Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Finding my local comics shop

A little over a year ago, I started getting interested in reading comics.  It really started when Book Riot started a sister site - Panels.  I had never read a comic book.  But here were a bunch of readers talking about comics - and although they are not people I've ever met in real life, they are people whose blogs I had been following before Book Riot existed.  So I paid attention.  I added Panels to my feedly and started learning in bits and pieces.

A couple of months later, Dominic was away for the weekend visiting my parents.  I had a night to myself.  I stopped at the mall and found myself in Newbury Comics.  Despite having the word "comics" in the store name, there is really only a small section of the store devoted to comics.  This was a little surprising to me.  A very nice gentleman came up to me and asked if I needed any help.  I did.  I had absolutely no idea what I was looking at.  This guy was really helpful and seemed really excited I was buying my first ever comic book.  

Because I'm me, I had researched and decided what I wanted to pick up before I even entered the store.  I came home with Thor #1 (because it was a #1, and Thor was now a lady - which is pretty awesome), and the first trade of Saga (because I didn't have to wade very far into the comics pool before I found out that people universally think Saga is amazing).  (Saga is indeed amazing.)

I devoured these comics when I got home and decided this was a medium I was ready to get behind.  So the next day I went back to Newbury Comics.  The nice guy wasn't working that day.  So I had to talk to a teenager, which is normally not a problem for me, except this kid knew as much about comics as I did.  Not a good sign.  Whatever, I grabbed the next two trades of Saga and went home.

Now here is where the story gets amazing.

I remembered seeing a store on my drive to work.  It had a bunch of super heros painted on the front.  I looked them up and found out that this was indeed a comic shop and it was right near my house.  I had been driving past it on my to and from work for years.  YEARS.  

The guys who work at this shop are so great.  They took the time to go over a lot of terminology with me.  They asked me about things I liked and they set me up with my very own sub box.  

My sub list has grown a lot in the past year.  I pop into the shop every week.  

They give Dominic a lollipop when he comes in the shop with me.  

I can browse for hours and they're always there to answer questions (even when my questions are about basic things).  

They go through the preview catalogue with me so I can check out new releases.  

One time, it was raining and they saw me unbuckling Dom from his carseat and they ran out into the parking lot to tell me I had nothing in my sub box - just so I wouldn't get all wet in the parking lot with an overexcited toddler.  

And here is the best part.  They've gotten to know my tastes.  When I pour over the preview catalogue they point out what's getting the buzz.  These last couple of weeks they've pulled some neat looking #1s before they sold out and put them in my sub box.  (And they were spot on - I added them all to my list!)

This is a new experience for me.  Frequenting a place so often that they get to anticipate things I may be interested in.  I don't have an indie bookstore (closest bookstore is a Barnes & Noble), and I've always been kind of jealous of people who establish a relationship with their booksellers.  I finally get it - I'm not sure I would be reading half the titles I love if I had continued to shop at the mall.

So a year in, this has been one of the best things I've tried as a reader.  Thankful!  

1 comment:

  1. Sounds really interesting! Both your comic-book experience and your experience with the new store.

    I used to read comic books as a kid. And even now I tend to pick an Asterix every now and then (have you read Asterix?). But perhaps my latest discovery (apart from graphic novels of which I've read The Hobbit and some Shakespeare) is manga (Japanese comic books). I got into a huge manga-reading phase a couple of years ago when I read only manga, and so many of them I quite lost count!