Home and work with comic-store clerks

Wired.com's gallery of comic-book store employees at home and work is just enchanting. I never worked in a comic store, but I did the next-best thing, working at Toronto's oldest sf bookstore, Bakka Books. There's something incredibly satisfying about that kind of work -- living in a mountain of awesome media, interacting with fellow mutants all day. We even sold bOING!bOING! (the print zine!).

If you could be any comic book character, who would it be?
My two favorites are Superman and Spider-Man. Superman is the ideal. He was the first superhero and shows you the best of what humanity could be but it's reflected through the eyes of an outsider, someone who is not human. Then I like Spider-Man because he discovers his powers and, in a very human way, uses them to get the girl and get some money and not be a geek anymore. Then he learns a lesson about responsibility and decides to use his powers for the good of all.

Which title has fallen farthest from grace?
That can vary on a month-to-month basis. The Ultimates is the least recognizable when compared to the run before it. Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira are great writers but it's such a tonal shift from what Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch did that it's just too much of a shock.

Secret Lives of Comic Store Employees


  1. Good solid folks. i did a signing at Jim Hanley’s last year and they were some of the nicest guys i could ever hope to meet.


  2. I was the man behind the counter in the local headshop in 1969. Didn’t get paid, but if I needed a couple bucks, Clam would cough it up. It wasn’t about money.
    We carried underground comics, and I collected the works of Robert Crumb. Zap, Plunge into the Depths of Despair, that stuff. So what character would I like to be? Always admired Mr. Natural. Dude was smooth.

  3. Should be an interesting job in days to come as Superman #1 has gone on sale (I’ve just read in City AM)

  4. My favorite old-school comic book hero must be Magnus, Robot Fighter created by Russ Manning.
    A hero in a future world wearing a miniskirt way too tight, yet manly enough to duke it our barehanded with legions of evil, tentacle-armed robots.

  5. I’m just surprised that I spent more than 30 seconds at Wired.com for the first time in what seems like a decade.

  6. #6 Soupisgoodfood thats only because they made you click on each picture separately otherwise you could have kept it under 30 secs ;)

  7. When my son was young, I asked him who he thought was the best superhero; Superman, Batman or Spiderman – and why?

    The answer was simple – Spiderman. “He’s sticky.”

  8. I worked at the Silver Snail back in the day, for about 3 years. I don’t know exactly what years, but in the middle of it all Superman died. Although I’d briefly read X-Men when I was in high school, I was never much for superhero antics.

    My first tattoo was of Errata Stigmata, but if I had to pick one, I’d be Maggie Chascarillo of Love and Rockets.

  9. I dated a guy that worked at a comic shop. He got me hooked on comics and I used to get a discount ’cause the shop owners knew me as his girlfriend. It was pretty nice.

  10. It would have been nice if they’d have hit just a few spots outside of NY and SF, but I guess it wasn’t in the budget. Chicago Comics, y’all!

  11. @13, I agree. But “budget” in this case I think is really due to laziness. Wired has plenty of bloggers in fly over country and most interviews are conducted by phone and/or email. It irks me that they take the time to do a great series like this, but yet discount a large part of the population.

  12. As a former employee of Hanley’s it’s good to see our man “Angry Black” Steven get some due attention. (He’s not so much “angry” as he is sporadically surly.) Hanley’s is honestly the most complete, best organized comic store in the entire city. Midtown Comics is “the largest,” but wastes more of its space with ancillary merch and bootleg DVDs, not to mention that if you’re looking for anything other than titles from the major four publishers you’re in for a hunt.

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