Friday, August 20, 2010

Small Triumphs

I'm back from Washington.

I have a new job. Permanent. Union. The exact opposite of the Temp Guild, which didn't actually exist, but was just a fantasy I created to give myself pretend-ninja powers.

I found a copy of an out-of-print trade paperback I've been searching for since Valentine's Day, 2010. I find it a little creepy I can so easily recall the date I started looking for it, but that's overshadowed by my deep happiness and immense pride over buying it at retail price rather than jacked-up eBay prices.

I know I should be talking about my new job, since that has a much larger impact on my life than this comic book, but f**k it, I'm making bra soup in my bathtub and I've got some time, so you're going to read about comics. Again.

My local comic book store, Rocketship on Smith Street, finished the five-year lease on its property and decided to shut down rather than renew. It broke my heart on many levels, firstly because it means my nearest comic book store is now St. Marks Comics in their Brooklyn Heights location, and I don't like their attitude; and secondly, because I'd only found them a couple of months ago and was so looking forward to building my relationship with my friendly neighborhood nerds. I actually cried a little.

But, the good news is that Rocketship liquidated their stock, so I picked up a buttload of comics at half-price and a framed poster of The Authority (cover of issue 16, drawn by Frank Quitely, if anyone's keeping track of this nonsense). It's on my wall now, above the Gauguin print and to the right of Warhol's Brooklyn Bridge. Just because I have superheroes on my wall who are "going to save the world, no matter who they have to kill," doesn't mean I'm not a classy, sophisticated lady.

I've been trying to collect all of the trade paperbacks of The Authority, but for whatever reason, Volume 4 has been out of print for years. None of the other 10 volumes, just number 4. Sure, I could buy it on eBay for about $30, but where's the sport in that?

I checked all of the comic book stores that I knew of in New York, and even called Jelly's, my old comic book shop in Hawaii, to see if they had it in stock, but no luck.

Wow, this story is starting to sound a little pathetic even to me. I called a store halfway around the world to find a comic book. I'd tell myself to get a life, except I already go to jazz concerts and march in parades and appear in TV shows and hand out condoms in the West Village, so actually, I'm pretty damn terrific and I regret nothing.

Anyway, I went to Spokane, a place so painfully unhip it's some kind of wonderful in its own right. And wouldn't you know it, The Authority Volume 4: Transfer of Power, was waiting for me in the Comic Book Shop in Spokane, resting on the shelf between Volume 3: Earth Inferno and Volume 5: Harsh Realities, like G-d and the Flying Spaghetti Monster intended.

"F**k me sideways!" I exclaimed aloud when I saw it, prompting deep embarrassment and many shushes on the part of the BF.

I waited until the cashier had swiped my credit card, but then couldn't contain myself any longer.

"This one is out of print," I bragged.

She raised her eyebrows. "You're lucky the owner didn't know. Normally he pulls those from the shelves and sells them on eBay."

I'll bet he does.

So even though I had to spend a buttload of money and travel across the country in order to save a few bucks on a comic book, I consider the whole episode a rousing success.



  1. I'm just glad we had the book you needed. Your timing was spooky though. I have a young man reading that series, and he came in for Vol 04 later that same day.
    The Comic Book Shop, Spokane WA