Secret lives of comic store employees

Olive Shop2
Wired looks at the secrets of your friendly neighborhood comic shop clerks.

Comments

  1. jason says

    oh yay. i love olive and clare and all the ladies at cosmic. they are all great.

  2. CBrown says

    Cosmic is my regular shop, too. I had no idea that was Gary Panter’s daughter ringing me up every week!

  3. Al says

    Interesting reading, and quite funny when the many guys in tshirts and beards are claiming not to be nerds just because they have a girlfriend. Many of the employees made similar comments about comic speculators, and the decline of certain comic titles.
    Thanks for this.

  4. says

    Palle Madsen needs to have his own series. Holy Crap! “Broadcasting Degree and Certificate as a Forensic Identifier” Lives in San Jose, works at a comic book shop called Amazing Fantasy in San Francisco and organizes burlesque shows on the side!? This guy is my new hero. Someone do a title about him!

  5. says

    Wow! Way to carry on a stereotype.

    I get asked at least once a month, IN the comic shop I manage…. “so, you actually read comics?”

    I hate the fact that there was only ONE woman featured in this whole article and that’s probs because of her father!

    WOMEN READ COMICS!

    AND THEY’RE NOT ALL MORONS!

    Frankly… I’m insulted

  6. says

    Wow! Way to carry on a stereotype.

    I get asked at least once a month, IN the comic shop I manage…. “so, you actually read comics?”

    I hate the fact that there was only ONE woman featured in this whole article and that’s probs because of her father!

    WOMEN READ COMICS!

    AND THEY’RE NOT ALL MORONS!

    Frankly… I’m insulted

  7. Richard says

    Now, don’t accuse me of being one of those creepy customers that’d stare at the comic shop girl… but I wouldn’t mind if my local comic shop had an Olive ringing me up each week. :)

  8. says

    Richard, there’s no reason to think that looking at pretty girls is creepy. In fact, I would say that makes you normal. Good for you. When my best friend Frank Kane had a store, he hired some of my girl friends (all of us teenagers at the time) to work in it. I’m sure there were guys buying stuff, just so they could come up to the counter and be rung up by them, but they were always respectful, and everyone read comics and had a good time.

  9. mark coale says

    Comic Stores business would likely improve across the board if they hired attractive and knowledgable ladies to charm baby men out of their money. :)

  10. says

    High five, Mark Coale!

    Also, having a girlfriend does not make you less nerdy. In fact, mentioning it makes you sound like a really defensive nerd.

  11. says

    Every comic shop’s got a cute girl working there. The one I know is very cool and nice, of course. Nervous chit-chat ensues and then it’s “see ya next month!”

  12. says

    So, if you work in a comicbook store, you’re nerdy? Geez…

    But at least there weren’t any Jeff Albertsons in the mix… and the stores were at least somewhat orderly and welcoming.

    As for charming “baby men”… I think that is the reason most women do not work in comicbook stores. Except the really cool ones…

    For some elucidation, read:
    http://www.friends-lulu.org/images/retailhb.pdf (page 7 of the PDF)

  13. says

    That’s a lie, Chris G.! I run the gamut every Free Comic Day, and not one cute girl in any of the 10+ comic book stores I visit that day at all!

    Also, we are really predictable nerds for focusing on the “cute girl” aspect of this article.

  14. Mark Coale says

    “Also, we are really predictable nerds for focusing on the “cute girl” aspect of this article.”

    Well, that’s what the boss chose to spotlight when she put up the picture accompanying the article. :>

    (I’ve not read the article, full disclosure. I was once a comic store employee and I know that I fit the Comic Book Guy stereotype to a tee, minus the pony tail.)

  15. says

    “I never listen to what the customers say.”

    Wow, that’s great customer service.

    “My dad got me into it. He works at the School of Visual Arts and it’s nearby and Mark, the owner, really liked his comics. I started on Sundays bagging books and now I come and don’t do anything.”

    So you got the job because of your dad, and your looks.

    “And they’re easier to read than books when you’re too exhausted.”

    Because comics are for simpletons?

    BTW, the Soutlaw who posted earlier is my manager, a superhero/Vertigo/manga fan who is furious about how her gender is represented by this pathetic example of a retailer.

    Way to go Wired, for perpetuating the stereotypes.

  16. says

    Well, it’s not like comic shops would be the first to use pretty women to lure men away from their money- that’s pretty much the template for every mall store and beer commercial ever. I like women working in a comic shop because it’s an instant sign to potential female customers that the shop is “safe” and that there are others like them. Like it or not, every time I’m at a comics shop 90-99% of customers are men and 9 out of 10 women are the SO of the male customer who are just tagging along.

  17. Matt says

    Lol at Olive’s comments. I think I like her answers the most and they are the most telling.

  18. sandra says

    My local store has a lez looking blonde girl working the counter. She is cool but I like men.

  19. jacob lyon goddard says

    had no idea she was so young
    met her at the first NYCC at the RAW panel nobody attended except me and her (and i think she kinda had to) and thought she was college age back then

  20. jacob lyon goddard says

    and why is everybody talking about chicks in working in comic book stores?

    i see one

    why aren’t we talking about all the rest of them who look exactly like the fanboys they’re claiming don’t really exist any more?

  21. says

    I think the ex-con comic shop clerk is awesome.

    Also, he said this;

    Biggest pet peeve about customers?
    I don’t think I have one. All are welcome here.

  22. Anun says

    It would’ve been nice to have another woman in the series, perhaps one who did like some superhero stuff.

    Also, I was bummed not to see Isotope Comics represented and its awesome collection of toilet seats.

  23. says

    Al mentioned the guys claiming to not be nerds because they have girlfriends/wives, and I gotta say, I’ve always thought that was a tremendously bad correlation to make.

    I had a score of girlfriends and am currently married to my wife (for the past 16 years) and I’m a tremendous nerd! I mean I make Digital Comics – does it get any nerdier than that? :D

  24. CBrown says

    “It would’ve been nice to have another woman in the series, perhaps one who did like some superhero stuff. ”

    I thought it was nice that there was one comic store clerk who read something OTHER than superhero stuff.

  25. rich says

    “I think I like her answers the most and they are the most telling. ”

    How so?

  26. says

    I don’t think Olive came off badly at all! I worked with her on a MySpace Comic Books project a couple of years ago and I thought she was really cool and very enthusiastic about comics. Who cares if she doesn’t read Superman?

  27. says

    olive is hot. i feel ok saying that.

    amazing fantasy was my shop before i moved to san francisco. it’s nice to see them get some love; they were always super nice. when i was getting back into comics almost every other place was full of asshole snobs that made it tough to buy whatever. the staff at amazing fantasy was helpful, friendly, and awesome.

    ironically, now that i’ve lived in SF, where there are a TON of good comic shops, i buy less than ever before. that might also coincide with saving for a wedding…

  28. says

    Jim said: “Al mentioned the guys claiming to not be nerds because they have girlfriends/wives, and I gotta say, I’ve always thought that was a tremendously bad correlation to make.

    I had a score of girlfriends and am currently married to my wife (for the past 16 years) and I’m a tremendous nerd! I mean I make Digital Comics – does it get any nerdier than that?”

    I thought the original point of mentioning wives and/or girlfriends was to prove you weren’t a virgin.

  29. says

    Also, how can you profile comic book store people in the Bay Area and not touch on James Sime. That guy is so dapper and quotable he could steal the scene from Fort Knox.

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