One retailer, Jen King of Space Cadets in Oak Ridge North, TX, posted a comment on Facebook asking for people to be more positive and supportive. I’ve reprinted it below with her permission. The post has received many approving reactions.
Something has been bothering me. I feel like instead of being positive people in our industry, we have so many people being verbally negative. Many of them are verbally shaming other retailers for doing business completely within the law and following all safety standards. Some of it approaches bullying in its tone. We need to come together and support each other. We are all over the country/ world and are in different states of closure. Because some shops can’t be open does not mean that it isn’t safe and fair for others to be. For those of you able to operate safely and provide for your families and staffs, do that. I was never upset that the rest of the comic industry went on while the world stood still for my shop and so many others for months after Harvey. One of the reasons was because we supported each other. Those that could fundraise, did. I will forever be grateful for all of those that reached out to offer help. Let’s try and focus on what we CAN do instead of what we can’t.
King has been a trooper since the lockdown began – Space Cadets is still selling comics via curbside and mail order and King herself holds regular live streams on Facebook via the Comic Book Shopping Network, selling comics from the store. She’s one of the leading voices for retailing out there, and in these tough times, she’s proving how tough she is.
A sample here. Follow CBSN for the schedule.
Just some perspective from me here: I’m entering my sixth week of quarantine here – with, let’s be honest, a minimum of six more togo here at the outbreaks US epicenter – and this is fucking hard, people. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life and I’m sure that’s mostly true for almost everyone. We’re dealing with the worst health and economic crisis of our lives while cut off from the support we usually have, including, trivial as it may seem, new comics. I have to do a gut check every day myself on my moods. Today I overslept and I didn’t feel a bit bad about it.
Which is my way of saying, I have a lot of sympathy for the more emotional responses we’ve seen. People are reacting out of very real fear and doubt. They are being honest, and no one can argue that.
But Jen is right. We need as much kindness as we can muster. It isn’t always easy. And when we falter we need understanding. We are still alone, together.