When I was 16, I worked in a comic book shop on Long Island. It was fabulous. I got hired for two reasons – my dad was the store’s best customer, and I knew more about comics than the manager. (The manager was the owner’s wife. She hated comics and pretty much everything about the store.)
For almost three years, I did a lot for the store, and not just with the comics. This was 2000 – 2002, so I ran the Showdown tournaments, and the Magic: TG tournaments. I provided the space (and played with) the D&D group before we opened on Sundays. I worked Thursday – Sunday, and it was pretty much the best high school job ever. My store didn’t just have Wednesday people – we had a pretty dedicated group that I would see every Thursday afternoon who knew that they could count on me to tell them what came out. Because the nicest thing about this job was that I got to read everything.
Some of my friends wonder exactly how I got into the habit of reading pretty much everything that DC and Marvel put out. That started with my dad. (His pull list read “All DC except Wonder Woman” and “All Marvel except for the X-Titles”.) So for years (okay, starting when I was 11 or 12) I would just read everything when he was done with it. The comic book store just let me expand that a little bit. Also, keeping up to date with everything was expected of me – my boss really didn’t read anything, so I was the one who had to know what the upcoming events were, and to provide recs to customers and such. And once you get into the habit of having to know everything, it is really hard to stop.
The job eventually ended(I moved away for college, and eventually the store closed down) but working in that store cemented my love of comics, and I will never find a LCBS that I love as much.
But on the bright side, at least I don’t have to watch the owner’s kids for free anymore while I’m working.