One of these days, I’m going to sit down and read a long book that doesn’t have any pictures. What are those things called again? Oh, yeah, novels.
But until that day, I get to peruse cool stuff like “Our Valued Customers: Conversations from the Comic Book Store” by Tim Chamberlain, which comes out Tuesday.
Many of you are probably familiar with the webcomic by MRTIM!, as he signs his art. He lives near Boston and works in a comic shop. These are his customers’ stories.
I, actually, hadn’t run across the strip, so I got to enjoy these all fresh — and head right over to the blog to see the newest ‘toons.
As I read through the decidedly NSFW book (for language), I laughed, I rolled my eyes, I cringed. As much as comic book geeks like to think the stereotype isn’t true, I challenge you to read through this and say you’ve never heard similar at your comic book shop (or on the convention floor). All the customers might not have the same overbite, but you’ve heard these things before.
And that’s what makes the book so great. It’s cathartic to think, “Oh, I’d never say anything like this, but there was this one guy …” And then you can laugh and pass the book around to your friends. Which is just what I did when it first arrived and I started thumbing through it at work.
Some of the best ones don’t even have to do with comics (there’s one about running for a bus I can’t reprint here) but would more seem to fit on “Overheard at Walmart.”
But not every strip makes fun of the overly geeky. Every now and then you read one you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught saying: “Seth MacFarlane is the Tyler Perry of animated cartoons” or, well, a couple I can’t reprint here.
But the bread and butter are the truly scary ones, the ones that make you think, “Somebody actually said that?” Then you go and read the comments on many of the stories on The Detroit News website, and you think, “Yeah, that’s not so far-fetched after all.”
If you’re a fan of the weekly trip to the comic store, this book and Chamberlain’s website are for you. At any given moment, a cartoon might range from slightly nerdy to totally hard-core, but it’s always good for a laugh.
Here are a couple samples, not necessarily my favorites, but they’re safe to print: