Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Not Fitting in With My Peers- Comic Fandom Snobbery

Every time I go to my local comic book store or to a comic book gathering, I find myself cringing.
Why, you may ask?

It is because I don't like some of my fellow fans.

Not cool, I know. I can't help it.

Let me explain with examples why I get this way.

I usually go into the comic store on Wednesdays full of energy and excitement. As I am thumbing through the new issues, inevitably one of my fellow fans will pipe up with "Man, this sucks because the _______(insert art, creator, price, experience) is crap (something to that effect)". Now, it isn't so much that something isn't to their taste that gets me irritated, it is the fact that they are trying to influence other buyers with their very important opinion, and if you ignore them and buy the issue they commented on, you are instantly judged as inferior.

Screw that noise. I want to buy certain comics because I like them. Thanks for the opinion, but I am a big girl who can make up my own mind. I don't judge your taste, so don't judge mine!

I also don't like flippant comments that are made if my husband and I spend $50 for that week's books. I really hate the "Wow, you must be rich" comment. The fact is that I choose to spend my money on comic books rather then other toys or vices like alcohol or cigarettes. Sue me!

Further irritating is the stereotypical, but very real customer with bad odors emanating from them. Please brush your teeth and shower before you go out in public. All you are doing is perpetuating the hype, and I don't want to have to hold my breath while I am browsing the aisles.

I hate being talked down to because the fellow fan thinks they are the ultimate expert on certain characters or books. The fact is that I don't always care about specifics. I read comics for the enjoyment, not because I want to be the most knowledgeable. There is a difference between knowing fun facts and fighting for supremacy.

I have a job, so I can't stay and chat. I come pick up my comics during my lunch hour and have to go back to work. Don't give me crap or comment about me being bitchy or "PMS" because I am in a hurry. That just makes me dislike you, and it makes my husband want to kill you. I don't need the aggravation and my hubby doesn't need a jail sentence.

At any rate, I mostly hate how smart most fans think they are and how much they think their opinion matters. The best example I can give is message boards on the internet, and I won't go there!

I try to be patient and nice, and I really like quite a few of the fellow fans I interact with, but there is a select group that makes me feel uncomfortable or upset. I don't mind talking to anyone, but I refuse to be talked down to, or chastised for my taste. Let me like Birds of Prey even if you think it has sucked since Dixon left. Also, don't grab Uncanny X-Men out of my hands and laugh at me, while saying the X-Men have sucked for the last 20 years. Good for you for thinking so, but leave me the Hell alone. I like the frigging X-Men, okay?

Do any of the rest of you encounter this? How do you deal with it? I love comic books and will probably always find a way to collect. My husband works for the local store, and loves comics as well, so we are regulars. I just really dislike the opinionated, non-hygenic snob. How do I get around this group?

I am up for suggestions. I don't like being a hater. It isn't my personality, and it frustrates me.

Fellow fans, help me to deal!


Carl said...

Hmmmmmmm, welp, since I am big, can have a temper, I seem to have trained the blowhards over the years to leave me alone.
A while back, the whole store save for me and maybe a couple of the others, took "T" to task for not liking DC Comics. Now, this was a group of the regs and we've all known each other for years. And one of them was his best friend, "G". The concensus was: "But DC is putting out fantastic stuff, why won't you even give it a chance?!!!"
And his answer was that he tried both DC and Marvel and found he could relate to the Marvel ones and not DC one bit. After a while of this, I finally said, leave the guy alone, he knows his own mind and you guys are making sure he will never like DC period. He has A RIGHT NOT to like something.
The DC vs. Marvel argument seems to come up almost every week now.
And on the "expert advice"? Or judging your books? I usually shorten that conversation by getting a look at their books. I can usually find something I can push back at them. "Oh c'mon, you are knocking me for X-Men (or whatever) and are reading those '80s retreads of X-Force? And what's this, Spawn? Savage Dragon? Sheesh, I bet you almost wet yourself when Shadowhawk came back, right?"
And on the money biz, I always told them, this is my thing. I don't go to bars and flush my money down the toilet, I don't drink, smoke, gamble or have to have the latest CD or gimble for my car. Perhaps if you were to cut down on your frippery, you would "rich" too.
Welp, one idea I also had was to do a documentary called "Comic Book Stories". Just raw footage in the nerdy/fan kingdoms, the stories no one would believe happens; characters you couldn't create in fiction. I think it would be a good film. Later...

Heidi Meeley said...

I would just like to say a big "AMEN" to your comment, Carl!

It is insane to me that the dude who can't even comb his hair is going to tell me what to do with my life. Heh Heh

I most definitely agree with the money answer. I don't spend my money on big toys or ilicit substances, so let me buy my freaking comics!

I have to shake my head some days, and just keep walking, otherwise I would end up kicking some comic book butt.

Take care Carl!

Carl said...

Welp, there's other methods too. Ha ha, I just don't know how far you want to go.

Method #1:
When said nerd/gimp judges your books (and has his own there in hand) ask to see their books.
In a very LOUD obnixious voice say:
You don't even have to knock what they are reading, just imply to the entire store your shock and disgust.

Method #2:
Ask the person(s) do they have a job? When they answer (either way) you reply that you too have a job and you not only use that money for comics, but also for shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deoderant, detergent and new clothes.

Method #3:
Say: "Why if you are so keen to push your taste on me, why don't you give me your comics or buy me copies of what you like. Oh, not willing to put your money were mouth is? Thought so..."

And the last bomb, save it for last:

"Oh, I'm sorry, I mistook you for adults. Perhaps the sterotypes are all true, my mistake!"

I hate to say it myself, I'm kind of hard-hearted and cruel to people that want to knock my freedoms of choice with snobbery. In my earlier days, I was called a sexual slur for not liking (of all things) Transformers. So, I picked up the offender and tossed him across the room. The owner of course backed me since the person called me that name right there, in front of a group of people, who also backed me. Ahhhh, the good old days...
Oh yes, there was also a snob that worked at my fave comic store (he came along after the owners got too elderly and sick to run the store) called "RJ". Soon I figured out it stood for "Rude Jerk". I went there with my girlfriend (whom later became my bride) and she got a bunch of back issues and took them up front to be run up. Well, ol' Rude Jerk says, oh, these have gone up, I'll have to adjust the prices. Well, they had prices on the bags and my bride said, you can't change the prices that have already been marked. The Jerk says, oh yeah, we always do, that's the way it is. And my bride replied, businesses can't change the price at the register, it's just not done, the price marked is the price. And he got out the Overstreet and looked them up. Well, she stood there and waited till he finally looked up. She said, are you going to sale me these at the marked price? And he said no. So, she said, well, I don't want them then and walked out the door.
Rude Jerk looked at me and said, she's not buying these now?! And I said, yeah, you don't price up the books at the register man, are you nuts? That's YOUR PROBLEM if they went up and you have the old prices still marked. And he still didn't get it. I finally said, the customer is always right man, you heard that? And he said, but, I have to get the right prices for these books! And I said, oh, well, now you get jack sh*t my friend. And walked out laughing. I love this story so much. Never cross a redhead or a righteous comic fan...