Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
April 30, 2017
They’re so 144!!!
Category: Miscellany … Travels

So this weekend I got to be "that guy" (or at least one of "those guys") at the East Coast Comicon in Seacaucus, NJ -- by which I mean that guy who's interested in this super obscure thing that nobody's heard of. Since this sounded like a more comic-focused con than most of the ones I attend these days, and since I'm currently all about Madballs (I mean, I'm always all about Madballs, but right now I can actually walk into stores and buy them!) I went to ECC with a mission more specific than my neverending quest for cheap toys: to acquire Madballs comics from the 1986-1988s Star series.

Of the multiple vendors I asked, only two even seemed to remotely know what I was talking about. One didn't have the books on hand, but he did get excited and asked me if I was familiar with a particular artist (I wasn't, but I also don't know the names of the Madballs artists). This artist, he said, not only drew for the books, but was actually in attendance at that very convention and had lots of relevant art with him! I spent a good amount of time looking for that artist and was disappointed when I couldn't find him, but I did find the work of an artist (with a different name) who had done Garbage Pail Kids art. Still, it was clear that that vendor at least sort of knew what Madballs were, even though he got certain details confused.

The other vendor totally knew what I was talking about. He had a store elsewhere in NJ and mentioned that he had a ton of the books there, but hadn't brought them to the con. So I felt a bit dejected about that until he asked, "You mean the series from last year, right?" And I said, "No, the old Star series." "From the late 80s? Dang! Nah, I haven't seen those in a while." So that was a bust -- but again, the dude knew what I was talking about, and he even seemed genuinely pleased by the sudden recollection of those old books. And in both of those cases the vendors were friendly and attempted to be helpful.

Half of the remaining vendors I asked had no idea whatsoever what Madballs are -- which seems odd given that they did have that 2016 miniseries and are currently being produced by two companies (and in multiple sizes) -- but they were also amiable in their ignorance. The OTHER half, though... man. They seemed to regard me not as someone who was legitimately interested in this obscure thing, but as someone who had come to the convention with the express intent to stump them -- to shit on their stock and superior knowledge of comics by requesting something they not only didn't have, but also had never heard of. They met me with one-word responses -- "NO" -- not so much spoken as hissed or growled or barked. They narrowed their eyes and turned their backs with contempt. They were vexed; they were insulted; they were decidedly displeased. They regarded me with a revulsion not unlike that with which adults looked upon Madballs in the old commercials.

Basically, if you're familiar with that story, they responded to me like I responded to that customer in the bookstore upon learning the title of the work of 14th-century science fiction he refused to identify by name.

-posted by Wes | 8:58 pm | Comments (0)
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