Redefining the cool.

Cool is a shifting thing. Things that are cool can quickly turn into things that are lame without much warning. Conversely things that are lame can also inexplicably become cool. I'm saying this because wearing my Justice League of America t-shirt out in public gets more praise than ridicule nowadays.

Actually the only person to ridicule it was the little bitch that works at that Hardee's (aka Carl Jr.'s for those out west) around the corner. The actual ridiculing took place month's ago but she was nice enough justify it by saying her boyfriend was a huge nerd and into 'that stuff'. I was nice enough to ask for anyone but her to take my order the next time I wanted to get a burger there. Her cute, punchable, smiling face twisted into a mask of confusion. She apparently thought we had bonded with her mockery of my shirt as well as me. I think she got the message when the next time I saw her working behind the counter utter 'It's just not worth it' and walked out of the establishment. She doesn't work there anymore thankfully. She's off to charm school, I'm sure.

But, idiot Hardee's girl aside, comics have actually become a bit cool nowadays. This is mostly due to the comic book movies that have been coming out every year like clockwork. It seems Hollywood is very interested in remaking old movies and mining comic books for content. But also nerds have invaded pop culture making it socially acceptable to admit in public to reading comic books. Guys like Kevin Smith and Joss Whedon have no problem dumping their beloved nerd references into their work.

Still even though comic books are enjoying popularity, sales are not through the roof. People would rather watch a DVD than read a comic. This is partially due to it being a bit difficult to actually get one's hands on comic books without knowing the proper protocols. Trade paperbacks and graphic novels are easily found in book stores like Barnes and Nobles, but unfortunately you usually have to get past the manga to get at it.

The manga itself is not the problem. Its some of the manga fans that make it more difficult. At one point I found myself being quizzed by a young woman about some manga that I hadn't heard of. Her English was sprinkled with enough Japanese names to make it incomprehensible and yet again I made a woman's face twist into a mask of confusion when I told her I had no idea what she was talking about. The manga and Graphic Novels were kept in the same aisle of the bookstore and she seemed incapable of comprehending my presence in that aisle having nothing to do with manga. Worse was the fat moron who accosted me in a Barnes and Nobles literally waving a manga book in front of me spouting off about the 'brilliant' storyline about an ancient wizard guy who looks like a twelve year old girl and teaches at an all girl school. I respectfully responded by picking up a FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS and beating the hell out of him with it. I was asked to leave the store, but it was completely worth it.

So yeah, book stores are fun. Comic shops are fun too. Unfortunately there are still a lot of stores that seem like someone's mother's basement. That's why I shop at Comic Kings. They treat me very well and I can walk in there without feeling a sense of dread for being caught in there. The owner, Joey, does a few things that make the store stand apart. First off, the windows are not completely covered with posters thus allowing actual sunlight in. Second, the place does not smell funky. Third, the place is neat and orderly and you can find things very easily. That's why the place works.

We get our nerd on pretty damn well out here. The most popular afternoon drive radio show, The Mike and Bob Show, frequently talk about comic books, superheroes and Star Wars and their loyal fans eat it up. So let your geek flags fly people. It's alright to admit being a big ol' Spider-man fan. Enjoy it, because we could easily be back to being lame again. Our fleeting coolness could be gone in a snap, with no telling whether or not it will return. But no one thought breakdancing would come back, so there's always hope.

1 comment:

Crushling said...

Marty you silly baka, don't you know that stories about god-moding androgynous thirteen year olds with ~ONE TRUE-HEART'S GOAL~ are obviously the superior story line and that these silly gaijin picture books are just a passing fad?

So not sugoi of you. Glorious Nippon will soon triumph over us all desu.