200 Words with Paul Dini #35 – Buyin’ Comics

October 16, 2008

When I was a kid, I had no idea when new comics went on sale. There were no comic book stores near my home, and all I knew was if I went to the drugstore toward the end of each month, I could generally count on finding a new issue of Spider-Man or Uncle Scrooge.

It became even more problematic when I went to buy undergrounds. While most guys my age (sixteen or thereabouts) were buying X-Men or Savage Sword of Conan, I was devouring Freak Brothers, Zippy, or anything by Robert Crumb. In my naiveté, I assumed underground artists kept roughly the same schedule as the guys churning out DCs and Marvels. Therefore, when I went to my local headshop and asked for “This month’s Mr. Natural, please,” it did not go particularly well.

“Look,” Snarky McHemphead sneered from his perch by the register, “Geniuses like Crumb do not hack it monthly like a Marvel drone. We’re lucky if we get a new Crumb comic once a year. And anyway, that Natch book you bought last month originally came out six years ago.” I hid my embarrassment behind a hastily purchased copy of Cheech Wizard and fled the premises.


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.



  1. Yeah, before moving to Oshkosh, were the shop owner is really cool, I was always scared to ask the guy working the counter anything.

  2. Snarky McHemphead….classic!