Many of us have a place that we consider a second home. In our youth, it was our best friend’s home or the grandparents house. As we get older, our second home tends to change to fit with our personality and what we like. If, we are someone that looks like Dwayne Johnson (Not me!) its the gym. If we are someone that is fighting for a promotion, the second home becomes your job. But what is the second home, to a fan of comics, to someone that eats, sleeps, and breath comics?
I think it is pretty obvious to admit that Nora and myself have an investment in comics, so we consider our local comic shop(LCS) to be our second home. Shout out to Issues Needed in Apple Valley, Minnesota ,as over the last year it has shifted from a comic shop we visit every once in a while to the shop we have to visit weekly.
So why do we consider our LCS our second home?
It comes to down to the attachment to the shop and the crew. In the couple years of collecting comics and become Wednesday warriors, we have had a pull list at a few shops. I will admit that it was disappointing to cancel a pull list. It is almost like breaking up with a significant other, you build a relationship with the crew, only to say you have found someone better.
Unless you move or absolutely have to cancel a pull list, it is something that I would advice against. The pull list is the first thing to gain you entry into the comic community, by that I mean committing to a pull list, shows the shop that you will be loyal to them. The crew at this shop will recognize you and even spark a friendship.
When we walk into our LCS, the first thing we hear is “Hello Kyle and Nora” or usually “Hey Nora” (She is loved at the shop). The feeling of walking into a shop that sees a good amount of people and to be recognized, it creates this feeling of belonging. If you read the previous post by Nora, you will see that belonging to a subculture or community was lacking and something that she now cherish.
I know we live in the era of digital comics, but personally you do not get the same joy of walking into a comic shop every Wednesday to pick up your pull list. The personal connection and communication with someone with the same interest is the main reason why the LCS is important to the comic industry and needs more support. Granted it may be cheaper and more convenient to get comics digital or even off a discounted website, but saving 20 cents to a dollar is not worth cutting out the communication you will find at a LCS. Also most shops will give you discount, if you have a pull list with them.
The best part of picking up a pull list is the relationship with the store. Yes, you look forward to reading the comics, but discussing them with the owner or store assistant makes the experience worth so much more than the expense you pay for the comics. The majority of comic shops we have visited, we have spent most of the time talking to those that work in the shop than shopping. That is not something you will find shopping online.
Another thing that is great about a LCS is the acceptance of different opinions. We went to the release party of Detective Comics #1000 and everyone at the party felt differently about Batman, DC Comics, and the Comic Industry. Yet, we were all discussing the best variant cover for the release (Bruce Timm’s variant) and the best live action batman (Michael Keaton without question) without any anger being shown. That is another thing you will not find online, people with different opinions getting along.
If we spend 5 minutes or 5 hours in a LCS, it doesn’t matter because no matter the time we spend, we feel at home. So, basically this is a way of saying thank you to any LCS, as you keep the community strong.
If you want to shout out any LCS, please do so, show some love to the place that brings you joy every Wednesday. Or even argue why you prefer to read digitally and shop online.