Amazing Spider-Man #583 Rant
I don’t know how it was at your LCS today, but how annoying was it to see the throngs of nutballs coming in to pick up the Obama Variant Cover Amazing Spider-Man #583? These are people who have never been in a comic shop before and will never step foot in one again. True, I’m generalizing, but that’s what rants do. By my rough calculations, there was at least four times the number of people who are normally in the store at that time of day. I looked carefully and none of them picked up anything beside the much ballyhooed Amazing Spidey, so let’s just head that argument off at the pass – that at least it gets them in the store to buy other things. Umm, no.
I witnessed a fascinating debacle with a woman who must have been in her 80’s that’d shuffled in looking for the book. She wandered in, looking even more out of place than many of the suits with their greedy eyes and eBay on the brain, more stupefied than the obnoxious teenagers wandering around looking lost and timid, like they’d stepped into some porn shop for the first time, and she approached a store employee. The employee explained that the books were behind the counter and not on the shelves with the “regular” books. That word jabbed at my senses, the “regular” books, because this one was, of course, somehow special. The old woman seemed perplexed by this and annoyed in that special way that only the elderly can exude. She finally got to the counter after waiting in line, was annoyed that the limit was two, and then became very agitated when her total was over $30. “But, I thought they were $3 each,” she pleaded. “I don’t understand why I have to pay more.” Nor do I understand, I agreed silently. The clerk then tried to give her some dismissive answer, as the six other people in line jonesing for their precious “collector’s item” continue to grow impatient. She then questions why she had to pay .50 cents extra for bags and boards. She stated firmly, “I don’t want to pay .50 cents for that junk!” Good for you, Granny! Fold those suckers up and put ‘em in your back pocket! I smiled to myself, morbidly enjoying the whole fucking debacle. Please, just walk out and don’t pay for them, I began mumbling to myself. But alas, she paid her $30, sans bags and boards, and disappeared.
While this is going on, some other douchebag walks in and just starts yelling “hey man, you got those Obama comics?!” The clerk says back, “yes, we do.” The douche stammers around confused for a moment, looking around wild-eyed like he’s just come down from the speedball he had for breakfast and has to get the next fix in before his skin starts crawling. “Well, where would I find them?” he asks. “We’re hiding them,” the clerk says with a sickly, wry grin. Everyone in line laughs. My heart sinks. Inside, I die a little bit. You’re hiding them? What do you hide? What does one hide from the world? That which is coveted. What do you covet? Something you desire wrongfully. Really, that’s the definition of the word. Fucking hell, this scene is killing me, I thought. I hate this. This is a disgusting showing. I’m ashamed.
I hate comics right now.
It bugs me that the whole flustered, spastic, dithered affair is a story on CBR, as if that somehow legitimizes it as newsworthy. “There hasn’t been any excitement like this in comics since they killed Superman in 1992," stated WonderWorld co-owner Dennis Barger. Doesn’t that just say it all? That’s not supposed to be a positive thing there, Dennis, it’s not supposed to be remembered fondly. That was supposed to be a part of our darkest hour. This is a comic that should sell for $3, but was going for something like $14.95 with reports that other shops in town were charging as much as $50 and $60, and up to $200 online. Why? Nobody seemed that interested in the Savage Dragon comic featuring Obama, or even the IDW specials that came out a while back. Is it because it’s Spider-Man? Has the Marvel marketing juggernaut played the media to their satisfaction? Is it because Barack has publicly stated that he likes Spider-Man? Let’s face it, this is a comic that will never be rare because millions of copies will be sold, a second print is already coming out next week. While it may pull in these bizarre, frakked up speculator prices during this week’s news cycle, largely because of a blinded populace being misled by their uneducated perceptions and media hype, let me assure you that all the copies you ever wanted will be available in a dollar bin near you a year from now (right along side that issue of Superman) and nobody will care, much less remember or understand the justification for the frenzy they were in. This is an example of one of the many things wrong with the industry and the public at large’s perception about the medium, the incessant locked horns of commerce vs. art.
I will now go and read the issue of Wasteland I picked up today in an effort to cleanse my soul.