Total Nerd 19 Things Only People Who Physically Buy Comic Books At A Store Understand  

Brian Gilmore
898 votes 76 voters 1.3k views 29 items

List Rules Upvote the moments you have had while supporting your local comic book store.

Though it feels old-fashioned, physically going to the comic book store is the best way to buy comics. Actually driving to the nearest store, spending an inordinate amount of money there on a weekly basis, and participating in the beauty of talking to some guys that mostly remind you of mechanics — nerdy, middle-aged, probably-unmarried mechanics. An entire culture that's barely holding on, it’s one of those things that if you’re still doing it, you’re kind of cooler than the people who aren’t.

Before you could rip PDFs off of torrent sites and load them up on your iPad, there was only one place you could even find the latest one-shot of a crossover event: your local comic book store. And they’re not exactly the most friendly environments, at first. You have to really massage your way in. It’s like a Kevin Smith movie, or an intricate animal-mating-ritual described in National Geographic. You have to really earn your stripes at a comic book store.

You want the workers' approval and respect, so you get the best recommendations from them as you can possibly get, but you don’t necessarily need to be invited to their daughter’s 4th birthday party. Once you’re in there, you’re in. And you’re going to be giving these guys a lot of your money on a fairly regular basis, so it’s in their best interest to be nice to you. Once that relationship starts you are part of a rare culture that breeds knowledge, swapping, sharing, and the celebration of sequential art.

You’ll come to know the pencillers, the colorists, and even the editors of the most popular titles, and the most obscure ones you can find (that are actually good). If you’ve ever been a part of this culture, then this list is for you. Remember, going to the comic book store can be just as big an adventure as the ones you hope to buy there.

47 1
You Know Where All The Shelves Are And Have A Routine For Which One You Go To First

38 2
Leaving Always Feels Like Christmas Morning

41 3
The Satisfaction Of Returning Home With New Stories In-Hand

35 4
The Smell Of A Fresh Comic Book Is Not Included In The Book's PDF-Version

34 4
They Have A Decent, Albeit Limited, Toy Section

37 6
You Always Say "Hello" Upon Entering

37 7
Your First Time There Feels Like The First Day Of School

35 7
Spending Less Than $50-A-Week And Realizing This Means You're Probably Behind On Something

32 6
When Not At Your Usual Store You Spot-Check This One's Stock Against Your Preferred Place

28 5
You Have An Order To Which You Consume: Urgent, Medium-Interest, Best For Last

27 7
The Staff Already Put The Latest Issue Of Your Favorite Comic Without Asking

29 10
Free Comic Book Day Causes Unexpected Stress Due To All The Casual Fans Messing Up The Ambiance

24 7
You Refuse To Do Trades At A Major Store Because Of Your Attachment To Your Local Haunt

25 8
You Always Say Yes To Bags And Boards

22 9
The Clerks Know Your Name And Your "Pull-List"

17 5
The Initial Feeling Of A One-Shot Coming Out As Part Of A Crossover Event Feels Almost Like A Parking Ticket

17 5
The Sophie's Choice Of Deciding Which Release Is Out Of Your Budget

19 9
When Someone Asks The Clerk Questions You Chime In

15 6
That Feeling When That Title Makes It To Trades At Last

20 11
You Have No Shame Pulling An Issue Off A Shelf And Reading It In-Store

20 11
Not Only Do You Know The Owner, He Also Gives You Recommendations

18 10
The Number Of Action Figures/Models Directly Corresponds To How Good The Store Is

13 7
You'll Dish Out On An Autographed Book You Already Own

11 6
Disagreeing With The Clerk On Something Becomes A Point-Of-Discussion With Each Visit

14 9
That Nerve-Wracking Moment When You Approach The Clerks For The First Time

13 13
You Must Prove Your Knowledge Before Asking For Recommendations

7 9
You Need To Be Able To Discuss That Latest Release From A High-Profile Creater

8 11
If They Don't Have The Titles You're Looking For, You Spend Your Weekly Budget On Trades

5 12
You're Almost Embarrassed To Begin Reading Something Everyone Else Has Read