Unfortunately, yes, this is a blog post about a picture. Yes, that picture. (NSFW link)
In an effort to drive business - and, of course, controversial conversation - a comics retailer whom I shall not name engaged in a little bit of slightly questionable photographic activity. Of course, many of the major comics blogs were in an uproar, and deservedly so - it was rather tasteless and, well, not very bright. In fact, you should be able to find quite a few references in When Fangirls Attack, as this discussion has involved name calling, threats of legal action, and denial of snack cakes.
And that's from the retailer in question.
Reading all this, I first have to say....I kind of liked the picture idea when Janet Jackson did it for that Rolling Stone cover.
I'm all for a little sauciness, don't get me wrong, but this is the kind of act that would find itself in the last five minutes of an episode of The Benny Hill Show (For the record - I like Benny Hill). It's a very cynical move - this person himself even claims in a response that, essentially, he only did it for the money. (Plus, his Twitter account...all I have to say is that if I ever spoke as rudely or abruptly online as this individual did, my social life would soon be non-existent)
So as a public service to those of you who were offended, and who want to switch retailers - I'll give you a few local (Chicago) and non-local recommendations. Places that actually treat comics fans with respect, and that deserve your hard earned comics dollar.
First, Ralph's Comics in Ventura, CA - professional home of Mike Sterling. Never been there, but quite frankly, Mr. Sterling gives you plenty of comic blogging enjoyment, free of charge. I think he would appreciate your patronage.
In addition, my friend Terry runs Third Coast Comics, near the corner of Granville and Broadway, just off the Red Line stop. (I may even be there this Saturday for a meetup, if I choose not to attend a Doctor Who potluck meetup.) It's a great store (I've purchased books there myself), and Terry's an all around cool guy. You'll love the ambience, but more importantly - it's very comic-friendly.
Much as the Graham Crackers chain of stores (I shop at their downtown store, on Madison between Wabash and Michigan, right near where I can catch the Orange Line home). Pretty good selection of back issues, current issues, memorabilia, and other items. Their clerks are rather knowledgeable, and pretty cool about recommending books. (Still owe one a huge debt for pointing me towards Wildstorm's North 40 series).
So there you have it - three comics retailers who are cool, knowledgeable, and who are very comics fan-friendly. Show your support by purchasing from one of these retailers. Unlike one particular retailer, they will treat you with respect, share their love of comics, and avoid shock tactics to market themselves.