It's official, I like DC Comics enough now that I'm going to have to place a standing order in a comic shop to make sure I get my comics every week before they sell out. Well, it's that or move to London (I was down there today) and just get my comics from Forbidden Planet, whose London branch routinely seems to order several hundred more copies of every American comic than they can possibly hope to sell.
Assuming I stay in this locality, that gives me three choices of comic shops to make my regular suppliers, and the decision is fraught with social difficulty - if I choose one shop to get all my comics from, the other two will be offended! I won't be able to show my face in there again! So let's examine the three choices:
Chimera is in Beeston, just down the road from me, which is a plus. When it gets wintery, going into Nottingham is more of a hassle. On the other hand, it's not really a comic shop so much as a role-playing games shop with a few comics on a shelf in the corner. The place is always jam-packed with people rolling dice and moving figurines around tables.
Page 45 in Nottingham is a shop I've been going to for many, many years, except for that five-year period when I was living in Derby and there was still a comic shop there. But before that, I was on semi-first-name terms with the guy who runs the place (he knew my name, I don't remember whether I ever knew his and we're long past the point where I can comfortably ask...) and I still feel guilty about talking to him when I've bought my comics at Forbidden Planet, seeing as they're the big evil corporation and he's the small local family business kind of place. Well, I don't think he's got a family, but that's not the point.
Forbidden Planet is the big evil corporation, but on the other hand they do have a policy of selling comics slightly cheaper than other local comic shops can afford to, so I could save some money there. And they do strike me as more likely than the other local shops to be able to actually get the comics I ask them to get without making a mess of it somehow. And the people who work there are actually really nice and not at all like tools of corporate sci-fi-and-comic-retailing.
I think it might have to be Page 45. They look so darn reproachful if they see someone come in with a Forbidden Planet bag...