I usually stop by this comic book store near my house about once a month or so. I drove over there today at lunchtime, and as I pulled up I noticed that the clerk was standing outside the storefront smoking. I'd never seen him smoke before, but whatever. I headed inside. As I walked in, he stopped me and said, "I, uh, should tell you about our new business model. Have you heard about it yet?"
"No..." I said, a bit wearily. "Well," he began, "as of yesterday, the owner decided not to sell ongoing monthly comic books anymore, and instead to focus on online sales. So we didn't get in any new comic books yesterday and won't be getting any in the future. " And with that he drifted back outside to smoke.
I should explain for those of you who don't buy comic books that a comic book store which doesn't sell comic books (but only action figures and posters, and the like) would be like a Starbucks that sold coffee mugs and Paul McCartney CDs, but no coffee; or like an Apple store that sold only iPod skins, but no iPods.
What he was really telling me was, "Our distributor finally got fed up with us not paying our bills and so has cut us off. We'll be out of business in days." And since there's no other comic book stores anywhere near me, and since comics are no longer sold much in 7 Elevens, that may be it for comic book collecting for me, too, after almost 30 years.
It was weird driving away.