Buying comic books for you

A first look upon entering Dr. Cain's Comics and Games in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Owner Reid Cain says he prides himself on keeping a clean, welcoming environment.

A first look upon entering Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games in San Luis Obispo, Calif. while Reid Cain walks to the front of the shop. Photos by Michelle Zaludek.

Before we can get into the finer, fancier details of enjoying your comics and caffeine, we should go a little broad: buying traditional comic books.

Trust me, I get it. Walking into a comic book store can be a little daunting — read: very daunting. Some places are apt to make you feel a little like you’ve walked into a place where you’re just not welcome.

Not to fear! Some comic book stores have realized the err in their ways and are working at, as owner of Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games in San Luis Obispo Calif., Reid Cain, said “Getting it away from the boy’s club a little bit. [Some shops] act like a secret club, and I don’t want my shop to be like that.”

Since the Bronze Age, where the gritty superhero story reigned supreme, a large portion of the male audience created a culture of exclusivity that surrounded the medium.

“As [comics] grew and matured, they started to attract a wider audience,” said co-creator of Miscreant Studios and comic reader, Hank Garcia.

Even though men — and pretty much everyone — in tights are great, you don’t have to feel confined to them by any means on your quest for the one comic to rule them all anymore.

Cain emphasized that keeping a clean, well-lit shop that people felt comfortable exploring was a top priority for him.

Cain emphasized that keeping a clean, well-lit shop that people felt comfortable exploring was a top priority for him.

“There’s a kind of comic book for any genre you’re interested in,” Cain said, “I try to match the book to the person.”

“It more or less depends on the individual,” Garcia said on choosing a comic book, “… Comics that interest me are dark ones … I even loved the original space biker, Lobo, [with an] ego so inflated that it can be used as a flotation device in case of [an] emergency.”

“The mixing of words and art is really powerful,” said Cain who’s own first comic book was issue 1, volume 1 of Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior, which he found at a 7-11 in his home town in Colorado. “… The power of the book is your imagination, the power of the comic book is someone else’s interpretation [of a storyline].”

“Ultimately, let your yes’s be yes’s and your no’s be no’s,” said comic reader Gabriel Gomez.

Additionally, whether you want to read an indie series or a big-name title, don’t worry about starting at the very beginning. Anything you’re unsure about can be Googled. Besides, some issues are great as standalones anyway. Do you have to know the characters in volume 2 issue 11 of Justice League of America to get what’s happening and be invested? Definitely not.

Now that you’re prepped for your shopping trip, be ready for our first pairing coming up this weekend.

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