Last week’s launch of Forever Evil and Villains Month caused nothing short of pandemonium at my local comic shop.
When I arrived at the store last Wednesday, the parking lot was packed. I didn’t think much of it because the shop shares a parking lot with other businesses. But this time was different. I walked inside and there were people everywhere either holding stacks of comics or grabbing them off the shelves. I go every week at the same time so I saw several familiar faces. Others I had never seen before. I got what I needed and immediately left. I didn’t even hang around and socialize like I usually do because it was extremely busy.
I usually arrive at the shop around 10 a.m. or a few minutes after. When I arrived this morning, the parking lot was packed. I approached two men standing outside the shop’s door and they informed me the store had not yet opened. As I turned to return to my truck, one of the employee’s unlocked the door. The two men walked in behind me and seconds later, several customers barged in.
Knowing that this is the time when the owners and their employees are finishing up pulling titles for their regular customers, I began my routine of grabbing books off the shelf first and then head to the counter to collect my books from my pull box, taking caution as to not get in their way. Well it was difficult to stick to my routine today. People were grabbing books off the shelves and was in the way of the staff and myself. It wasn’t the regular customers that was creating the chaos, there were a couple of people I had never seen before. And of course the only books they were pulling were the 3-D motion covers.
One of the employee’s came over and yelled out that he was still pulling titles for customers and to give him a moment so he could finish. Everything came to a complete halt as he and the owner finished pulling for the regulars. The guy standing next to me began to fidget so I knew right away to keep my eyes on him. If a book wasn’t on the shelf, then whoever had the book would return it. This went on for a couple of minutes and most of us chuckled as we yelled out, “Not me” or “I don’t have that one” while looking through the stacks in our arms. I was really enjoying myself at that time. But there’s always one bad apple.
A title was called out and the guy that was fidgeting (he was also standing outside the door before the store opened) held up the book and loudly, but rudely, said that he got it off the shelf and that he should be able to have it. The staff told him the books go to the regulars first and that it wouldn’t be fair if they didn’t get their books.
The guy immediately became loud and irate, but the staff held their ground. As he was handing over the book, he stopped and told the staff they could have all the books and to eff it and that it was a bunch of bullsh-t. He continued to yell as he stormed out the door, giving it a hard push. He turned, caught the door in his hand and yelled, “I got a stack in my car from (competitor) do you want those too?” He continued to storm off to his vehicle and sped off.
I had a feeling he was going to act out from the moment I saw him fidgeting. So I moved to the other side of the store. While he was clowning I sat my books on the counter, preparing myself in case he got physical with anyone. I could feel the man standing behind me doing the same. A few customers told me they were ready to take him down if needed.
One of the regular customers I speak to every week walked in as the guy sped out the parking lot. He told me he could sense chaos as he walked through the door, and that he felt as if he missed something. I told him everything that happened and he was not happy at all. I’m glad he missed it, he probably would’ve clobbered the guy just for his aggressive behavior towards the owners and their employees.
I learned this scumbag is not a regular at the shop. He drives around to all the local shops looking for books. He looks for “hot” books in high-grade condition so he can buy them and put them up for sale later on that day.
I could not believe he behaved that way and the owner said that has never happened before in the shop. There is no doubt this man already know that most, if not all, comic shops take care of their regular customers first.
The owners and staff takes care of all their customers, no matter how needy or last-minute we are. They are always friendly and they don’t seem to mind that my never ending talkative self hangs out for at least an hour when it’s my Wednesday off from work. Also, the shop doesn’t officially open until 11 a.m. They always let their regular customers in early. The non-regulars slipped in (forcefully) today. So it came as no surprise that I, along with the other customers, were ready and willing to take him down if he would have even thought of getting physical with any of the staff.
So yeah, Villains Month became reality at Amazing Book-Store in Flint, Michigan today. The difference? Our Justice League (staff, customers) is not dead. We defeated the villain, Flint The Flipper (I know it’s not a villainous name, but that’s all I could come up with)!
Thanks a lot DC Comics. You probably didn’t know your comics would come to life huh?!