Today is the day I make my irregular pilgrimage to the comic shop
. It's been so long since I've last been that I'm expecting the usual scolding from the shop staff. "Where have you been ... your box is full ... we were thinking about canceling your sub ..."
It's funny to think that I'm 27 and have been reading comics since I was 11. That's 16 years of 4-color and black and white worlds -- Marvel, DC, Fantagraphics, Slave Labor, tons more. I remember my father telling me I was "too old" for comics when I was 11. If he was still alive, I wonder what he'd say to know that his adult son still reads stories about buff guys in tights who beat each other up. He'd probably not think too highly of it.
I don't know what compels me to read comics -- it's probably the confluence of serialized storytelling and collectibility. I'm a sucker for a cliffhanger and series of things. And since most comic series never end, collecting the entire series is a necessity.
As I don't have a car and live many miles from the nearest full service shop -- a great store in College Park, MD called "The Closet of Comics" -- going to the comic shop really is a pilgrimage. It entails hopping on the Metro for 30 minutes and then walking on foot for about another mile to the store. There's another store much closer to me in Georgetown, but it's not the same -- it concentrates on selling action figures, t-shirts, and statues. I've been going to the Closet since I was a freshman at the University of Maryland 10 years ago, and many of the people that worked there then still work there now. It would just be wrong not to go. It's worth the extra effort and lying to my boss that I have a Doctor's appointment to go there. I feel like I owe them my money.
1:58 ET -- only two minutes to go before I leave for my "appointment." Even at 27, I can't help but be a little excited about the prospect of a stack of fresh comics ready to be read. It's a strange feeling to describe to the uninitiated, but one I hope to enjoy for many more years to come.