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Blog: A Big Day In The Comic Shop

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Yesterday was Thursday, which is New Comics Day. This is probably the thing I like MOST about reading comics again - the EXCITEMENT of reading through the shipping lists on a Wednesday to see what's coming in, and the ZANG! of nipping down the road to GOSH on a Thursday to pick them up. Yesterday was an ESPECIALLY exciting day, as all week I'd been reading about the "Amazing Plot Twist" in New X-Men, and had been DESPERATELY trying, in a Likely Lads STYLEE, NOT to find out what it was.

When I turned up there was very much an ATMOSPHERE in the shop, as yesterday was a BIG DAY in the shop - the second issue of "1602" was also out, AND the long awaited last issue of "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" - and everyone was TALKING and being EAGER to get back to work/home and READ them all.

One of the OTHER things I like about my return to the world of Comics is that nowadays I get to shop in GOSH, which is RUN by Normal Human Beings, seems to HAVE Normal Human Beings shopping there (i.e. grown-ups who look like they can hold down jobs, some of whom are WOMEN), and they keep those bloody awful "statuette" things to a bare minimum.

And what the HECK are those about, by the way? BLIMEY. When I LEFT comics in about 1989 you never SAW such ugly things, but when I came back a couple of years ago shops seemed to have more "Action Figures" and ghastly, badly made, ugly "statuettes" than they did comics. Next to a grisly plastic "re-enactment of Peter Parker battling VENOM, with realistic opening safe" the Franklin Mint Collections looks the HEIGHT of sensible good taste and value. Who on earth BUYS these things?!? Comic Shop Customers, that's who - the other thing that shocked me when I RETURNED was that Comic Shop Guy from the Simpsons turns out NOT to be a caricature at ALL, and is in fact a SEARING DOCUMENTARY.

ANYWAY, so that's why I like shopping in Gosh, although I do try and be CAREFUL. I really try hard NOT to talk to people or get drawn into conversation -partly because, in my head, I still associate all comic shops with the Androids Dungeon-esque places I've always shopped in before, and partly because I know that it will lead to me having a PULL LIST. For anyone unaware of what this means, a Pull List is when you have a list of comics you buy every month, which the shop keeps back for you. I'm avoiding this because, in my New, Grown-Up, Comic Buying STYLINGS I'm trying to ONLY buy things I really like, and not just because I've got the 50+ issues before it. People who've bought comics: you know what I mean. Everyone else: there are people who buy the same comic for YEARS and never ever read it, just because they always have.

So imagine my HORROR when I was stood queuing to pay, and somebody at the front of the queue, FULL with the joys of the Big Day, said "And what about X-Men this week eh? Who'd've thought that would happen eh?" ARGH! Bloke on the till says - "Yeah, I've only just read it, someone had to point out what the ending MEANT to me..." ARGH! THUS I had to break the habit of... er... two years, and SQUEAK: "I haven't read it yet!!!"

It was a bit embarrassing really. They stopped discussing it, the queue moved forward, and soon I was out in the street, free from fear, dashing back to work to read it. It was DEAD GOOD. Last night I sat in bed with The Woman I Love and read it AGANE. It was still DEAD GOOD, and I thought how BRILLIANT my life is these days. And LO! i was happy.

posted 12/9/2003 by MJ Hibbett

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