I’m really starting to dread when people ask me, “I’m looking for something new to read, do you have any suggestions?”
Whenever I’m at my local shop I almost always ask people if they need help over at the Trades. Mostly because it’s a shop I’ve been at so long I know were a lot of stuff is located. Usually what seems to happen is I get asked the above question. A question that every reader who has been reading for a while dreams of getting. It’s an opportunity to turn someone to a fantastic book they otherwise would have never touched. To shape the future of comic reading!
But I’ve noticed a growing trend with this question. Parameters, restrictions, requirements.
The last time I heard this question at the shop it came with restrictions that not only tied both of my arms behind my back, but changed halfway through. It started with, “I really like Deadpool and I’m looking for other things with that kind of humor.” When I started to think of something it mutated before I had a chance to respond to, “I really want to find something that’s not a stereotypical superhero like Batman, Spider-Man, or Superman.”
When hearing that I got excited again. My hands became untied and I could work. Being someone who doesn’t read Deadpool and honestly can’t think of too many titles to recommend based off what he said, it was a relief to hear something different. Thinking not Superhero, I went with a pretty safe recommendation in my mind, 100 Bullets. I started to explain a little bit of the plot and was responded with.
“I really want to stick with Superheroes.”
CRAP! Really dude?
I then went to recommend Irredeemable and Invincible. Two books that aren’t Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man like he said earlier. After explaining both a little bit the question changed to the complete opposite of what he stated earlier.
“Hmm maybe it would be better if it was a classic superhero story. Maybe something with Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man.”
Let me remind everyone, I’m not getting paid for this, but I really want to see a sell happen for one of my favorite stores. Also for whatever reason I really wanted to see this guy buy something I recommend. It’s become a challenge at this point. I’m David fighting some sort of schizophrenic Goliath who doesn’t even know why he’s fighting me let alone what this analogy relates to.
At this point I started rattling off all sorts of stuff. Spider-Man Brand New Day, Batman Hush, Red Son Superman, Watchmen (which he hadn’t read), etc.
Sadly this probably resulted in overloading his brain. I was thanked for my help and he said he would do more research. The nice part is I could tell he was sincere. Hell he even shook my hand for taking time to come over and help him.
Here’s what really annoys me about this, I seem to be at my shop when these people show up. The other part is I’ll even say, “You know there are TONs of comics out there I would easily recommend that don’t fit into that category, comics that are some of the best things I’ve ever read.” I don’t understand why people restrict themselves so much when it comes to comic reading. I know we want to stick to something we feel safe and familiar with, but come on! Think outside the box a little.
This is why I’m glad to be a contributor for Paperkeg. Regardless of what your parameters are for the age old question, I will shove whatever recommendation I can down your eye holes when you stop by this site. Don’t like Black and White comics, too fucking bad I’m going to recommend Box Office Poison or Local. Don’t want to read something without superheroes, too bad I’m recommending Hack/Slash and if you don’t try it after what I have to tell you about any of them, you’re clearly crazy in my book.
From now on if I hear, “What’s good, do you have any recommendations?” I’m going to respond with, “Yes, but I’m recommending things regardless of what you say from this point forward.” And when you come to the Paperkeg for recommendations rest assured regardless of your taste you should pay attention. What someone is recommending is something you should be reading.
Unless it’s from Slim, I hear he likes lady comics.