As my hubs knows, I don’t really like going into comic book stores much anymore; I’ve gotten sick of having all the weird pinup art and brokeback statuettes and comic book covers shoved in my face. Not that I’ve ever been treated particularly badly by an employee or fellow shopper, but all the little reminders of how ugly the greater comic book culture can get wears on me.
Thankfully, there’s Manhattan Comics (previously Cosmic Comics). It’s a nice, clean, bare-bones store that doesn’t give me that icky, sleazy feeling at all. They have female staff, the books and merch are organized in a way that doesn’t shove half-naked female bodies in your face at every turn, and the clientele is usually comfortable and casual.
I was there for like, an hour today. Half of that was being stuck on the phone, and the other half was chatting it up with an employee and another guy that was scouting for a new LCS. The guy was really… gregarious. Nice, though. He instantly made friends with every single person in the store more or less as soon as he walked in. He asked what I was buying as I was waiting to be rung up, and I tell him Glory and TF, but they were all sold out of the TF books. Summary of dialogue:
“Oh, that’s a shame.”
“Eh, not really. I’m actually glad they are.”
“Well, I’ve got friends working on those books again, so I’m happy that their stuff is selling out.”
“You’re friends with those guys?”
“I guess casual friends is more like it, but yeah.”
“Wow, what were you wearing when you met them?”
Uh… clothes, thanks. The jokey comment actually tripped me up for a few seconds. Mind you, this guy was the nicest, most personable stranger I’d probably ever met in NYC, and yet, this sort of thing, to him, was okay to say out loud; it wasnormal and acceptable. I dunno, maybe he wasn’t actually nice and just dripped with charismatic charm, but just the fact that it was said so casually really bothered me. The fact that that was the first thing to pop up in his mind, rather than “oh, are you a creator too?” or “wow, you must be a big fan”, or something other than the fact that I used my feminine wiles to get into cahoots with a group of creators that he assumed to be all male and that I was wearing it as some kind of groupie badge of honor.
Gross and no thanks.