Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blast Off

"Wake me up when September ends," lamented Billy Joe Armstrong. And now as September winds down, I find myself awakening from my dream of working at a comic book store. This is my last week at FP, and when I read this Weekly Planet, I'll be on the other side of the counter. In two weeks, I'll be buying comics at a shop on the other side of the continent. However, I am not sad nor do I regret anything while working here. Instead, Forbidden Planet represents what's great about comics... the people.

Mystery revealed! There are actually TWO of them.

Comic books themselves hold only the value we ascribe to them. They are merely pieces of paper covered with scribbles and bound by two staples. They wrinkle and bend easily and they serve as terrible wrapping paper. What is of value are the characters in the stories and the writers/artists' efforts to create a world where we can connect ourselves when we feel disconnected. When we need a good laugh, we read a comic; when we are sad and think no one else feels our pain, we read a comic; when we are angry and want to smash everything around us, we read a comic. Comics make us feel not so alone and awkward.

Our resident Multiple Men: Andrew (left) and Ken (right)

And here at Forbidden Planet, that's what we try to facilitate. This "geek" shop is for everybody. No matter who you are, you'll find something that either inspires you, captivates your imagination, or lets you in on someone else's world. Here, if you're a Trekkie, you're cool. If you like Doctor Who, you're common. And if you love the Power Rangers, well, we can find someone who knows more about it than you! But ultimately, the message is clear: You're not alone in your awkwardness. Revel in it, embrace it, and cherish it.

Saying "Goodbye" - Forbidden Planet-style

As I help my last customer, I will always remember the wonderful people I have met here, both customers and employees. People, who made me feel welcomed on my first day at the job; people, who have made me smile when I felt like my entire world was crashing down; people who I had long and engaging conversations with about comics; people who accepted me as I am. So, thank you all.

Oh, I have just one thing left to say: Treat the person at bag-check with some respect. He/she is working really hard and taking a lot of guff from people all day. A simple "Thank you" and a smile goes a long way.




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