured servitude, that was my store of choice since first shopping there over 20 years ago.

B. Ladies, what books do you tend to purchase, or what kind would you like to purchase (if you are a male please leave blank or supply what a girlfriend reads)?

The girlfriend really, really, really likes Spider-Man…she was also a fan of Marvel’s G.I. Joe series.

C. What one thing would you add or change about your most frequented store (i.e. What is the worst thing about the store)?

I would change the backroom organization (i.e. less stuff), and get even more shelves for the front of the store. Ideally, I would love more space…we may have to wait for one of our neighboring stores to move out so we can knock down a wall and expand, because I’ll be damned if I’m moving the whole store again. (After our last move into a larger location a few years back, I had dreams about moving boxes of comics for months.)

Oh, and I’d also change my salary to a million dollars a month.

D. What one thing would you not change (i.e. What is the best thing about the store)?

The wide and varied selection of new and old funnybooks! And our customers…despite my recent gripes about certain types of customers, we’ve got a pretty good clientele with several cool and nice people.

E. Do you read any small press comic books currently? Which one(s)? (examples: Lone Star Press, Avatar)

Yes…I’ve been a long supporter of independent comics, stemming in part from being exposed to a wide selection of indies at my shop of choice from the very beginning of my comic-shop patronage. I’ll check out just about anything from Fantagraphics, Slave Labor, and, oh, that AiT/Planetlar company too, I guess…and I’ll poke through any indie that happens to grab my attention.

F. What back issues do you buy?

Mostly DC’s funny animal stuff by Shelly Mayer, as well as his Sugar & Spike, Nancy comics, the Dell/Gold Key Peanuts comics (still missing a couple!), Turok (the original good stuff, not Valiant era), any fun-looking Silver Age Superman-family comics, 1950s and 60s-era Archies, Herbie, and old fanzines.

G. How do you decide what comic book to buy? Writer, artist, character, word of mouth, etc?

All kinds of things…I notice that I’ll buy DC Comics based on character, while Marvel books I’ll buy based on creator, more or less (though I’ve been buying Hulk for decades, through thick and thin). Word of mouth usually doesn’t convince me to buy comics, but all that talk about Street Angel online got me to try it out. Mostly…if it grabs my eye, it’s halfway there to getting onto my purchase pile.

H. Do you buy strictly current age comic books or do you buy older comic books? What kinds?

I mostly buy new comics, if only because I’ve been buying comics on a regular basis for the last 25 years…if I wanted to read it, I would have bought it off the shelf when it was new.

I. How do you feel about graded comic books?

I’m assuming this means those slabbed, “professionally-graded” comics you see people paying too much for on eBay all the time. I don’t know…I can understand the need for such a service, given most auction sellers can’t grade their way out of a paper bag (to use one of our favorite nonsensical expressions)…but the end result is people paying far too much for items that don’t warrant such prices. People investing too much money in overpriced slabbed books are people that won’t be in the hobby much longer, once they realize they’ll never get back the money they’ve spent.

J. What comic book related merchandise do you buy?

Not much…I do occasionally pick up a single HeroClix of certain characters (like Swamp Thing, natch), and I’ll buy the DC Direct Golden Age character action figures, though they’ve mostly dried up lately. Also, I am still sort of semi-looking for that Fin Fang Foom figure Toy Biz put out a while ago.

K. What do you read if you are not reading comic books?

Geez…just about anything. I’m a voracious (and fast, thankfully!) reader. Just finished The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (lent to me by a customer, who had also let me borrow his run of Flashman novels). Also just read Coalescent by Stephen Baxter (who for once didn’t end his science fiction novel with “we’ll never interact with other worlds in any meaningful fashion, we’re pretty much stuck on Earth, and there’s no escape from the entropical death of the universe. The end”). On the waiting to read pile: Death Rat by Mystery Science Theatre 3000‘s Mike Nelson. I also have a subscription to Macaddict. And I’m slowly working my way through The Old West history series from Time/Life Books that my parents subscribed to in the early-to-mid-70s, and have just recently given to me. And, sometimes, if I’m waiting for something on the computer (like for a CD to burn, a restart, etc.), I’ll pick up the dictionary that I keep on the desk near my Mac and just randomly go through a page.

L. What do you buy at comic book conventions?

I haven’t been in years…when I did go, I just mostly poured through the dollar boxes looking for bargains. My best find was someone selling 1960s Archie comics three for a buck. Woo-hoo!

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