2007-12-18: Comics And Cookies


Adam_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif


Adam stops into the Secret Lair to pick up a gift for a friend. Conversation about the history of comic book pricing and cookies are involved.

Date It Happened:

December 18, 2007

Comics and Cookies

The Secret Lair

You can tell the holidays are in the air. The Lair is still decked out in festive pine garland with lights in it. Hanging from it are ornaments of characters whose powers involve the weather, ice, or snow. Kory is herself doing her part to keep warm thoughts going in the cold winter. She's dressed tonight as a gender-bendered Heat Miser. Hair all teased up and sprayed in the colors of flame. A skintight red-orange minidress with carwash hem, bright yellow thigh-highs, and red pumps. She's currently sitting behind the counter, reading Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas, as right this second, the store is quiet.

Whatever form of announcement the shop uses for customers would surely go off, as the blonde haired fellow walks through the door. Glancing around, Adam nods to the woman behind the counter. "Hello." he says, before moving towards one of the boxes of X-Men comics. The large trenchcoat he's wearing is open, and flows as he moves easily allowing anyone to see he's not concealing anything.

Kory quirks a brow, and smiles warmly at the new customer. "Good evening, and welcome." She doesn't immediately leap up; the clientele here like to find their own way. She does, however, call to him, "If there's anything you need, please don't hesitate to sing out." There's also a peppermint-mocha coffee box by the register, and some frosted sugar cookies in the shape of bells.

Adam looks up for a moment at the callout. Across his face there is a warm smile, and he nods in Kory's direction. "Actually, I could use a tad bit of help. If you don't mind, of course." he says, having already noted the tasty treats. Must snag some on the way out.

"Why certainly." Kory hops down off her stool, taking a moment to adjust the dress for propriety's sake, before she comes around the counter and makes her way between the aisles to Adam. "What can I help you with?"

"Well, I was kinda looking for this…." Adam starts, reaching into one of the pockets on his trenchcoat. Withdrawn is a piece of paper. Photocopy, actually. Of a fairly rare Ultimate X-Men cover. "I overheared a friend of mine mentioning that he wanted it and this was the best picture I could get a copy of."

Kory looks at the photocopy. "Oh, that one. I believe we still have a copy in stock." She pauses, considering for a second. She glances between the sort-by-powers section, the regular longboxes, and the counter.

After that brief pause, she heads for the longboxes, unerringly. She spends only a few seconds leafing through the contents of a box before she comes up with the issue in question, bagged and backboarded.

Adam watches the woman with interest. Then again, the whole shop is interesting. Not that he doesn't know about comics, but it's hardly ever that he would be seen in one. AS she returns, he glances between the photocopy and the bagged comic. "Madam, I am in your debt." he says, adding in a slight bow for effect. "All my friend said was that he would never be able to get the issue. That it was out of his price range. He'll be overjoyed that I found one in what looks like pristine condition too."

Kory inspects the issue for a long moment, without taking it out of its sleeve. "Yes, it looks like we lucked out," she declares. "Mint condition." She extends it across her forearm, like a maitre'd offering a fine vintage wine. The ironic gesture is done with gentle but respectful amusement. "Delighted to be of service."

Gingerly accepting the issue, Adam smiles. The presentation is nice. The amusement is an added bonus. 'She's nice.' he thinks to himself, making a mental note of the place. He may have to come back here again. "Even better, as I think it's the last one he needs for his collection." he replies, pushing the crumpled photocopy back in his pocket. "So…what's my damage?"

"I'd have to check it in the Buyer's Guide," Kory tells Adam honestly. "Give me a moment and I'll give you your numbers." She returns behind the counter, and pops open a laptop. There's a moment or two of checking the prices before she comes up with the price. Her eyes come up off the screen, and then her whole face lifts to regard Adam as she addresses him. "You're in luck. Since it's at least another two years before another X-Men movie, the prices are down again. That one's only $45."

Adam raises a brow. Interesting. "Intriguing. I always thought that the longer the duration between movies, the higher the value of other collectables." he says, looking between the book and Kory. "Or, at least that's the way it used to be when they first started doing movies from comics or novels." Oh snap! Maybe she won't catch that and put two and two together. Then again, he could just be a historian.

"Originally, yes," Kory confirms, without batting so much as an eyelash. She's the manager of a comic book store. Geeks of all stripes come in here. Adam knowing comic pricing history is nothing particularly odd. "But there was this whole stupid speculation craze in the 80s and 90s, and the values went way up, then came way down, and they're only just now starting to equalize again. Their value tends to go by the demand for the issues, and since Wolverine isn't on the cover, and Cyclops is, the demand isn't terribly high right now. Wolverine does appear in the story, though, so in 2010, I expect it'll probably be closer to $75 or $80."

"Ah, that explains it." Adam nods, setting the comic down on the counter. The cookies are nearby and he helps himself to one. "I was out of the trade for most of the 80's and 90's. I can see I missed quite a bit." He takes a bit of one of the sugar cookies and his face molds into a smile. "These are delicious. My compliments to the chef."

"You didn't miss much," Kory assures her customer. "It was a nightmare. People buying multiple issues, one to read, and two to bag and sell, which never panned out." She rolls her eyes skyward in remembrance, then beams at him. "I'm so glad you like them," she tells him. "My mother's recipe. Lemon zest and orange zest is the key."

Adam ahs. That would be the two flavors he couldn't identify. "Well send my compliments to her on teaching her daughter the recipe so well." he says, smiling and reaching for his wallet. "I guess there's no need for me to try and review that time then." The plastic is forgone in place of straight up cash. A fifty, to be exact.

"Well, you know the old saying about the way to a person's heart. Plus, it's the holidays. No harm in making the place a little homey. I like to think of the Lair as a safe haven from all the holiday shopping craziness. But I'll pass along the compliment; thank you." She accepts the bill and rings up his transaction with efficient speed. "Here's your change." Tax added all of another dollar to the price; back issues are always taxed. Four crisp singles are offered him.

"And homey it does seem." Adam nods, accepting the change and slipping the bills back in his wallet. "The music is a nice touch too." he adds, finishing up the cookie in one bit. "Sadly, though. This is only the first stop on my shopping trip for the day." And he's either buying for immediate family, or he's lying. Keen eyes would notice no ring.

Or he has an extensive group of friends, as Kory does. "I'm glad you like it," she tells him, sincerely. "And if it turns out you need anything else the Lair might provide you, there's a card in your bag. Call ahead, and I'll do my best to have it ready when you return."

Adam glances down into the bag and looks back up smiling. "I appreciate that." he says, nodding. "I'm sure there's a chance I may be back for more. Until then…." Again, he bows slightly. "Happy holidays!" With that, he starts to move for the door, glancing back briefly before stepping out into the cold air of the city.

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