I went to my local comic shop the other week.
I was there for one thing—a $3.99 monthly.
Somehow, I came out $240 poorer.
While I’m not complaining by any stretch of the imagination—I got some really cool stuff—I would like my experience to be a cautionary tale to you. Like going to the grocery store hungry, it is equally unwise to go to the comic book store in a state of boredom or any other form of mental distress. You will buy your weight in reading material (or comics merch, if you’re into that.) Here, let me tell you the story.
It was a Saturday much like any other. Elizabeth needed groceries, and her favorite grocery store had a location conveniently placed next to her favorite local comic shop.
I can do two things at once! Elizabeth thought excitedly. I need to pick up Little Bird #5, and also produce. I will be a consummate grown-up and combine my errands.
I must also remember NOT to get over-excited at the comic book store, she cautioned herself. I must remember to exercise self-control.
So off Elizabeth went to run her errands. It was a pleasant day, sunny but not too hot, a slight breeze. The radio was playing a decent selection for a change. The traffic was minimal. She even found an ideal parking space when she got to the shopping center. Deciding to hit up the comic book store first—because comics don’t need to be refrigerated—she headed in and was hailed with a couple of congenial ‘Hey’s, because while she didn’t necessarily stop in often enough for the staff to know her by name, she was there enough for them to recognize her by sight.
As she had promised herself she would, Elizabeth made a beeline for the rack where she knew she would find the issue she had come in to purchase. She pulled the second copy from the pile and stood up to go pay, but then—
I’m here. I might as well have a little look, right? I mean, I probably won’t be back for a while.
And that, friends, was the beginning of the end. Elizabeth turned the corner and walked around to the side of the shelf where the historical and ‘odds and ends’-type books were displayed.
Oooh, this looks amazing! She thought, picking up a two-volume hardcover set and giving it a cursory flick-through. This IS amazing! I’m getting it.
She set the two-book set off to the side and spied the spine of another book.
I’ve been looking for this! And it’s both volumes AND the ‘art of’ companion book!
Three more books went onto the pile.
What’s this? I’ve never seen this before. It looks interesting—and so do the other two books by the same creative team that are sitting next to this one.
The pile grew.
I should really stop now.
Elizabeth picked up her now very much larger than intended pile…and walked the long way around the shelf toward the register. As she went, something else caught her eye.
This is supposed to be really good!
The pile grew again.
Okay, for real this time. No more! Get out of here before you—oh, look. A book by a local author.
And that is how I managed to spend way too much money at the comic book store. But there are positives to this! I stimulated the local economy! I’m broadening my literary horizons! I’m supporting writers and artists and creatives!
I mean, we’ve all been there, right?
Um…can anyone loan me $5.00 ’til payday?