Caped Crusader wrote:
...and comics have definitely, finally, gained mainstream acceptance. I was reading David Hajdu's book The Ten Cent Plague a few months ago, and it really put into perspective just how negative the attitude towards comic books was at the time of the Senate hearings in the '50s; it's really no surprise that it took comics almost half a century to shake off the "juvenile trash" stigma.
Again, comic book concepts and stories have become "mainstream", but the books themselves? Not so much. The average person still thinks comic books are for kids (even though you can't get most of them to show any interest at all in anything not manga) and guys who live in their parents' basements. Yes, the attitudes toward them are different than they were in the '50s, and there is greater critical recognition than at any other time in the medium's history, but there is definitely still a "stigma" attached to it.
But the stigma is not nearly as great as it was even a decade ago. You now find graphic novels reviewed regularly by the New York Times
, shelved in libraries across the country, and displayed on the best seller tables in bookstores. Mind you, I'm not so much talking about the mainstreamy stuff, but frankly, I'm not so concerned about that. I'm not saying comics are all the way there, but they are not ghettoized any more, which is a big step.
Caped Crusader wrote:
I have only great things to say about the shops around here, the owners, and all of the employees. Even the guys that I've visited out in the surrounding towns and beyond have all been great. I make it a point to check out the stores in other parts of the state when I'm on the road, too, like Sci-Fi Genre in Durham and Fanboy Comics in Wilmington, and I couldn't have asked for anyone to be more courteous or professional. The same goes for other states, too. From Manhattan to Miami, and from New Orleans to Chicago, I've never had a negative experience in a comic book store. I mean, I don't want to walk into a hobby shop and see a bunch of suits running the place. If it's not at least partially a hobby, then you might as well own a 7-Eleven.
That's wonderful (and I mean that without any sarcasm). Comic book stores should be a labor of love, but they should also be run professionally. I also try to go into stores wherever I am (and frequently plan trips to stores when I can), and I've been in my share of dumps. One that stands out is a store in Connecticut, in which the owner's teenage son was sitting in the middle of the floor, listening to death metal and playing video games. It was like shopping in the kid's bedroom. And this was on a Saturday, in the middle of a major retail district!
My point is that many stores just don't follow the basic rules of business etiquette. It's not that hard; just create a pleasant atmosphere and remember that you may get a casual, walk-in customer at any time, so don't pretend like you're in your living room.[/i]