Friday, April 15, 2005

When In Doubt, Tell Random Anecdotes From Your Life And Hope They Illustrate A Point Eventually

Hey, it works in Eddie Campbell comics!

Yesterday, while having a conversation with an old classmate, comics came up. I probably don't have to tell you how rare that is. It's a pretty safe assumption that most people you run in to outside the insular world of fandom aren't going to be interested in talking about comics (well, at least not the comics I'm interested in. Maybe manga). But, to my surprise, my offhanded mention of the shop 15 minutes from campus actually led to some conversation about comics with a live human being, one who actually popped in to said shop on occasion. Too bad it was about as foreign to me as manga. That is untranslated.

You see, my old classmate was a fan in the go-go wasteland of variant covers and speculator busts known as the 1990s. He was in to things like Spawn, Pitt, and Lady Death. This made the conversation really odd from my perspective. Those comics came from an era that's long gone, and one I have no real interest in, story wise. I was talking to someone who was not only on another wavelength from me, comics wise (I'm used to that; I liked the Dark Knight Strikes Again), but on one I couldn't begin to wrap my head around.

It made it really hard for me to reccomend comics I've read to him, and what I did come up with came out pretty half heartedly. "Hey, Preacher and Authority are really violent, you might like them!" Okay, I tried to sell them a little better than that, but I'm certainly no James Sime when it comes to pimpin' sequential art.

It doesn't help that I have no point of reference the comics he used to read beyond their violence and the fact that they were creator driven comics by creators no longer really doing those kind of comics (or any comics at all, in the case of Todd McFarlane and Dale Keown). He also used to buy all of the X-Men and Spider-Man books, but I can't reccomend any of them besides Astonishing X-Men anyway, and even that comes with the caveat that it totally panders to nearly every one of my nerd fetishes.

So, it was an odd experience. Hopefully what little I was able to impart to my fellow survivor of a semester of critical pedagogy can get him to take a look around the shop, the next time he goes there, for something that might interest him. I did try to push that. And luckily, this store has the kind of selection that he might be able to find something to his taste and not be deluged by the tide of Spidey and X-Men comics that even I can't bring myself to talk about in polite society. That's really the best thing I can come up with to pitch at people who aren't part of fandom when talking comics; look around and find something that interests you. Like I said, I'm definitely no Comics Pimp. I'm not even a Comics Mack. But if you're looking for exploding heads, I can point you in the right direction!

Special Bonus Anecdote!

I was looking through the LCS's back issue bins this afternoon for old issues of Dark Horse Presents and ran across some issues of Darkhawk. That's the only reason I'd look at Darkhawk back issues. Really. Anyway, what surprised me about these issues was the price on them. Some of them were listed at $7-$8. How the hell did that happen? Has my shopkeep not changed the price on these since the early '90s? Are there a legion of new Darkhawk fans on the strength of his appearence in the new Runaways volume causing a price increase on these issues? Did he join the New Avengers when I was only sort of paying attention? If so, I'd be a little disappointed that Graeme didn't catch it. Since I doubt he would let good Darkhawk related snark go to waste, I can only completely lose interest in this topic. But still... Darkhawk back issues for $8? I guess I'll just blame it on that damn Blue Beetle murdering Snake Alan Moore prays to and move on.


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