Now that we’re settling into the new house, I finally followed through on a promise I made to the kids months ago. To buy a whole ton of comics.
On ebay, there are a whole bunch of folks who sell big piles of random comics for less than 50 cents a book. The two oldest kids and I went in together on 300 of them. And they’re here. Currently sitting on my office floor…waiting to be sorted and read.
I really love this method of buying comic books, as it’s a giant grab bag of all sorts of different characters. I’ve been able to be introduced to a whole host of books I would have probably never picked up otherwise, especially when considering that a third of these books come from independent labels (which here means, not DC or Marvel).
But, as I go through the books, I can’t help but feel wistful for the comic book shopping of my youth. Just like the hours I would spend in the music store looking through their selection of CDs, the comic book shop was a wonderland where I could get sucked into purely seeing everything they had for sale and seeking out those treasured missing issues from my collection.
The comic book shop is a dying art form. Which is odd, considering the current renaissance of the comic book characters. My guess is that it has something to do with the typical business practices of those who run comic shops, but I don’t know. For the past 20 years, I’ve primarily had one comic shop. There was another one I loved, but was poorly curated. The primary one was well curated, but I just hated going there.
Those times spent back home with my parents, I had access to a spectacular comic shop, which, back then, was connected to my favorite music store as well, meaning that I would get lost in the Boozer Shopping Center for days and come out penniless.
Honestly, if I wanted to, I could have a similar experience today. There are comic book shops available for me to disappear into, but as an older man, I simply don’t have the time to invest in looking through every single book available. I could do the same on the internet. In fact, I can quite easily find sites which will actually seek out those missing issues for very little cost to myself outside of the current value of the book (if even that).
Which means that I’m probably not missing comic book shops as much as I’m missing the ability to waste time like I could when I was a younger man. I’ve heard folks say that their one regret about their youth is that they wasted too much time. I’d say that the time spent being wasted is some of the time I most enjoyed.
Not that I don’t get to waste time anymore. It just doesn’t seem as frequent.
Although, I’m quite excited for it to dry up around here so I can get a fire going and sit around and roast some marshmallows. Because, with kids, that might be my favorite way to waste time.