Monday, March 4, 2024

This is my life again: Slim pickings in geek

I can only offer the sincerest of apologies for the lack of content in the past few months at the Tearoom of Despair, but:

A) it was one of the best months for traffic I've ever had on the blog since it started, so maybe I should shut the fuck up more often, and 

B) fuck you, I was busy.

Specifically, I moved 1200kms back to my old home town, where I was born and bred, and where so many of my family and friends still live. Shifting a whole house with two toddlers and all their baby shit was a bit of a mission, but we got there in the end. 

So I've been busy, but not so busy I couldn't check out the geek situation in the local bookstores, and see how slim the pickings were for myself.

And there ain't much - the number of bookstores in this town has collapsed, and there isn't anything to replace it. We can still get all the digital crap everybody else in the world can get, but I'm all about the physical media, and I'm coming up empty handed.

Even though it's totally futile, I've still checked all the shops, I can't help it. Many of the corner dairies where I worshiped at the four-colour altar for years are still there, but there ain't no magazine stands. I had to stop the other day and look inside the dairy where I got my Scream comics in the mid 80s, and then the one just down the road that used to be stuffed with Justice League and Superman comics by Dan Jurgens. They had nothing.

Literally the only comic books I can find being sold in a town of 25,000 people are some Phantom and Beano comics, and I certainly never cared about either of them. A bookshop that has miraculously survived the destruction of the mall around it sells some Doctor Who Magazines - which I don't need to bother with because I have another resource for them - and seems to still get stuff like Mojo and SFX, so there's something there.

And I'm surprised by how much it doesn't bother me. I've still got an order in at the comic shop up north to get regular deliveries of Back Issue Magazine and Love and Rockets, so I ain't missing the essentials in life, but the amount of geek shit I buy was already a fraction of what it once was, even when I was living in the big city.

I'm genuinely going to miss 2000ad for a year, the cheap thrill of reading the latest prog on the walk back from the newsagent will have to go on hold for a year.  I don't mind that I'm fucking up my status as a Seto Thargo, because it's giving me something to look for in the future, something to hunt out, and that's the really fun part. 

A year away from comic shops could be just what I need. At least that's what I tell myself when I'm reading Luther Arkwright comics for the 19th time, instead of going for something new. 

New can wait.

1 comment:

Maxwell said...

I'm glad to hear that 2000AD still seems to be publishing quality comics.

I'm an American, so I've never really come across any issues of the magazine in comic stores, but old trade paperbacks of Nemesis the Warlock and Sam Slade Robo Hunter are some of the best comics I've ever come across.

While the 2,000 issues of 2000AD is a bit daunting to me, I've managed to piece together a complete run of CRISIS and Toxic and it's mind boggling to think in the late 80s and early 90s that it was the standard for British comics to be painted.