I usually have my post up on a Tuesday, but scheduling dictated a little change and here I am. I thought, it being a Wednesday, that I’d introduce those of you new to comics to a bit of regular comic buyer lingo and such.
There are a couple important components to buying comic books. Most important is your LCS, your Local Comic Store. Mine is Time Warp Comics & Games here in NJ, run by a couple great guys and their savvy staff (including more than a couple ladies! yay!). Yes, Barnes & Noble does stock some comics, but if you’re really looking for the full experience, find a shop near you. If you don’t like that one, try another! They’re all different and run in a lot of different ways. I’ll expand on the stores themselves in a future column.
At your LCS, you’ll be able to start a pull list. What’s a pull list? It’s the list of comics you want to get on a regular basis that the staff use to ‘pull’ your books aside for you. It means they go through the shelves and make sure that you get your books, even if they’re running a bit short. You might also call it a subscription.
Some stores require that you have a certain number of books on your list, but it’s usually not too many. Ten titles is pretty common, but remember they don’t all come out every week. Also, once you get started, there are so many great books out there that it’s very easy to reach twenty or thirty (the die-hards top 50 or more). Just remember you’ll have to buy all the books that are being pulled. If I’m unsure I’m going to get a book regularly, I’ll often pick up the first issue or two on my own to be sure before adding it to my list.
Of course the fun part of all this is going to the store to pick everything up. I get my bag of comics, but I also take time to go around the store and check out what else is new or what looked interesting on the Diamond list that I might get as well.
The Diamond list isn’t as fancy as the name might lead you to believe. Diamond is the one and only distributor and the only way comic book stores get their books to sell. It’s a monopoly and no one likes them, but they’re the only game in town. I’ll save you the rant and just tell you that they publish a list ahead of time of what should be on the shelves that week. I’ll peruse that before going to the store, just to see what stuff will be waiting for me in my box.
The last and probably best part is the store itself. I’m lucky, I’ve got a great store and been going there for about 18 years now. I know the owner and the employees and there are a lot of us who’ve been going to the store for a long time now. I’ll often end up chatting with everyone for a bit, just chatting and often ranging far from the topic of comics.
Now, just for fun, I’ll show you my pull list from this week:
- LUMBERJANES #5 – Yay! Lumberjanes is one of my favorite books right now. I’ll be reading this as soon as I get it home.
- USAGI YOJIMBO SENSO #2 – So awesome to see my favorite rabbit ronin on the shelves again. This may look cartoonish, but it is ART.
- FAIREST #29 – I admit to being completely behind on this book. I’ll often save up a bunch of issues so I can read a whole storyline in one sitting.
- BLACK WIDOW #10 – Ooops. I only read up to issue 4 on this book. Time to get caught up!
- FIGMENT #4 – A comic based on EPCOT’s mascot, which is a whole lot of fun.
And here are a couple things I’m going to check out when I get to the store tomorrow:
- GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #1 – Interesting title and it’s a #1. If the art is good I may pick it up.
- RED SONJA: BLACK TOWER – Not sure who’s writing this, but I enjoyed Gail Simone’s run.
- WOODS #5 – This book is five issues in, but I keep getting drawn in by the covers. I may see if all the back issues are available (something else Barnes & Noble doesn’t have! Back issues!)
So, there’s my list and I’m ready to go read some comics! I’ll see ya there.