Monday, November 08, 2004

Wanted: 'Nice men,' VF to NM condition

Just when you thought you'd seen it all: A male comics reader writes to Chicago Tribune advice columnist Amy Dinkinson, arguing that women are looking for "nice men" in all the wrong places. They should be cruising the local comic book shop. Really:

I have an alternative place to go to find a guy - the local comic-book shop. I don't mean the single spinner rack at the local chain bookstore, but a real comics shop.

I know it sounds strange, but comics are not just for kids. They're great storytelling devices.

Men who go to comic-book shops have good values, are of all sizes and ethnicities, and the time they spend in the shop and reading is time they are not cheating on someone or getting sloppy drunk. Dating a geek isn't a bad thing - my girlfriend doesn't mind.

Go on a Wednesday because that's when the new issues get delivered.
- Comic Genius
Amy considers his advice, and went on a field trip to a comic book store in downtown Chicago:

You're right. There were lots of guys in there.

However, here's the thing about comic-book stores - the guys who go there really like comic books. I spoke with a female employee who said that the ratio of men to women is very favorable (to women), at about 20:1, and that they all have something in common: They really like comic books.

What I like about your idea is that it is a great reminder that it is good for all of us to leave our comfort zone. Trying new things makes people more interesting. Interesting people are more attractive.

The problem with your idea is that comic-book stores are full of people who really like comic books. Which brings us back to my bar theory: When you choose to meet people at a place that has a very specific focus, it helps if you share that focus.

Comic-book collecting is a hobby, which -- as absorbing as it is -- isn't everyone's cup of tea, though I did pick up a couple of "storytelling devices" myself.