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37 Things You Learn From Working In A Comic Shop

You've gotta get something out of it other than a staff discount and a hernia.

1. This guy is nowhere near an exaggeration.

The Simpsons / 20th Century Fox / Via

Not even slightly. Not even close. You know this guy. Deep down, you are this guy. He's the patron saint of your shit life.

2. You become so used to the smell of B.O. that you can no longer detect B.O. on humans.

Hannibal / NBC / Via

3. It's apparently perfectly reasonable to respond to the words "No, sorry, those are embargoed until tomorrow" with "...but can I have them?"

The Producers / Universal Pictures / Via

"I won't tell Marvel. What if the shop burned down? They'd never know." MARVEL KNOWS. DON'T BURN OUR SHOP DOWN.

4. There is a scene in Six Feet Under that haunts you still.

Six Feet Under / HBO / Via

5. If stacked wrongly, a volume of the Dynamite Vampirella Archives is a genuine health and safety hazard.

Dynamite Entertainment / Via

The last thing you see before you die is Vampirella's crotch.

6. This Venn diagram is 100% scientifically accurate.

Hayley Campbell / BuzzFeed

7. If you're a girl, at least once a week some guy will say these words to you: "So do you actually read these?"

Orange Is The New Black / Netflix / Via

8. Anyone who buys Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is a total wrong'un, yet on a Tarot week you will absolutely read it on your lunchbreak.

That @natmetcalfe (name and shame) alerted me to this week's peak Tarot, lads

Pro tip: The readers' wives section (or "Broadsword Babes") in the back is a whole new world.

9. Someone will freak their nut because you're out of that die-cut fucking variant cover and you'll be like:

The Big Lebowski / Working Title Films / Via

10. There is only one response when the boss asks you to clean the shop toilet.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / NBC / Via

11. Fighting against acronyms is pointless, you will never win. AvX. AvP. EGITEOTWFM.

Blades of Glory / DreamWorks Pictures / Via

Then on top of the legit ones, you have to memorise customer-created acronyms that don't exist anywhere but their emails. For example, "SC" stands for "Sentinel content", as in "this issue of The Uncanny X-Men has sentinels in it and I must have it for my sentinel appearance collection". Obviously.

12. It is actually possible to twist your eye if someone asks you a stupid enough question.

The Simpsons / 20th Century Fox

The Simpsons / 20th Century Fox

The veteran comic shop staff member keeps painkillers in the backroom with their back issues.

13. If a weekly regular hasn't been in to collect his comics in over two months, he has definitely died.

He Died With a Felafel In His Hand / Fandango / Via

Someone will draw the short straw and have to phone. At least once in your comic shop career, this phone call will be in the middle of a wake.

14. You will remember the names of dead men and their corresponding orders for life.

Titanic / 20th Century Fox / Via Giphy

His name will live on on the back of that reused divider.

15. This patch on a denim jacket used to be a daily sighting by the back-issue bins but became endangered (possibly extinct) in a year no one cared to note down.

16. The worst guys are the guys who buy 10 copies of some comic Bleeding Cool said would be worth a bunch on eBay.

Top Gear / BBC / Via

"Do you have the one with Obama on the cover?"


17. Some people erroneously believe your job is cool.

The Island of Dr Moreau / New Line Cinema / Via BuzzFeed

These are our valued customers and The Big Bang Theory is lying to you.

18. The apocalypse could happen but you wouldn't know – the back-issue basement is basically a nuclear bunker.

The Twilight Zone / Via

You'll finally make a dent in all those books you've stashed in the back to "buy next payday".

19. Men who pay in cash every week are doing it so that their wives don't see comics on a credit card bill.

Eastbound & Down / HBO / Via

They will refuse a bag in favour of their own brown, non-branded, easily camouflaged version. What are we, prostitutes? Come on, man.

20. Girls with asymmetric haircuts will always buy a Jamie McKelvie comic that you swear they bought last week.

Hayley Campbell / Bleeding Cool / Via

21. Drunk people in pubs genuinely phone up to ask who would win in a fight between the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man.

Angel / 20th Century Fox
Angel / 20th Century Fox
Angel / 20th Century Fox

Sometimes they will get into specifics. "No, like, Christopher Nolan Batman. Would Christopher Nolan Batman put up a better fight than Frank Miller Batman? Can you ask Frank Miller?"

22. And when those phone calls happen you just wanna reply:

RuPaul's Drag Race / Logo / Via

(Also: totally Frank Miller Batman.)

23. Guys who sell their entire collection in one go are getting married in a month.

Face/Off / Paramount Pictures / Via

The "it's ME or COMICS" conversation has been had. Lisa Marie Presley made Nicholas Cage do it. He's now on eBay watching all your auctions, trying to get them back.

Soppy life lessons from comic shops: Don't marry someone who makes you give a part of yourself away or something.

24. You become oddly proud of really embarrassing shit. / Via

"Dan Clowes said our toilet was the cleanest toilet he'd ever seen in a comic shop!"

25. A single bagged comic on an otherwise unbagged shelf is a crime scene.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation / CBS / Via

"Uh, sir, did you just dump this comic here?"




26. You have a plan for the next time a civilian walks in and says: "So what's your most expensive comic then?"

Groundhog Day / Columbia Pictures / Via

27. The real reason you need glasses is because you know that Chris Ware hides jokes in the copyright notice at the front.

Doctor Who / BBC / Via

Worth every new digit on that prescription, tbh.

28. When you see a regular customer buying comics in a different comic shop you can't help doing this:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers / United Artists / Via

29. The worst thing that can happen is this.

Hayley Campbell / BuzzFeed

30. The worst opinion you can have is whatever opinion the comic shop guy does not hold.

High Fidelity / Touchstone Pictures / Via

Factual opinions exist, e.g. Planet Hulk is shit.

31. A longbox of Marvel trades is unliftable even by a Guinness World Records strongman.

Pumping Iron / White Mountain Films / Via

Likewise Buffy and Angel omnibuses. The crystal ball predicts a hernia in your near future.

32. The hyphen is important. / Via

It's fucking Spider-Man.

33. Bank holidays mean nothing to you. They are simply the thing that fucks your life up for a week.

Dawn of the Dead / United / Via

"They're not here yet. Please check Twitter. They're not here yet. Please check Twitter."

34. Typing "superherpes" instead of "superheroes" is funny only to you.

Dinner For Schmucks / DreamWorks / Via

35. When you started this job you thought you'd have a perfect collection of comics but really you just end up with damages you "forgot" to send back.

Adventure Time / Cartoon Network / Via

You own three copies of Jimmy Corrigan without a cover to share between them.

36. There is no greater feeling than completing the filing on Wednesday morning.

Cast Away / 20th Century Fox / Via

37. And best of all: You learn useful transferable skills for your future jobs! / Via

PSYCH! You learn no transferable skills. You will be here forever with your DOS. But you do get to borrow some great DVDs off your colleagues and learn a lot about copyright legalities.

Type E-X-I-T then RETURN to exit.

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