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Sunday, September 04, 2005
What with all the "outraged" letters to Young Avengers over the implied relationship between Asgardian/Wiccan and Hulkling, and even with the knowing references to their relationship that Heinberg keeps putting in other character's mouths, it would be nice if Marvel had the guts to just actually have both characters come right out and say, on panel, that they're a couple. As it is, with the coy references, it's a bit like watching Harry Hamlin in Making Love doing his "I'm a writer, I have to be open to new experiences" speech, rather than just come out and say he likes to have sex with men. (And if my guess as to the nature of Hulkling's powers is correct, namely that he is all or part Skrull, it's only giving Marvel a further out. "They're not a gay couple. They're an inter-species couple!")
Comics that seem to attract more than their fair share of the "read but don't buy" crowd: Metal Gear Solid Street Fighter Darkstalkers Anything X-Men related Robin Nightwing Inu-Yasha Psychic Academy--the problem with "readers not buyers" on this title has actually tempted me to take it off the shelf and only bring it out for people who specifically request it.
The buying habits of the mint-hounds: I'm opening up this discussion to other people who have, at any point, worked in comics retail. The mint-hounds, the "particular" buyers, the high-maintenance customers...you know the type. They pull every comic off the shelf to carefully inspect the spine on each one for tiny imperfections. They won't buy back issues in anything other than "gem mint" condition. Is it just me, or are they always, to a man, Marvel comics buyers? I never have anyone worrying about the condition of Silver Age Superman comics, but boy-howdy, that copy of last week's Wolverine had better look as if it was never touched by human hands. Is there something about Marvel fandom that attracts these sorts of obsessive types? And does anyone else have any customers that they suspect are buying certain back issues, not because they want them, but because they don't want anyone else to have them?
Stories I couldn't make up if I tried: "Excuse me, but where are your Fantastic Four comics?" Well, the new ones are on the shelf right here, and the older issues are right over here. "Oh, no wait. These aren't what I wanted. I want the Fantastic Four comic books." These are the Fantastic Four comics. Was there a particular one you were looking for? "No, I just want the comic books. These all say 'The World's Greatest Comic Magazine' on the cover. I don't want a comic magazine, I want a comic book."
"Do you have any comic book boxes?" Sure, I have lots of comic boxes. Did you want a shorter box like the ones here on the counter, or did you want a longer box like those on the table? "Is that what they all look like?" Well, yes. They're all just white card-board. "Oh, I don't want anything like that. Don't you have anything that's a little more chick-friendly that would look good in my house?"