3/13/2012 – Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.

Like Josh, I worked in a comic book store for many years. It was a much better place than the exaggerated store of the strip, but it was a business of modest means and clientele that invested heavily in the 90s speculator market. So on any given day, I might spend a good two or three hours in the back room, watching the monitor for customers who never came, surrounded by a veritable mountain of Archer & Armstrongs, Brigades, and copies of the Death of Superman. So sometimes I wonder how many of my little jokes are actually relevant to anyone else out there who’s worked in retail comics, and how many serve only to amuse me and my unique brand of nostalgia.


Quotable quotes from the world of comics:

“I’ve often said I miss text on covers, but I mean as part of the actual cover. On [Avengers Academy #27] we get the idiotic Avengers vs. X-Men shit on the top (why is the “It’s Coming” in quotation marks? is someone saying it, or are they being ironic?), but we also get the side bar telling us that the Runaways are guest-starring in this issue, which I guess we needed because it’s not like they’re right there on the cover…can’t people look at the cover and figure out that someone is guest-starring, even if they’re not familiar with the Runaways? Because if they’re not, telling us that the Runaways are guest-starring isn’t going to help.”
Greg Burgas, Comics Should Be Good



  1. ireactions

    I once worked for a month in a comic store before getting fired, and I find your jokes highly relevant even without that work experience. (I was fired because a mother came in looking to buy back issues of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN for her son and I sold her the trade paperback even after she expressed her willingness to buy the price-inflated back issues.)

  2. Penguin

    I’ve never worked in a comic shop, but I have spent way too much of my time in them, and your in-jokes do not fall on deaf ears. I’m still explaining to friends that your “every shop has a copy of Watchmen under the register” bit wasn’t a joke.

    The 90s comics “boom” really did suck for so many independent shops. I don’t think I’ll ever forgive magazines like Wizard for force-feeding the comics-as-commodities business model, or for giving shops little choice but to follow along down the rabbit hole. I’m too tired (in more ways than one) to bother with an in-depth rant about how the one-two punch of the Valiant Gold Rush and the Image “we can draw big boobs, but can’t run a fever, much less a company” Debacle effectively crippled an already precipitous industry, so a heartfelt “I hear ya, brother” will have to do for now.

    I hear ya, brother.

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