For the fourth time this year, an artist who did way too many drugs in the 60s and 70s comes in, just as I'm about to close the store.
Artist: "You guys probably don't buy original art, do you?"
Me, the first two times: "It depends."
Me the most recent two times: "No."
Artist: "I'm a famous rock and roll painter. I designed posters in the 60s and 70s."
Artist: "They sell for a lot of money online."
Me, the first time: "That's fantastic."
Me every other time: "Sure."
Artist: "It's not fantastic. I don't get any money from them. Do you know that website rockandrollpostersorsomethingdotcom?"
Artist: "They sell my work for hundreds of dollars, and I don't get a penny."
Me: "That sucks."
Artist: "I have a lawyer send a cease and desist, and....nothing. They keep ripping me off."
Me: "That's terrible."
Artist: "You guys sell comics."
Artist: "Comics are terrible. They're all violence and murder and rape."
Me, the first time: "No, there are a lot of different subjects, there are---"
Me, every other time: "All murder all the time."
Artist: "The people that read comics. They're sickos. What happened to peace, man? And love? They don't make love comics."
Me, the first time: "They do. There was a whole line of romance comics that started in the fifties, and now there are ---"
Me, every other time: "Nope. Murder murder murder, death, death, death."
Artist: "Sickos. Ditko, Kirby, Eisner. A bunch of sickos. Do you know any bands that might be looking for an artist to make posters?"
Me, every single time: "Nope. I don't listen to music. Or read."
Me, today: "Just murder murder murder, all day long."
Artist: "When's a good time to stop in and sell my posters."
Me, the first three times, "Come in on" I give him my boss's schedule. I write it down. All three previous times, I wrote it down for him.
Me, this time. "Alternating Thursdays during a month with two new moons. I think. It might be Wednesdays."
Artist: "You sickos probably don't buy original art anyway."
Me, the first time. "Not often. But you should come in, any way, and talk to my boss.
Me, the second time: "Nope."
Me, the third time: "It interferes with all the murdering."
Me, this time: "No. We spend all our money on knives and guns."
He leaves. Every time, no matter what I say.
I hadn't realized this time that there was another person in the store, until she laughed when I said "murder murder murder, death death death" in my sing-songy Fuck Off voice.
She was very nice, and bought a Junji Ito book, after asking where I kept all of the store's knives.
(Spoiler alert: unlike my previous comic book employers, we are a knife-free store. Though I do have a very adequate hammer, and three pairs of dull scissors.)