Friday 27 February 2009
There's a great photo-gallery up now on Wired that explores the unsettling lives of comic store clerks. I say unsettling because the piece features Q&As with the mostly-male clerks and photos that peer into their private nerd lairs. It ends up provoking the same reaction i get when i look at Diane Arbus photos; growing curiousity that eventually gets wrapped up in creeping uneasiness. For the most part I feel really bad for these guys, completely immersed as they are in a man-child state of Alex Ross comics and over-priced action figures.
But then, part way through, we get this great little interview with Olive Panter, the 18-year-old daughter of alt-comix Buddha Gary Panter.
Not only is it refreshing to see someone from a comic shop that doesn't worship at the temple of Marvel/DC, but she has some pretty funny things to say about; Alt-comics:
"I love Johnny Ryan and I always have. But it's getting pretty repetitive these days. Less anal rape."
about working in a comic shop:
"I started when I was 14 and quit and returned and quit and returned and quit and returned. My dad got me into it. He works at the School of Visual Arts and it's nearby and Mark, the owner, really liked his comics. I started on Sundays bagging books and now I come and don't do anything."
and, about her clientele:
"On a Wednesday, a regular customer came and bought a ton of comics as per usual. Then the next day he came in he was completely scab-covered and bruised on his face. We were like, "Dude, what happened to you? Are you okay?" Turns out he started falling down on a escalator while holding his comics and rather than protecting his face he protected his comics. But they still got a little bent, so the next day he came back and re-bought them."
So, good for her. And for Gary. He seems to have raised a killer kid. (Now, is it too much to ask that she starts making comics?)