Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Beanie's Folly, pages 10 and 11
I went to a comic store with a friend last week, and it only served to reinforce my hatred of the direct market. I asked for a couple things they didn't have, which is a problem I've had before with this particular store. Mind you, I wasn't asking for anything too obscure. On the contrary, these were well-publicized hot sellers that the store's eccentrically attired proprietor couldn't seem to keep in stock. Based on my inquiries, he handed me an expensive hardcover volume that he assured me was one of his picks for book of the year. I cautiously flipped through its pages. It looked like it was drawn by the mongoloid love child of Kent Williams and Alex Robinson. I didn't even bother trying to read it. I put it at the bottom of the stack of stuff I was thinking about buying, where I could feel its mediocrity infecting me. After a few moments of this uncomfortable exposure, I handed it off to my friend. I wound up buying the latest issue of Morrison and Quietly's Batman (why can't anyone seem to keep these guys on the same project for more than a few issues? Does DC really expect me to look at Phillip Tan's scrawlings after reading three issues of Quietly's exquisite renderings?) and an old issue of Mome (which I will continue to buy as long as they publish Tim Hensley). Anyway, the whole experience left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. The poorly informed recommendation, the inability to keep things in stock, even the music they were playing all served to reinforce the shame of my nerditude that I've been suppressing since junior high From now on, I will be happy to let Amazon undersell their dust-encrusted, socially inept, frequently obese real-world counterparts, except for The Joker's Child in New Jersey, where everyone has the good sense not to try to sell me anything that obviously blows, and Comic Relief in Berkeley, where I get a discount. And maybe Hanley's. I guess I'll just buy my mini-comics online or at shows. My issues with hipper-than-thou shitholes specializing in "hand-printed matter" are the subject of another rant entirely. p.s. here's some pages from my next book.