Ask Chris #4: Romance and Wrestling
Here at ComicsAlliance, we value our readership and are always open to what the masses of Internet readers have to say. That's why we've given Senior Writer Chris Sims the
punishment pleasure of stepping into the grand tradition of the Answer Man as he responds to your reader questions!
Q: What's the protocol related to asking out your Comic Book Seller? And if he says no, does that mean I have to find another local comic shop to house my pull list? --GeekGirl, via email
A: Never in a million years did I dream that this column would turn into me giving romantic advice, even if I guess I am qualified to tackle this one. I did, after all, work in a comic shop for six years, although I can assure you that this never happened, probably because I look like... well, like a guy that worked in a comic shop for six years and has a very prominent online presence. But I'll give it a shot anyway.
Depending on how well you already know your friendly neighborhood comic-seller, the best way to ask him out is probably going to start with striking up a conversation. It might be tempting to do this on a Wednesday, as you can get your new books and fade into the rush of customers if anything goes wrong, but it's also a pretty busy day for retailers, and you're going to need him to have some free time to chat, so drop by on a Monday or Tuesday, when things seem to be pretty light. Just make sure it's towards the middle of the month so he's not caught up doing the monthly Diamond order.
As to what you're going to talk about now that you have all the necessary information for
stalking your budding romance, the question is what to talk about, and that one's easy: Comics!"Hey, do you know any good trades I could pick up?" is the all-time greatest comics retailer conversation starter, if for no other reason than it's actually his job to answer it, which gets around the problem of his boss wandering out and wondering why he's making time with the ladies instead of restocking the "Blackest Night" display. It also gives you a pretty good idea of where you stand right off the bat, and even if the romance doesn't pan out, you still might get out of it with some decent recommendations for your next trip to the store.
Any retailer worth his salt will answer that question by asking you've already read and what you're into, and that'll give you a foundation that can spin out into learning a little about each other that's a little more natural than trying to make small talk over coffee.
Plus, you can tell a lot about a potential date by the comics he recommends:
If he recommends "Preacher," then he might seem like he's only interested in envelope-pushing sex and violence, but he's actually a total romantic at heart and probably gets a little misty at emotional moments like the end of "Die Hard."
If he recommends the upcoming "Flash" series, he's probably just waiting for his ex-girlfriend to come back to him, as the things he really loves happened years ago and everything else is just a temporary replacement.
If he recommends "Sandman," "Fables," or "Strangers in Paradise," he has probably noticed you're a girl.
If he recommends "Yotsuba&!," he's dad material.
If he recommends "Legion of Super-Heroes," then pull up a chair, because this is going to take a while.
If he recommends "Jack Staff," "Usagi Yojimbo," or "Hellboy," then he's what we in the industry like to call "a keeper."
If he recommends "Cerebus," run like Hell.
If he recommends Batman and then talks about how he spends huge amounts of time writing long-winded, pseudo-brainy essays on the Internet about him and oh hey have you ever read "Ten Nights of the Beast" it's awesome, then he's a hell of a catch and you can contact him at the email address below, ladies.
Either way, you'll know a little more about him than when you started. And if that's a good thing, then just bite the bullet and ask him out for lunch. Guys who work retail love lunch.
As to whether it'll be awkward if he says "no," well, the short answer is yes. But the long answer is only probably: There are plenty of reasons he might turn you down that don't relate to you. As shocking as it might seem, he might already be in a relationship, you might just not hit it off well, and around one time out of ten (or two out of three if you're shopping at Zeus comics in Dallas), you're going to be barking up the wrong tree. Those are the risks you're going to run in any dating situation, and fortune favors the bold.
You may want to have a backup plan in place so that you don't miss your next week's books, though.
Q: OK, the "Which Lantern Corps" questions are getting a little old, but the event is ending, so let's just enjoy it while it lasts. To celebrate WrestleMania, which pro wrestlers best embody the different lantern colors? Obviously the Million Dollar Man is orange, but I'll leave the rest to you. --TehDave, via email
A: Now see, this? This is a question where my expertise (read: lifetime spent looking at dudes in tights beating the crap out of each other in various forms of media) has a chance to shine.
Okay, so considering we're talking about pro wrestling, it's probably best to just dispense with the more nonsensical lovey-dovey end of the emotional spectrum right off the bat, so for Blue and Indigo..
...I'll go with ECW's Tommy Dreamer and Mikey Whipwreck, respectively. Tommy because his best moments came from angles where he hoped--but never quite managed--to pin Raven during their legendary feud, and Mikey because the poor guy just could not catch a break, lucking into an ECW championship and capturing, if not the compassion, the pity of the audience.
You're dead on about Orange...
...because there's nobody that represents avarice more than Ted DiBiase, the Million Dollar Man. Heck, the guy bought the world title and once made his own belt with gigantic dollar signs on it.
For the all-female Star Sapphires of the Violet Corps...
...who better than the Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels? Admittedly, the skin-tight pink thing they wear might seem like it might not work for a guy, but let's be real here: Dude wrestles in sequined chaps, and if you were watching "Monday Night Raw" in the late '90s, you've pretty much seen it all anyway.
For the Black Lantern Corps...
...the obvious choice is The Undertaker, who used to have mystical darkness powers granted by an Urn and who used to sit up unscathed from what should have been devastating moves, but who in the years since has mellowed out to just being a big tough guy who wears black a lot. Still, the imagery's there: Last week's WrestleMania XVI saw the "death" of Shawn Michaels' career at his hands, although really, "career-ending matches" are about as permanent as X-Men deaths.
Since 'Taker's got the Black Lanterns, tor Yellow, I'm unfortunately forced to go with...
...The Boogeyman, whose gimmick was actually a welcome throwback to the days of bizarre characters, bopping around arenas inspiring fear by eating handfuls of live worms in the ring. Never did quite understand the clock thing, though.
For the Red Lanterns...
...is there anybody angrier than Stone Cold Steve Austin? Seriously, that guy was mad for like ten years straight. So mad that he not only held Vince McMahon at "gunpoint" for an entire episode of "Raw," but dropped Stone Cold Stunners on everybody from the refs and the announcers to fifty year-old Linda McMahon. Dude is irate, and much like the Red Lanterns, everybody totally loved it.
And finally, for the Green Lanterns...
...it's Mick Foley, alias Mankind, alias Cactus Jack, alias Dude Love. You want to talk about Willpower? In the infamous 1998 Hell in a Cell match, Mick took a legitimate fall of the top of a 16-foot cage, then got back up and took another bump through the roof of the cell (the height of the ring making this one only about a 12-foot drop, albeit with a chair falling that distance and knocking out one of his teeth), and then he got back up again so that the Undertaker could throw him into thumbtacks.
He doesn't remember that last bit thanks to a concussion, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that it took a little more willpower than making a giant glowing boxing glove. Just sayin'.
And now, the quick hits:
Q: We all know Thor can escape from inside the mouth of a giant space dragon. Can he escape the crushing bite of Devil Dinosaur? --angry_ngray
A: I'd say yes, but only because he's Thor. Devil Dinosaur's bite is fierce, but it's not as harsh as his awesome dino-stomps.
Q: I'd like to begin reading comics from DC or Marvel again, but I wonder: which universe has the most interesting stories nowadays? I know you like Batman & Robin and Herc among others, but which "universe" is the more interesting right now? --Pablo, via email
A: Much as I loved the DC Universe, the only things really holding my attention there right now are "Secret Six," "Power Girl," "JSA" and (surprise!) the Batman titles. To be honest, I think Marvel as a whole has it all over DC right now, thanks to the way they've gotten guys like Jeff Parker, Matt Fraction, Jason Aaron, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Dan Slott and so on, and just let them dictate the pace of the universe with some of the best comics ever.
Q: If you were writing an episode of the Brave and the Bold cartoon who would you use? --LiterateKnits
A: Easy: Jimmy Olsen.
Q: Who is going to come out on top in the upcoming War of the Brainiacs stuff in Superman: Brainiac, Brainiac 5, or Vril Dox? --Filthy McMonkey, via email
A: The Fans.
Q: You get to have Adam Warren relaunch one DC & one Marvel title: which ones do you choose? And who does the art for each? --KDBryan
A: My pal Chad said he'd love to see Adam Warren and J. Bone take over "Power Girl"when Palmiotti, Grey and Connor leave, and that's an idea I can definitely behind. As for Marvel, I read a while back that he had a "Master of Kung Fu" pitch get rejected, which I thought was just shocking. He'd be awesome on that.
That's all we've got for this week, but if you'd like to have your question answered on ComicsAlliance, tag it on twitter with "#askchris" or send us an email with "Ask Chris" in the subject line!