Lucky bastard.

*So I've had no luck finding a copy of "Alan Moore's A Hypothetical Lizard" anywhere. You'd think that going to my usual New Comics Day shop and seeing that stuff I want isn't there would convince me to, you know, maintain a subscription box or start pre-ordering or something, but no. I'm just an obsessive. Not lazy, obsssive. If I was lazy I'd just say "Well, no Moore for me," and drive on home satisfied with my hilarious pun to place an order online or maybe go to bed. Instead, I start going on trips for the rest of the week, scouring all of the nearby shops for that elusive book.

And it's doing things like that that make me realize that I'm strangely lucky in regards to volume of comics shops. Within forty minutes of where I live, in one direction or another, there's six different shops (although two of them are branches of one entity). Three within indoor malls, two attached to strip malls, and one standing alone, like Gaspar Noe. This is where I live now. Where I used to live, there were five within forty minutes, and a sixth a bit beyond an hour's drive. Curiously, every one of these stores stood alone. I can recall comics stands in department stores and a kiosk in a mall too, but those are long gone now.

Still, that's a shitload of comics stores, especially considering that they've been decreasing in number nationwide. A lot of them around where I currently live are pretty small, but the one I most often frequent usually picks up a lot on non-superhero stuff too, which is apparently even rarer. Some of them are your more typical Marvel/DC strongholds, but even those almost always have some sort of interesting backstock, unless they're brand new. And it's this backstock (and their hopefully voluminous back issue and bargain bins) that keeps me looking around. Who know what wonderful crap the owner/prior owner got into back in the day? It was at one of these shops where I recently found a really awesome little treasure: "Empire", a 1978 quasi graphic novel written by Samuel R. Delany and illustrated by Mr. Howard V. Chaykin, fresh off of "Star Wars" for Marvel and deep into his heroic pulp sci-fi phase. Got a dusty copy for $4. Review coming soon (maybe tomorrow, maybe not).

But it's strange that I'm even enabled this way. That I get to drive around on a sunny day with nothing to do and browse around (you know, hanging around in the dark while it's beautiful out). Maybe if my options were more circumscribed I'd become more creative, more driven with my buying habits. Right now, I've burnt through 4 out of 6 locations here, and I'm almost certain that one of the stores back up north will have it, though I won't be heading back there for a month or so. It can wait. There's always the internet after that.

But the internet is usually at the end of the list for me. I've gotten to like the driving around and the digging through bins. Flipping with my fingertips, not typing. It's like comics has followed me around, as I move. Funny, that.

Just random thoughts here.