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    The Comics Ethicist

    The Comics Ethicist
    Your moral dilemmas solved

    Is it wrong to approach my favorite artist in the bathroom at a con?
    The answer is “yes, it’s very wrong to approach your favorite artist or anyone else in the bathroom at a con.” Pure and simple. When people go to the bathroom, they expect a modicum of privacy to take care of their business and surprising them while they’re in the act can lead to messy results. A quick “hello” if you’re both washing hands is acceptable, but beyond that, wait until you see them on the floor.

    This means that you shouldn’t wait right outside of the bathroom to ambush them, either. Artists at conventions generally find themselves getting very little alone time and they should be given space when they’re not in a position to directly engage the fans through a signing line or the like.

    How many pages of a new issue can I read before I have to buy it?
    Standing by the new comics rack and covering valuable retail space with your body hurts the business. Why do you want to hurt the business? 4 to 6 pages at very most, then move along. If you’re very curious and unsure, however, you may wish to ask your shop’s staff to set the book aside so you can do more investigation of a title online. Good publishers provide copious previews and using a search engine such as Technorati or Google Blog Search after a book has come out can give you reviews and opinions on the comic.

    If you decide to not purchase a book, you should inform your retailer right away so they can place it back on the shelf.

    I was recently in a comics shop, looking through back issues. One of them had been obviously creased when the last person had put it back in the bins. My question: is it wrong for me to put back an issue after I creased it?
    You should, at the very least, point out your error and offer to pay for it. In The Comics Ethicist’s experience, most comic shop owners are willing to write off the loss of a single back issue of Iron Man if the person is honest about their mistake. Other people’s errors, however, are not your responsibility. You may wish to mention seeing damaged books to the staff when you are being checked out, however.

    —The Comics Ethicist

    Posted by Tim Leong on November 7th, 2006 filed in Story Archive |

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