Thursday, October 27, 2011

Part of the culture, and not part of it.

Was hauling in my books off the sidewalk when a guy walked up and animatedly started talking about an old Superman comic he once owned.

"I don't really worry about that kind of thing," I interrupted. "Comics are for reading and enjoying."

I felt sort of bad that I cut him off so abruptly. It's a comic store thing -- everyone wants to tell you about the comics they "once" had; usually I try to be patient but I was tired and wanted to go home.

Anyway, this is an entire part of the comic culture that I don't pay much attention to anymore: The collecting and investment part. I also pay little attention to comic shows, and/or costuming, movies, except insofar as I enjoy watching them, cartoons, mostly, video games, entirely, webcomics, only when they are collected. And so on and so forth.

Half the comic websites I visit are talking about these things, and I realize they are a big part of the comic scene -- but I've lost most of my interest in them.

Maybe it's an age thing. I just can't get that worked up over a movie studio ruining a character, or the fact that some person spent a million dollars on an old comic.

The focus, as always, should be on the product itself. The experience of it. The reading and immersing. All the rest is fanboy stuff I just don't have time for.

I realize it's important to the overall health of the market, so I try to be neutral. And I've hired young guys who are much more in tune with the whole scene. They go to shows, play the video games, can carry on a lively discussion of the relative merits of superhero movies.

But I've pretty much narrowed my focus it down to the store itself. Simplified, if you will.

I pick up a lot of this information, nevertheless, just because I read so much. So I can usually carry on a conversation, if I must, about the latest San Diego Con., or the latest movies, but mostly I'm not into that part of the culture.

I mean, I just don't take it all that seriously.

Seems to me, though, that I'm into the most important part of the culture, the comics and books themselves. Which is another place where experience comes in: I realize as most of my customers don't, that there are more things in Heaven and Earth, or even in my little world of comics and books, than I can ever master.

I'll never know it all. There will always be books I don't know about, or comic artists I've never heard of, so I may as well relax. Not feel the pressure to be all things to all people.

Enjoy what I got.

Re-reading this, it isn't quite right.

I'm fascinated by popular culture. I have the kind of personality that likes to accrue information, useful or not.

Maybe it's the more social aspects of the culture I'm not part of. Shows, meetings, clubs and such.

Reading to me is a one to one activity. I actually do enjoy talking about the things I've read.


Anonymous said...


Thomas Jefferson once stated, "A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."


This quote really fits in with Mayor Duncs world view. Government took care of you Bender's many years, and now that the beast is starving it will eat your flesh to the bone.

All praise be for Obama and his re-distribution of wealth towards the 55% USA public who get a gubmint check.

Anonymous said...

All collectors or cultists are of such,

Look at a fresh jeebuz freak he'll praise the lord 24-7.

Look at a beer snob, they'll talk beer forever,

Card collectors, or comics or any kind of shit is just to be part of a group. Man hates to be alone.

Monkeys are the same way, they collect and hoard shit, humans really haven't advanced that much, just look at hbm. :)

H. Bruce Miller said...

Anonymous Teabagger: Jefferson never said that. Gerald Ford did. See

You 'Baggers sure do love your spurious quotes.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"humans really haven't advanced that much, just look at hbm"

That's witty ... for a 5-year-old.