Never got above a 78% on my papers until this one. What do you think?
26 September 2009
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, and It’s All Inside
From a dirty parking lot, gray columns line the front of the store with giant red letters spelling Dr. No’s Comics and Games. Glass walls decorated with posters of numerous classic superheroes striking various poses beckoning for you to enter. As the door swings open I notice all the brilliant colors streaming from all around the store. A glass case separates figures by levels. The top holds a dragon, an armored fighter, a classic Batman and Wonder Woman posed for a fight. Many people fill the spaces in front of the shelves of books. White walls with indents hold hundreds of issues of various stories taking up most of the wall space leaving the top and bottom bare. Between the walls and the cash counter are shelves filled totally with comic collections with no space left unused. The ends of these shelves hold action figures and toys of human fighters, robot destroyers, and cute fuzzy friends for kids.
Phil, a slim, bearded employee, says, “The comic book industry is for everyone. We have all different comics for all different ages with different interests. There is always something that any given guy or woman would enjoy. You like magic? We got books like that. You like aliens? We got that. You wanna see President Obama dressed as a jungle man fighting Hilary Clinton? Hell, we got that.”
The variety of people in the shop almost matches the different kinds of comic books in the shop. On Wednesday of every week, new comics are shipped and all the comic fans want the next part of their favorite stories. A man and a woman, both heavy set with glasses lingered and admired the different comics throughout the store picking only the best before they would leave. One redheaded girl with soft eyes and nice curves knew exactly what she wanted. She quickly walked, almost a jog, over to the Wonder Woman and Supergirl issues and nabbed the newest issues before someone took the stack. She then turned her direction forward in the direction of the cash register and suddenly regained her composer once the crisis passed. A dark haired dimple-smiled child ran through the store with his mom excited for new stories of the superhero squad.
Phil has no lack of love for the comic shop plainly seen when he told me, “Working here [at Dr. No’s Comics and Games] is great. You meet scores of people and you get free issues. I get paid to stay active in my hobby. What could be better?”
Comics books themselves started in the last hundred years, but the ideas of superhumans started with civilization itself. Every culture in human history has a story about otherworldly creatures conquered by humans with power beyond that of simple mortals. The Greeks stories of Hercules, the son of the mighty Zeus and a mortal woman, show up in art and ancient writings. Native Americans told of shamans, mediums between the living and the dead, and skin walkers, men and women taking the form of animals, in many stories passed down through family. Different gods have given powerful gifts to mortals making them formidable fighters. The need for heroes imbedded itself into humanity somewhere from the early makings of man. For what reason does humanity want a hero so badly? Humanity perhaps believes no single, normal man can stand to the horrors in this world? Without heroes, who can give us hope?
“Comics are still going strong. It might be that, right now, we need heroes more then ever.”