Originally published at (the now defunct website) PinkKryptonite.com on July 28, 2008.
Does this ancient relic of times past look familiar? If not, then get off my lawn, you damn whippersnapper! Ah, I remember the old days. My mom would take me to the grocery store, and while she was out buying corn for 39 cents a can, I would promptly look for that one shining beacon of hope in the eternally boring place that was Ford’s Food Center: The sign that almost seemed to beckon “Hey kids! Comics!”
See, back in the early 90’s, my mom actually got me into comics by giving me an Archie book after I got a good grade or something. Immediately, I fell in love with Jughead and friends, and would go tackle the comic racks first chance I got. When the X-Men cartoon debuted, I quickly became a child obsessed. It was like an entire new world opened up to me. Like with most kids, I was restricted to just getting one book per grocery store run. Naturally, I would pick my favorite and spend the rest of my time just reading the rest in-store.
Eventually, the weekly grocery store runs became the weekly Wal-Mart runs (which could turn into a whole mom-and-pop versus big business post I won’t get into here). I immediately missed our local grocery store when I realized Wal-Mart didn’t have quite the selection of comics Supervalu or Ford’s Food Center did (oddly enough). And over the years, I noticed the selection slowly dwindle to just a couple of the main X-Men or Spidey books until….*poof* the comics just disappeared. Now, even my local grocers don’t even bare the beloved “Hey kids!” rack.
It makes me wonder what happened to the industry exactly. As superhero movies got more and more popular, I started seeing less and less comics in mainstream places. These days, I find myself lucky to see a Naruto book laying around in Wal-Mart. I know there’s the argument that a LOT of comics aren’t marketed toward children anymore, but it still makes me sad to see that part of my childhood disappear completely. Although, sometimes I walk into a comic book store, and see an old rusty spinning rack with that old display on it. Then I smile a little.