Must be the clouds in my eyes

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So, last night I scared my comic shop guy.

Wednesday is Tacos and Comics night, you see, because the new issues come out on Wednesdays and the taqueria is just down the block from the comic shop.

For the record, I do not read ‘graphic novels’. I read comic books. I read ones with Spider-Man and Batgirl and Superboy and Wonder Girl and other characters with ridiculous physiques, spandex, and cartoonish artwork.

I also gleefully chat with the guys who work there (who are not at all the stereotypical creepy comic book guys, but very cool) about all things comics, and sometimes about all things Joss Whedon.

Last night was a Whedon night. Whee. Myself and the store owner (yeah, we’re on a first name basis) were chattering happily about Firefly. And a fire truck goes roaring by, sirens full-blast.

Next thing I know, Store Owner was looking at me funny. “I didn’t know you were Catholic,” he says.

Whoops. Crossed myself once, and now my cover was blown. The conversation now was going to be like one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books. “Episcopalian, actually,” I said.

If the Store Owner says, “What’s an Episcopalian?” turn to page 4.
If the Store Owner says, “I used to be Catholic,” turn to page 5.
If the Store Owner says, “I thought Christians weren’t supposed to read comic books,” turn to page 6.

I’m so terribly annoyed when this happens. There I am, bopping along merrily, doing my thing, and someone realises, “Oh my Gawsh, she goes to CHURCH!” and suddenly, their perception of me is changed, and rarely for the better. They judge me based on what they think a Christian should be, and not on how I’ve acted to this point (“She won’t like to read the new Fell comic, it’s got dismembered bodies and Christians hate gratutious violence even if the moral of the story is about redemption in the face of great opposition.”)

Then, late at night, after the tacos are but a greasy memory and the comics have been pored through, I wonder: why didn’t they already know I was a Christian? It’s a major part of my identity, possibly the major part of who I am as a human. A lot of Christians of a certain mindset like to throw around this quote by St. Francis,

Preach the Gospel at all times. When neccessary, use words.

I think, just maybe, I’m not using my words enough.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Must be the clouds in my eyes

  1. Sam

    I go into my comic store every 6-8 weeks, normally picking up 3 or 4 books at a time (I’m working through the invisibles). I think the people there had got used to seeing my face. But I normally go on my day off – so no dog collar. One time recently I went in wearing ‘uniform’ as I happened to be in the area anyway, and the reaction was really noticeable – “what the #~£$!” etc. Daft really. There is so much embedded theology in the best stuff. Especially Sandman.

  2. And some not-terribly-embedded theology and spiritual themes… the first ‘graphic novel’ I ever read was Warren Ellis’ The Preacher. Which really isn’t something you’d expect a Southern Baptist preacher to hand to an Episcopalian.

  3. Ah, difference. Y’know, I got the funny looks when I told people I was Jewish, then I got the funny looks when I told people I was apatheist, and now I’m getting the funny looks when I tell people I’m Episcopalian.

    I’m convinced at bottom that the reaction is merely one of realizing that in a fundamental way, you are not Like Them. If the comic book guys are as cool as you say they are, they’ll get over it.

    (But in the meantime, mess with their heads a bit and get the bloodiest, goriest comic books you can from them. Just because.)

  4. Sam

    It’s Garth Ennis’ Preacher. Which is a weird mistake to make, because I tried to get Warren Ellis interested in reading my scandalous cartoons post (here) – and he took one look at the opening few lines and thought that I was confusing him and Garth. Ho hum.

  5. ackpbbt! I know the difference between Ennis and Ellis, really! I just have Ellis on the brain (too much Fell, or maybe too much BAD DC! BAD TEEN TITANS! GO TO YOUR ROOM!).