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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.

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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.


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.


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 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.

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.

Rare comic shop Pokémon.

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?"



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.


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.


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.


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."

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.


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.