In his latest blog post, Tom Brevoort talks about retailers who, it seems, don’t want to sell the comics they’ve already paid for:
The poster in question had witnessed the following behavior at his local comic shop: a customer was buying an issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and the guy behind the counter openly mocked him for it, telling him that he’d given himself AIDS simply by looking at it, so terrible was it.*
Now, I certainly don’t have a problem with somebody expressing their opinion. But in this case, I really have to question the logic of it. The store in question bought their copies of AMAZING on a non-returnable basis; they paid for them, and that money is still going to be gone whether or not the books fly off the shelves. So actively berating a customer for buying a item that you’ve already sunk money into is just shooting yourself in the foot.
Tom goes on to say that maybe this was a shop employee who simply needed a lesson in customer service. But I know one shop employee who was trying to recommend Brand New Day at her shop, but the manager wouldn’t let her:
Before my shift was over at the store, they took my front counter pick away and replaced it with something else. The manager said it was because I was going to be off work soon, but this was the first time any of my suggestions had been taken away from their cozy nook at the registers for that last minute buy and/or sell while I was still in the room and in front of me. I wanted to fold a little flag and march it to its final resting place after being so brave and bold.
I think a point was being made pretty clearly to me by my co-workers, one that’s been made for the past week or so by a heft of fans at large.
You see, my pick was Amazing Spider-Man #546. I liked Brand New Day.
He was polite about it, but the book was stank of what had come before, trapped in a world it didn’t create. Customers have come into the store with pitchforks and torches in their eyes and the staff have commiserated on what a ’slap in the face’ this all is, effectively continuing the hype of ‘the Worst. Storyline. EVER.’ I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to think that the man in charge today simply didn’t like the book. But when I take Messiah CompleX to task for not exactly being clear on the stakes of the story, I get in trouble because I’m talking down a sale. I find my front counter pick politely escorted off the counter. Oh, the politics of fandom.
*Just for the record, you can’t actually get AIDS by reading a comic book.