Finding your store

If you are me, you need to put your laundry in the washing machine, and are also deeply in love with almost every comic store you come across. Also sometimes you are disappointed in them. That’s okay, they are as diverse and important to the community as any other store. Support them if you can.

If you are like me, you want somewhere to sit. Often the floor as you read the spine of every trade, and gaze on beautiful variant floppy covers (carpet is thus preferred but not needed.)

You might want some merch, you might want to widest variety of issues possible, you might even have a mighty need for a section for your children (or minions) to have free roam.

If you are directly me, though. There is one thing that ends up taking precedence, which is atmosphere

As a feminine presenting person, I’ve been told horror stories about comic stores, and feel uncomfortable with places with dark corners and people who judge my choices.

As an anxious person I need somewhere where they’ll understand my squeaking and be patient with me.

As a trans person I need stores that will be accepting of my identity, and I feel will keep me safe if anybody questions me.

I want a place where people of colour are invited and represented, where children are catered for and invited in (when supervised) and I want to be able to talk to the people who work there without feeling inadequate.

Fortunately for me, there’s more than one such store within travelling distance. For me, the hour and a half I travel to get to it is well worth it, it’s safe and glorious and my favourite happens to be Eisner Award Winning. (It’s All Star Comics, if you’re keeping track at home.)

Finding a store that suits your needs is important. I had a few false starts, and have now found my home at this store. Shopping online, and reading digitally are just as valid and enjoyable. If you have the chance though, shop around and see what’s available. You might be pleasantly surprised! You might even fall in love as I have! Good luck!

Getting comics into friends

Comics are always evolving, in directions more elaborate than anything Darwin could have theorised, or that Nintendo’s Pokemon team could design. With the demand for more diversity and representation the publishers and indie web-comics writers are blooming (some faster than others) and there is so much for people like me to be excited about.

So I’ve decided the best way I can change the world is to get everybody I know to try comics.

I buy trades, because they survive my backpack better and are easier on my life as a poor student. Then whenever I can convince one of my friends of the delight of whatever I’ve recently read I whip out those gorgeous, glossy pages and insist they borrow it.

It’s time, though, to take it up a notch.

Here’s the plan.

I need a jacket, waterproof, with pockets so large that Hagrid would weep. Then I need some oversized aviators so I look both snazzy and don’t go blind in the Australian sun.

I need more good, comics than anybody can shake a stick at. (A good comic store is of course, right nearby.)

I need to spend time with all of my nerdy friends and speak in a soft, not-too-shady voice about whatever delightful story would suit them best.

“Here, see, you got a pride badge on you sister? You have internet? Here’s some Agents of the Realm for you. No no… you’ll love it. It’s got every queer lady you could ask for. And more to come. You’ll thank me later.”

“Oh hey there friend, I see you are walking a fluffy animal and are wearing a shirt with a superhero. Here, please, do me a favour and read this. Yes she’s a squirrel-girl and yes, absolutely unbeatable. I know SHE’S CUTE RIGHT?”

“Hello there friend, I see you have the ability to read and also enjoy images. Here is Fly the Colour Fantastica. No you keep it I’ll buy more. No I insist. I WANT to give them as much money as possible, don’t mind me.”

Inevitably my uncontrollable delight at letting people borrow and learn to love the comics I love may result in some lost books, some differences in opinion, or even my friends not understanding my new fashion choices. Sometimes though, sometimes I’m going to get lucky and they’ll join me in supporting our local stores and I’ll get to borrow the things that they love and squee about too.

It’s the best plan I’ve ever had, and it’ll probably be a lifetime process. Comics will get even better, and I’ll be here geeking out forever with my friends. As it should be and will be!