Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Something's Holding Us Back: The beginning

Jenna Walsh slumped over a dented, rusty office desk in an office piled high with comics wrapped in shiny plastic and invoices dating as far back as 1988. She was the lone female employee at Merlyn's, the only comic book store in a three county radius. She scanned an online order form on an IBM reject from the 90s; she was trying to decide how many issues of the latest Dark Knight comic would fit in the store's budget. For the past two hours, she had been visiting sites of independent comic publishers, trying to find the next top seller for the store. She was still trying to live down ordering 100 copies of The Devil’s Panties. She found out the hard way adolescent boys in Mabel, Florida wanted to feast their eyes on heroes battling villains and big-breasted babes, not a geeky female comic book artist dealing with the realities of bills, biker boots, and cottage cheese thighs. So far, only five copies of Jennie Breeden’s comic had sold. This was a disappointment for Jenna, who was one of thousands of readers who regularly browsed Breeden's site. Chuck, Jenna’s boss, saw the comic as wasted space in the store.

Jenna’s cell phone buzzed in her pocket; she jumped at the sensation. Once, twice. At the third vibration, she pulled it out and flipped it open. She did not recognize the number, so she hesitated before answering. Phone calls were rare.

“I can’t hate you. I’m sorry. I can’t do it any more.”

The voice on the other end of the line made Jenna think back to phone calls made late at night, years before. Conversations that ended in screaming matches, where tears would stream down her face and burn her skin with salt. The slight whispers of the small white desk fan in front of her and the whir of her computer disappeared until the voice on the phone was the only sound she heard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One lone girl walked in the store as the heroine worked. "do you have any copies of trigun ?" Yes, they are over there in the rack. She walked over to the rack where a pony-tailed man stood reading the latest issue of hellsing. He nodded to her and she returned the gesture. She found the new trigun comic book and video, trigun maxius and took it to the cashier. The heroine looked up wearily, Could i interest you in a copy of "the devil's panties" ? "no, I am not into porn." "It is not porn, it is a on-line web comic about women." The heroine replied. She hated having to explain this to everyone who came into the store. Oh well, different people different worlds. Will that be all ? "yes, for the most part...I wouldn't mind buying some of these handmade idems but i would have to wait till my paycheck came in and then i have car repairs to pay for." Well, if you want to come back, they will be waiting for you. Thank you. clutching her bag, she wandered around the store, looking at the gundam wing stuff before going home.