Monday, September 29, 2008

Brain Explodey

Almost forgot about this. Had a guy come in last week with his son. They have started to come in more often since we carry Pokemon cards for the kids. The son is also starting to check out comics a bit, so that's always cool.

The father pulls me to the side to ask me a question. His question was direct, but very vague at the same time. He asks me, "So what's up with comics? Why do people read them?"

Now to me, that question can be answered a number of ways. The first thing I felt I should do though was to try to pick up the exact context of the question. After a little bit of chatting, it was obvious that the father has not read comics in a very long time if at all. He was genuinely curious as to why comics as a whole were a popular medium to anyone over the age of about 14.

This is a tricky question for me. I mean, in my mind, it's essentially like walking into a grocery store and asking a clerk, "Hey, why do people bother with all this Italian food?" It's just an odd question to me. Would you ask that question of movies? About music? Or theater? It's just another medium to enjoy. But I suppose it's a valid question, especially if you mostly stick to novels.

So we ended up having a fairly interesting discussion as I tried to explain the merits of the medium. It's a little tricky because I felt that this was the type of question that requires more time and maybe a slide show to truly tackle the subject. But I still had paperwork to do, so I could only really fit in key points and quick visual examples. By the end of it, I would have liked to have sold him a copy of Maus but we were sold out. And he didn't seem at all interested in Understanding Comics. He ended up picking Watchmen, which I felt (judging from his personality) could have gone either way. So here's to hoping he doesn't just toss it aside and that he maybe enjoys it.

I feel like I should walk into the Hawaiian shop on our block and just go, "So why the hell should I give a crap about Hawaii?"

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