Oh my darling, this is one of the most inspirational things anyone has ever said to me. I am so sorry that you had to go through anything so horrible, but I am SO PROUD that you reclaimed a part of your life, for your own means, and under your own terms.
I don’t talk about my own post traumatic stress. Not often, not ever. I don’t like to acknowledge my own weaknesses, or that my brain can betray me so easily. All of my shit is related to horrible repeat injuries that I sustained over a period of about ten years, and all it takes to send me down a path of flashbacks and obsessive thoughts is the smallest thing.
And comics help me too. Captain America helps me, if he can be more than his past, if he can keep going despite the insurmountable odds, so can I. If Carol Danvers can overcome her own injuries and face down everything that stands in her way, so can I. And Hawkeye…if a regular, breakable dude can play with the big boys, if he can stand shoulder to shoulder with Thor and the Hulk, then why should my problems hold me back from being who I want to be?
I am so proud of you. I know how hard it is, but reclaiming something that has been broken inside of you is one of the strongest, most incredible things you can do. You’re my hero, and I hope that I can exhibit personal strength like yours.
Variants are a tricky thing for a lot of people, so I will break down the process of how they are distributed. You might know this already, but just in-case another ready isn’t sure!
Most variants are buyer incentives. If your store orders 25 issues of Comic X, they get one variant cover. A variant is a different version (or different cover entirely) of the comic you are buying. There are different buyer qualifications for different comics. For example, you might get a black and white version of the original cover if you buy 25 copies. You might get a sketch version of that cover if you buy 50. So on, and so forth.
Superman Unchained came out last week, for example, and there were a lot of different covers. My store ordered 100 copies, and so we got variants for 10 issues, 25, 50, 75, 100….etc.
Now, because a store has to spend a certain amount of money to get a variant, they will be more expensive than just the regular comic. My store sells our variants from between $6 to $50, depending on the popularity of the book and how much more we had to spend to get it. A one in 10 variant, for example, will be cheaper than a one in 100.
So back to your question! It’s as simple as asking, but try to ask as soon in advance as you can. A lot of store put their orders in a month before the book comes out, so it’s easy to miss a variant. They might be able to up their orders to qualify, but it’s different for each store.
And be prepared to pay extra! If they usually order 10 copies of comic x, but need 25 to get the variant you want, be prepared to foot the bill for those 15 issues they wouldn’t ordinary be able to sell. But honestly, all you have to do is ask :)
A word of warning: VARIANTS ARE LIKE CRACK OH GOD DON’T START COLLECTING THEM I SWEAR TO GOD I HAVE LIKE 38 AND I ONLY COLLECT THE ONES I REALLY WANTS PLEASE SEND HELP.
Once upon a time, I had someone tell my wife that she wasn’t a real comic book fan because she didn’t like Batman.
That was a few years ago, and about a week back he came into my store. He was shocked to see me there, behind the counter, loading up a young girl on Marvel recomendations. He asked if we were currently hiring.
And I got to tell him no, motherfucker, try Wayne Enterprises.
It doesn’t matter what you love, and it doesn’t matter who you love. The only thing that matters is that you love, and no one loves harder than fandom :) I don’t care that you love a different version of something that I love - what matters is that we have something in common, and that makes us bros.
I wish I could visit your store one day and thank you in person for reminding me that I can be a marvel fan even though I mostly watch movies and cartoons and have read only few comics. Because sometimes I feel less worthy of calling myself a fan or I'm embarrassed that I don't know every single superhero, but then I read your posts and imagine how wonderful it would be to talk with you about things I know and don't know and I keep on loving Marvel regardless of other's opinion of me =]
Oh honey! Listen, I would not be doing any of this if I didn’t have people in my life to teach me new things. I hadn’t read a single superhero comic until I met my wife, and she sat me down and got me started on everything that I love today.
More than that, my boss and our community at Comic Envy love nothing more than teaching people about the things we love. We have this sort of….in-joke where someone says ‘MAN, WHATCHU KNOW ABOUT (insert character), and what follows is a college-esque seminar that always ends in everyone buying all the damn books we have featuring said character.
I swear, one day Mary will start a blog called WHATCHU KNOW, and every week she will learn you all a book about different characters. MAN, WHATCHU KNOW ABOUT THOR.
So anyway. I veered wildly off topic. Don’t ever feel like you have to know all the things, my darling. I learn something new every day, and that’s part of what I love about comics. There’s always something new to learn, and if someone judges you for your desire to learn, well…they can fuck right off.
One day we will jam on superheroes together :)
I looked in your frequently asked asks and saw that you give awesome advice when people ask you about specific comics, but what suggestions would you make to someone who's never read a comic book in her life? I love the Avengers/Black Widow, but I have no idea where to start. If you could help I'd love you forever!
Mary is the Black Widow fan in our relationship, so I am directing you to her EXCELLENT Widow Rec post!
You know what, just go and browse her Widow tag for a while, as well. Damn, Natasha. You scary.
HAWKEYE HAS A NIPPLE PIERCING???????
My version certainly does.
I like to imagine he found one of those AIM beekeeper suits laying around in an alley behind his apartment building and, one night, decided to throw it on and see what he could get up to in the city at night. It mostly involved getting caught up with another group of AIM agents, convincing them that getting hammered was a way better idea than Advanced Idea Mechanicing, they all ended up in a seedy tattoo shop, and Clint not only got a nipple ring but a tattoo that no measure of Hawkblocking will cover.
That’s my theory, at least. He still has the beekeeper hat.
First I really enjoy your blog. Very informative and very entertaining. Second I was wondering if you have any non-superhero/hero comic recommendations?
Thank you! Here are some of the indy books I am pushing on everyone these days.
Let me add Locke and Key, Witch Doctor, Nowhere Men, and East of West to that list!
You are SO welcome for anything I’ve helped with, and I do in fact have some words of encouragement!
Ignore the internet. Ignore The Big Bang Theory, and ignore every other show that’s supposed to represent ‘Nerd Culture’*
Ignore every horror store you have heard about new nerds being chased out of comic stores with flaming torches and copies of the comic book price guide.
Yes, some of those stories are true, but here is the thing. If you walk into a clothing store for the first time - there is a chance you will have a bad experience. Same with a Sporting goods store. A Gaming store. Any kind of store. The only difference with Comic Book stores is that, because of the popular influence of shows like The Big Bang Theory, these stores have garnered a mostly false reputation for being a hostile environment for fledgling nerds, newbs, and most of all, women.
Yes, sometimes these horror stories are true. But they’re also a relic of the past. The attitude of the comic book community is changing - just look at the outrage caused by the hiring of Orson Scott Card, whose Homophobia would have been happily overlooked just a few years ago. These horrible, judgmental stories keeping fans out of comic book stories are a thing of the past, and they’re getting increasingly rarer.
More than that, these are businesses that want to make money! You know what makes me HAPPIEST at work? When someone comes in and says to me ‘I have NEVER been into a comic book store before, I saw the movies and liked them, and I want to know more!’
That makes me happy because there are more people to support the books I love, more people to talk comics with, and more people entering the community that I have devoted my life to. But more than that? IT MEANS I CAN SELL A LOT OF BOOKS AND MAKE MY BOSS REALLY HAPPY. So be honest! Walk into that store and say HEY. I AM NEW AND I WANT TO THROW MONEY AT YOU. SUGGEST SOME BOOKS FOR ME!
Anyone that would ridicule you for that is a fucking idiot, not worth your time, and doesn’t know how to run a business.
So good luck, anon, and sorry for my novel of a reply. This is obviously something very close to my heart, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes :)
*Except Community. Last week’s episode was what The Big Bang Theory should be.
Not a question, but I just wanted to say I love you and all of your friends and how helpful you all are. The comics advice, the cute drawings, the gorgeous photosets, everything else. Following all of you guys was a great decision.
Aw thank you so much! I have a great group of friends, and they all contribute a HUGE amount in their own ways. Hopefully within the next few months we will be putting together a podcast so we can help people out with comics in almost-person!
With all these wonderful stories I see of people having great experiences at their LCS, does it seem like they are getting better across the board? Are you getting many stories of bad experiences?
For every one story I get about a bad experience, I get a dozen stories about great ones. For every dozen stories I get about great stories, I get two dozen stories about people going into stores for the first time, and having a blast :)
I do think things are getting better in the comics community!
Flatbear! I notice people telling you about their local comic book stores. I've been to all of the LCSs here on Oahu,Hawaii and I love them all (Jelly's. Other Realms, and Geckos) everyone at the stores are friendly (although some of the people at geckos tend to hover over you. paranoid about shop lifters i think.) In fact i took half of my college class to the comic book store because they were curious. VIVA LA LCS!!!
That’s awesome to hear! Jelly’s is a great name for a comic store :)
Guys, I love all of these asks telling me about great comic stores, but there are only so many I can post before I start to get paranoid about spamming my dash! Please take your recommendations to Hater Free Wednesdays, who are compiling a FANTASTIC list of Friendly and Helpful Comic Book Stores. They’re doing a great job!
Can you talk a little about Red She-Hulk? Would you recommend the book, and where should someone jump on if they want to?
I’m sorry honey, I don’t actually read that book, but I can tell you that Betty’s new series with Marvel Now is just a few issues in, so RIGHT NOW is a good time to jump in! You can probably still get the issues from your LCS :)
I'm not a stalker (oh that's what a stalker would say) but you and Marchingjaybird convinced me to go to my LCS today because of how you stressed the importance of pre-ordering. I had so much anxiety that I took my anti-anxiety pill. So I went in and was welcomed! I highly recommend Comic Swap in State College, PA. I created a pull list and bought the Captain Marvel trade. These will be my very first real comics and I will always remember them! Just wanted to awkwardly and verbosely thank you!
Dude that is fantastic to hear! I know how anxiety-inducing it can be to go out of your comfort zone, especially when it’s something that comes with an unfortunate stigma like comic stores do, whether earned or not.
You did so well, you did MUCH more than most people do when they go into an LCS for the first time, and I’m very proud :) Enjoy your first steps into the best fandom out there!
What does "Trades" mean in comic book tongue?
Single comic book issues gathered up into one big book :)
I know how you feel about stolen art, and I also saw that someone stole another's art and submitted it into a contest. [ maddyfae's tumblr, and then /post/41812027853/stolen-art]. I was wondering if you would signal boost, because this is more than a bit disgusting.
This is really, really terrible, and something I HATE to see! Signal boosted!