Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Visits to Heroic Adventures Comic Bookstore

If you joined me on one of my weekly visits to Heroic Adventures comic bookstore, you might develop the false impression that I'm somebody important. When I walk in the door, the guys at the store begin behaving as if I'm this long-time and highly valued consumer. My typical weekly purchase falls slightly under $3.

Still, when I enter the store, one person greets me, and another person starts reaching for my "pull list" (that is, new arrivals that have been placed on reserve for a customer). I immediately head to the area with all the comic books. I'm just browsing. The person who greets me comes up, asks if I need any assistance, asks me about what I thought of what I read last, and then offers suggestions. I'm fairly new to in-store comic book purchases and relatively new to the genre in any serious way, so I always need suggestions.

On Wednesdays, these guys Mike and Chris are usually working, and since they have a general sense of what I'm drawn to, they'll run down suggestions of new and older titles within and slightly beyond my realm of interests. For instance, they know I'm less interested in superheroes, so that large field of comics rarely comes up in our conversations. "Since you like Chew, maybe this one would interest you next," one will say as he introduces me to another title.

Now that I think about it, Mike first introduced me to Chew, when I was just beginning to figure out how to delve into comics. I already had The Walking Dead on my pull list. Still, I would stare at the large wall of more than 100 colorful new arrivals and have no idea on how what to select. Mike, in perhaps our first meeting, began asking me questions about what I liked and disliked, and before I left that day, I purchased Chew, which has now become one of my favorites.

I often wish that my students had bookstore experiences like the ones I have at Heroic Adventures. For early readers or readers new to a particular area as I am to comic books, the presence of guides, like Mike and Chris, would assist people seeking to discover, solidify, narrow, and then expand their interests. 

A Notebook on comic books
A Notebook on Rob Guillory 

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