Friday, October 31, 2008

Ah, sweet last minute Halloween sales, how we love you

Only a couple so far, but we should see a few more guys running in to get a Superman shirt to wear under their business attire.

And this is why I always stock a Mexican wrestling mask or 20. Because I can rarely afford something new, don't feel like last minute hunting, and can always rock a lucha libre mask.

Now it's just a choice between El Santo, Nacho, or Ultimo Guerrero...

.......and I just found one I need to own

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The only political thing you'll ever hear out of me

I generally don't like to talk politics. Mostly because I like to think people should be smart enough to come to their own decision , and partly because I hate it when people jam their political leanings right in your face. But if I had something I absolutely had to say, it would be this: no matter who wins, we still won't ever have someone in office like President David Palmer:

A president I would buy car insurance from and feel pretty good about it afterwards.

Diminished, yet too broke to go west

Yesterday was perhaps the worst shipment day in a long, long time. I actually got out sooner than some of the 12hr+ shipment days I've had before, but just something about the pace and lack of money for food really killed me. That, and at least one person should be glad that I can't kill with my brain.
And no, I do not get tired of using images from Scanners.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bocca Del Inferno!

It's happening again.

There were no damn flies when I came in here this morning. But as soon as I open the door for just a little bit, 4 or 5 appear and float over the same damn spot at the front of the store. And they do this weird dance and attack each other. AND IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME DAMN SPOT.

I've made sure it's clean, and there is nothing there. It's smack dab in the middle of nothing. And they never leave that spot, they don't go anywhere else. Which leads me to one conclusion.

That's where the new Hellmouth is opening next.

And I am feeling a mix of both fear and pride. Cause at least when the world gets sucked into the inferno, our store will be the starting point.

Take that, Hadron Super Collider!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Is it incompetence or just general apathy?

Now I know it's a little sad that it took me an entire day to get just 20 more pages into the Marvel section of the order form, but that's what happens when people interrupt you the entire damn day.

Anyway, Marvel did it again and solicited a title without any actual information. This time for something called the Fantastic Four Cosmic Special. At least they give us a title and a cover this time, but no listing of creators at all. And it's a $4.99 book. Do they actually think that a retailer will want to take any sort of actual risk and order a significant amount?

Something that may have gone under the radar, but the actual retailer order form notes a number of mistakes in the Marvel solicitations. Some of them are page counts, some of them are prices. And hey, a dollar difference may not seem like a huge deal but it does add up fast for retailers. Now add the fact that they have offered us 2 books without any actual information (under the guise of being classified).

Is this just a crapload of mistakes in the marketing department, or do they just not give a crap anymore?


If the art in the last post interested you at all, check out

It's a nice collection of creators, and you can order direct from the site as well

Friday, October 17, 2008

You know what's badass?


From Mourning Star by Kazimir Strzepek

Fail-log: Stardate 10.17.08

Fuck you, Marvel. Just....fuck you.

I'm working on the monthly orders, and they have listed Secret Invasion: Requiem. Note that this is not the actual title, so in case anyone actually does pre-order it the ordering information in our database is going to have to change. And that's not even the real pisser.


Solicitations will be properly released after Secret Invasion #8 hits the stands. That's not till like the 19th of November, if we're lucky. Orders for Not-Called-Requiem are due Oct 28th. Now, order increases will be allowed I believe, so it's not like the most horrible thing ever. But it's still stupid and annoying. Not only will no one want to pre-order on time, but I'll have to make it a point to hunt down additional info later and then re-evaluate the entire order.

Essentially, this will go completely under the radar of most readers. If it doesn't, then they have to work with the vague info given to them and that won't be any help when it comes to placing pre-orders. Cause I can guarantee you not everyone on staff here will be able to tell them what that thing is that doesn't have a name but is apparently important yet we don't know who it's by. And they shouldn't have to. No one should have to know what the name of every single future title will be, except for possibly the person who does the orders. And even then, it takes all my willpower to not destroy you all.

Just like when they were helpful with the Death of Captain America ordering, Marvel makes it a point to make our job fun & easy! Excelsior!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

You.....don't want it to be free?

I also just spent the better part of a half hour trying to figure out what this one guy wanted, and I knew I was right from the get go, but he was adamant I was wrong. He wanted the Secret Invasion Saga, which was a free giveaway from Marvel.

Now I knew what this was and told him what it was, but he was sure it wasn't free. And of course I ran out, so I couldn't just show him. So we went through the distributor (CURSE YOU, DIAMOND), and no luck finding a Secret Invasion Saga that actually cost money. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS THE EXACT IMAGE AND DESCRIPTION.

Then we go through the Marvel website, and no luck.

Then we go through Wikipedia, and no luck.

Then I leave him to help people, but I let him browse online to see if he can find it. He calls me up saying he found it on the Marvel site. I go and look. AND IT'S THE FREE COMIC I SHOWED HIM BEFORE.


Someone just came in and basically forced me to update him on all bits of Spider-Man history from the Clone Saga on up......

And I can no longer feel my soul.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Random quote of the week

"Snow white wasn't trained in AMBIDEXTROUS DUAL AXE TECHNIQUE!"
-Wonder Woman, from Wonder Woman #25

Gail Simone, truly, you are a champion amongst champions.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Two books that you NEED.



Things that cannot be unheard

So these new 12inch Indiana Jones figures came in this Wednesday. If you poke him in the stomach his mouth opens and starts talking.


And thank you customer Paul, for searing this description into my brain

"Looks like a little Indiana Jones sex toy."

God.......DAMMIT, Paul.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Hulk is more of a real person than you are

Just an interesting thing I picked up on while doing random research. There’s a theory out there based on anthropological research that basically throws out the idea that the human mind can only process 150 unique human relationships. Once you get up to that number (the actual number is 147.8 or something but fuck it), the mind stops processing people as identifiable persons and more as abstract ideas or caricatures. So for example, unless you happen to know who the pizza delivery boy is specifically, your mind will only categorize him as the pizza delivery boy. Absent of a name, character traits, and even a minor gleam of a personal history, your mind just doesn’t give a fuck. He’s just another dude you will probably never see again. You can remember physical details if your mind is sharp, but you won’t necessarily associate those details with a unique personality that you interact with.

This is basically the idea that a large amount of casualties is just a statistic, something simple for your mind to process. You know that as a human you should mourn the loss of life, but you are going to have a difficult time really mourning on a personal level. But if your dog that you have know for 12 years passes away, you might just break down crying. Because you knew your dog. You lived with your dog, took care of it, and hopefully loved it.

The actual point I had with this, though, was a curious question that popped up in my head: could a fictional character take precedence in your subconscious mind? Most humans, if they were human, would acknowledge people above all else and disregard that question. But seriously, think about it. Some of these characters we have read about have existed for over 50 years. They are older than many people in the real world. Spider-Man is a recognizable popular culture icon with three successful movies, multiple cartoons, toys, and other memorabilia spread across the globe. Many children know who Superman is before they realize the importance of the President of United States.

Does the human mind make additional room for fictional characters without limiting our capacity to interact socially? Or does the fact that I can recall a crapload of life altering events in the history of Peter Parker cancel out the inclusion of a real person in my 150 number limit? Supposing the answer is yes, I have two reactions to that:

1) It’s a little creepy, thinking about the ramifications of this finding on society, and

2) I actually don’t mind the idea that my mind has reserved more space for the Hulk than for some of you assholes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

'Real' comics really piss me off

Now, don't get me wrong, I like the art style of guys like Alex Ross. I enjoy the darker more mature writing style of a Vertigo comic or something by Alan Moore. What pisses me off is when a customer's only reason for liking something is that it's more 'realistic'. My key example would be the series The Ultimates by Mark Millar and Brian Hitch. For those who are unfamiliar, the Ultimates is a title that relaunches the concept of the Avengers, a team of heroes including Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, and many others. The Ultimate line of comics places the origins of those characters in contemporary times and is essentially a reboot of the character, putting them in a new world with less back history so as to reduce the amount of confusion for new readers. Cause you are all stupid, new readers. All of you.

Now, the Mark Millar style of writing a comic is to basically have every character speak the same and say quick glib phrases while being surrounded by huge special effect explosions and ultra-photo realistic art. The overall desire is to act like this shit could actually happen and make it 'real'. Marvel has bombarded us repeatedly with the concept that their stories take place in the 'real' world, that all the characters live in New York, and that these are the characters that we can relate to as opposed to Superman. Now all of that is just fine and dandy, except for the fact that apparently in the real world the Incredible Hulk would rape people left and right and eat children. Captain America would be an asshole who beats up unarmed men. And Iron Man would be a douchebag alcoholic arms dealer.......well, that last one is actually still right on.

But even then, all of that is overlooking one large fact. IT'S A FUCKING COMIC BOOK ABOUT SUPER-HEROES. You can't make a big deal about how real a comic is and still have a gamma irradiated monster smashing New York*. As an intelligent reader, you can't snub one super-hero comic for being unrealistic but praise another when it features a hippy that is the son of Odin who can call down lightning. You can snub a super-hero comic for being worse than another as far as storytelling goes, but you can't decide it's crap cause it's not as 'realistic'. As real and socially important(I WANT TO STAB MY OWN EYES OUT JUST FOR WRITING THAT) a piece of work as Marvel's Civil War was meant to be, that doesn't forgive the fact that's it's a rotting piece of crap that mocks its readers and the history of the publishing company.

I believe you can say you like Ghost World, Love & Rockets, and American Splendor more than a super-hero comic because they are more real. They have plots and events rooted in the real world (in general). You can not say that a book about super-heroes fighting a civil war due to government policy is better because it is more 'real' than the book about a cosmic space war. If you do, you forfeit your right to reproduce. And I will enforce that.

If you haven't guessed it, not a Millar fan.

*Yeah, I know, Ultimate Hulk has more to do with the super soldier serum. SHUT IT.


So when I was 16 working for my first comic book boss (who was completely crazy, mind you), I had a very creepy and disturbing experience. There was another worker there who was an old acquaintance of the boss. I would have to put him somewhere in his 40s or 50s, but my memory sucks. He was the epitome of a crazy old hippy, and his mind wasn't working on all cylinders. And of course I had to work with him nearly every day.

So, one time while we were working he decided to look at some porno comics that were on hold for a customer. After a while he begins to laugh and he brings a book over to me, pointing at a page inside of a woman giving a dude a blow-job. And he just had to say, "Have you ever had one of those? Man, that feels great." And then he proceeded to tell me more about how good a blow job feels. Now I don't know if he was trying to educate me or if he was trying to impress me with the fact that he's gotten a blow job. Either way, I didn't really care and seriously didn’t want to continue the conversation. Which, I suppose it wasn’t really a conversation when all I was saying was, "Uhhh....welll.......uh....."

So two lessons from this. First and most important is try to keep the creepy old men out of the store. You can probably get a good feeling for how much of an old hippy they are depending on the lack of personal hygiene and the inappropriate giggling at the weirdest times. Also, for some reason, hippies tend to love the character Swamp Thing the most out of all the possible comic book characters. I shit you not, like 8 out of 10 hippies I’ve met all agree, Swamp Thing is the shit.

Lesson number two is mostly to just keep the porn away from the dirty old men. If that isn’t possible, just keep the dirty old men away from the young and impressionable workers you have.


If I ever loose my current job, I am seriously going to threaten human freedom by creating a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world.


"Do You like Hawkeye with the fingerless gloves or with the full gloves?"


"I don’t really care what he’s getting, as long as it’s safe to read." (Said as purchasing a copy of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac for a child presumably under 10)


Customer: Can you order this for me? (points out a $75 HC in an order form)

Me: I can pre-order that for you if you like, sure.

Customer: No, I just want to look at it.

Me: Um, well it's a pricey book and it's not something I believe we can really move unless it's pre-ordered.

Customer: Well, I can't really afford it.

Me: Sorry, I just can't really carry it just for you to look at it. No one else has shown any interest.

Customer: Well, can you call around and find out who will be carrying it?



So, let me get this straight. I’m supposed to settle for twenty cents on the dollar if I’m selling? But I’m supposed to pay FULL price if I’m buying?!?! I’ll burn them first. [And the collection? Mostly '90's Image titles. I WAS BEING GENEROUS]

When you base your judgements on porn?

....I think something is missing in your life.

Got a phone call about reviews of our store on Yelp, one of those city directory things. The phone call was just a solicitation, but figured it's always good to check up and see what's what. And y'know, some reviews are really nice, some are really vague, and some you get the feeling the person came in just once.

But then you get the following:
"WTF happened to the adult comics section??? ......I am severely disappointed, as this used to be one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. Please bring back the adult section, or nobody that shops here will ever get laid again. At least, that's my guess."

Cause y'know, the best thing to do is tell a token 'geek's-don't-get-laid' joke. Never see those coming.

But honestly the number of times we have to explain this is astonishing. After the change in ownership 3 years ago the store has made the decision to become as much of a kid friendly environment as possible. It's a little tricky since we also carry a large quantity of indy/underground titles. When anyone ask for an adult title, I usually make it a point to tell them I can order it for them if they know what they want. Beyond that, sorry, not much else we can do.

But seriously. On our east wall alone, we have over 200 independent/small publisher/art book comics displayed face out. The sheer amount of possible choices alone in art and story should keep you busy enough for a while. A large chunk of those are still mature reader material, some with naughty art even.

Limiting yourself to what you see in adult/erotic titles? Really?