Ever since I started at my shop, I’ve been loyal to them out of what feels like obligation: they’re on my way home from work, they’re not a big retailer, they do charity drives, and most of my friends are fiercely loyal to the place. But, it lacks a welcoming quality.
Maybe our personalities don’t gel well. Maybe it’s the atmosphere where I felt the need to prove that I know what I’m talking about, an audition to be treated as an equal. Women get teased here sometimes, like we’re greenhorns on the subject matter. Whatever the reason, it has made me into a get-in-and-get-out shopper.
Still, I’m a loyal customer, and as a semi-regular they’re courteous to me. Which is why when I saw there was a new comic shop in town, my first reaction was, "well, that’s all well and good but it’s not my store."
Fast forward a few months and I get invited to a dinner party by a good friend, the guy who actually got me started on comics. Also invited were some new friends of his--the owners of this other shop, a married couple.
And they’re delightful. We talked for hours. They’re fun, passionate about the store and about comics in general, and most importantly, comfortable to talk to. They’re also big into indie comic publishing, and given recent events at the mainstream publisher I follow, that’s an alley I want to explore.
So the night ended, we’d made new friends, and I told them I’d try to stop by the shop.
Fast forward to the next day, Val and I were in the area doing some holiday chores and decided to swing by. It’s a new store--clean, but with less inventory than my usual place. Some customers were setting up a table game right in the storefront; the husband was behind the counter along with an employee and when he saw us, he laughed and said "No way!" When I told him I hadn’t read one of the new DC titles, his favorite? Without a word, he comped us the first issue. We spent the next half hour chatting with him and the other guy, who was just as welcoming. And this was all before I even brought up setting up a subscription with his store.
Which I did. On top of everything else, their offer is the better buy.
So, yeah. Change is good.
Also: I downgraded my journal to basic. I’ve always been a little squirrely about all the ads on LJ--pretty sure they’re the culprit for one of my (many) laptop viruses before I factory-resurrected it a year ago. Should’ve thought of this sooner, but not seeing any ads flashing around now is like a breath of fresh air. Phew!