Man of the Moment

Sean William Scott

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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Again, Conversations I'm Tired Of Having With Customers 

--"Is the new issue of Chronically Late Title out yet?"
No, not yet.
"Do you know when it's coming out?"
No, sorry. All I know is when it was supposed to come out. I haven't seen a new release date show up in any of the information we get from our distributor.
"So, when will you know when it's coming in?"
I have no way of knowing when they will announce a new on-sale date.
"Why not?"

There is a related conversation, and it's the one that goes into the "But it's out at Location X already" direction. This is where I get to make my speech about how sometimes, because of the way our primary distributor has their system set-up, it's not unusal for some items to reach different parts of the country at different times. This happened with every single issue of Cerebus over the last three years of its run, as I recall. Stores on the East Coast would receive copies the week before stores on the West Coast. The other thing that happens is that non-comic items like toys, DVDs and magazines will go through their primary distribution channels before going through comic distribution channels. So we get those items very, very late. I've had customers who special-order items like that tell me that I should complain to our distributor so that they fix that "problem." If I had that kind of power over our distributor, believe me I'd use it for far more important things than making sure that we get DVDs on time.

--A child, under 12 years of age, will enter the store and say "Do you have any Kill Bill comics?"
No, there's no such thing.
"Oh. Well how about Reservoir Dogs?"
No, there are no comic books based on Quentin Tarantino movies.
"Oh. Well are there any comic books based on Jason X?"
No, I'm afraid not.
"Well, do you have any back issues of Faust or Horny Biker Sluts?"

I swear, some people must not even realize they have children, judging by what they let their kids get away with...

--"Is this issue of Savage Foot Patrol Squad any good?"
Sorry, I don't read it.
"Do you read Exciting Teflon-Man?"
Nope, sorry. Don't read that one either.
"Well what about Terrifying Tales of the House of Secret Dark Sinister Forbidden Secret Dark Tales of Terror and Horror?"
Naw, sorry.
"So what comics do you read then?"
Oh, lots of different things. (While I try to look busy, because I've gotten trapped in this conversation a couple of times and it never ends well.)
"Like what? What's your favorite comic?"
(Desperately trying to think of a comic that no one could possibly have a strong opinion on that I wouldn't mind having people think I read) Oh, I like Innocuous and Pleasently Drawn Indie Title well enough."

At which point I get either: "Really! Me too! Let me spend the next two hours talking to you about it while you try to work!" or "EW! How could you like that piece of crap! Let me spend the next several hours telling you all about how much I hate that title!"

Which is why I adopted the rule that unless I know for certain that a customer will be able to appreciate an honest opinion from me, whenever they ask about a movie, comic, tv show, book, band, etc. my answer is going to be I've never seen it, read it, or heard it.

--Oh, and I can't disguise the names of the titles for this next one, because otherwise the story won't make any sense. Now, usually I try not to worry too much about customers mispronouncing the names of comic book titles, characters or publishers. Because it's no big deal, it was usually just a slip of the tongue anyway, and 99.9% of the time I know what they meant to say in any case. But recently I've had two instances that fall into that .1% where because the customer didn't know how to pronounce the word, I couldn't figure out what they were trying to find. And in both of these cases these were people who spoke English as their first language.

"Do you have any comics with Magenta in them?"
I'm sorry, the name doesn't really sound familiar to me.
"Well, I just really like Magenta, and wanted to know what comics Magenta was in. I saw a movie with Magenta the other day."
Oh, do you mean Rocky Horror Picture Show? Because there were some comics based on that.
"No, it was Magenta and he fought a bunch of other people and he like stole a helicopter or something."
I'm sorry, I don't know what movie or comic that might be.
"Well, it had like Wolverine and Storm and Nightcrawler in it too."
You mean Magneto, from X-Men.
"Yeah, that's what I said, Magenta."

I'm sorry, but after two movies and two cartoon series, I really don't think there's any reason for people to be mispronouncing Magneto anymore...

The other incident was:
"Do you have any Fan Film comics?"
You mean, comics based on amateur movies?
"No, Fan Film, the character."
I'm not aware of any characters named Fan Film. Do you know who published it or worked on it?
"Yeah, Image published it, and Michael Turner drew it."
So, you're looking for Fathom comics?
"Yeah, that's what I said, Fan Film."

So, of course I showed him our Elementals back issues, because I'm a jerk. No, I kid. Or do I?


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