A comic book store employee.

I have not had the pleasure of any kind of indoctrination into the comic book culture beyond Comic Con NY a few months ago, but I never imagined the level of apathy and disrespect.

I’m trying to get caught up quickly since I have embarked on my first graphic novel, and recently learned of a day-long annual event in the industry called Free Comic Book Day held May 2.

After the requisite Saturday morning chauffeuring, my son and I head into the local “participating” comic book store in Nanuet called Toywiz – a toy store with a modest comic book section.

Once inside, I try to catch the eye of an obvious employee to be sure the store is participating in Free Comic Book Day. The youth didn’t seem to know, but finally was able to utter some grunt that sounded like “yeah”.

After what seemed like twenty minutes of selecting amongst the typical superhero fare (not my interest) we each find something we are willing to take for free. When I get to the cashier to ask if he wants to swipe them for inventory purposes he suddenly can speak: “Oh those aren’t free, the free ones are on that table.” Points to little card table with scant offerings.

“Really? Don’t you think it might have been helpful to point me to that table when I asked you initially about whether you were participating?”

“Unh. I thought it was pretty obvious”.

“No, it isn’t obvious that that tiny card table and the scant offerings on them are the only free options. I’ll buy these, though”. My choice was based on outstanding art by a new favorite, Terry Moore whose ink line work is inspiring.

This is not my intended audience, and the thought that the success of my book in someway will involve this kind of slacker-y salesmanship is alarming. Traditional channels are clearly not the way to go.