Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I have not been to Midtown Comics, or any comic book store, since Tuesday, September 23. I can't even remember the last time I went on a Wednesday. Until yesterday.
The decision to stop buying comics was not a conscious one. Not really. Not at first. I just found myself not going. I haven't had too much spare change lately, and frankly, I've been a bit disenchanted with the comic scene recently. Whereas Infinite Crisis tantalized me seductively into the DCU, Final Crisis rubbed me wrong, ushering me coldly back out.
But... I've never been one to hold grudges, not for too long at least, and I now feel ready to slip in the back door unnoticed and slowly start to feel my way back into the nerdy multiverse I've come to miss. Plus I've got some great titles for some new tunes (how does "Booster's Gold"and "Earth-11" sound?) and have some requests, but need to do the reading before I start the writing.
So, to test the waters, yesterday I timidly climbed the flight of stairs to Midtown's 7th Ave location, completely in the dark as to which titles released this week and how far behind I was in my former collections.
Stepping into the shop, I immediately remembered why I avoided Wednesdays, or at least Wednesdays after 5:00. The place was packed! Jammed full of over-grown boys eager to grab their bags and peruse the long boxes. I humbly made my way to the new release rack and stood back, taking in all the issues I hadn't heard of and trying to remember exactly where I left off.
Now I've been asked many times by my male friends what it's like to be a girl in a comic book store. Do I constantly get hit on? Is there obnoxious staring involved (what is that? a girl?)? And the truth is, I've never been hit on- I'm hardly ever noticed. I'm telling you, these boys want their comics, not to pick up some chick. Besides, at a place like Midtown, girls aren't really an anomaly. This, however, was not my experience yesterday.
Looking like crap (read: no make-up on, dirty hair pulled back, and large overcoat on in a failed attempt to cover my running clothes as the gym was my next stop) I was approached by an overzealous Midtown employee. No, I don't need any help, thank you, I politely told him, I'm just browsing. I couldn't dare admit to my ignorance of the past few months. After a bit of looking, I finally located the most recent WW and picked up a Tiny Titans. I was at a bit of a loss as I was expecting to pick up massive back issues and so didn't bring any cash; there is a $10 credit card minimum and my 2 books barely made $5. How should I make up the difference? I was contemplating this when the dude came back! I see you are buying for children, he states with a friendly smile.
No, I reply with slight impatience, I just really like Tiny Titans. They crack me up.
Oh yeah, they're great, he converses. My mind is screaming leave me alone! but I smile with as much politeness as I can muster. He points out the WW book and comments on how great that issue is. I again respond with a noncommittal smile. Honestly, I'd been shopping all day, was tired, no longer wanted to go to the gym, felt gross, was disappointingly uncomfortable in my grand return to comics, and just wanted to be left alone! You know Terra is a great book, he ventures. OMG!!! I DO NOT NEED F*CKING RECOMMENDATIONS!!!! That's cool, I reply.
After a few awkward jokes about superheroes dying and coming back, he leaves me be. I grab 2 issues of Birds of Prey, and beeline to the register. Moments later I sit back on the 1 train and open my WW for the ride home as has long been my tradition.
Ahhh... I smile. It's good to be back.