-Man, right after I write something about how the grossly unprofessional comics shops is mostly a relic of the past, I read something like this (be sure to check out the comments for additional stories of a similar nature). Two thoughts occur: first, I've obviously been pretty lucky to have good, professional comics shops to patronize in all the places I've lived. I was already aware of this, of course, but it is worrying to think that such ridiculous, unprofessional behavior might be more widespread than I'd thought.
Second, I wonder to what extent comics shop proprietors are aware of the kinds of things their employees are saying to customers. It's a concern for every small business, but the role of fan discourse in the comics industry is disproportionately high.* Anyway, I haven't really given this subject much thought in the recent past, mostly because I almost always interact with the shop's owner when I go in to buy comics. Anyone out there have any thoughts on comics shop employees?
*And yet it's not as important as some people think it is--remember Jeph Loeb, etc. We need a name for this, like the Loeb Paradox or Loeb Syndrome.
-Totally unrelated to comics: I'm going to try to start making picks for the bigger MMA cards, at least until the quality of these picks are too shameful to continue (my informal picks for the past couple of cards have been waaaay off). I'll start with this Saturday's UFC 81. Here are the picks:
Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Nogueira: Nogueira won't take Sylvia down, and he won't beat him on his feet either. Sylvia wins a long, boring decision.
Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar: Man, MMA bloggers really don't want Lesnar to win; in fact, some seem to be personally offended by this match. It's pretty silly to focus on Lesnar's career as a professional wrestler, since it's a vocation he only reluctantly chose. I think he's too strong, too fast, and too big for Mir. If Lesnar can survive the first round, he'll maul Mir a couple of minutes into the second.
Jeremy Horn vs. Nate Marquardt: I would have preferred to see Marquardt fight his originally scheduled opponent, Thalles Leites. Horn is an okay replacement, but it kind of guarantees the fight going to decision (with Marquardt picking up the win). Should be more interesting and will definitely be shorter than Sylvia-Nogueira, at least.
Rob Yundt vs. Ricardo Almeida: Another fight affected by injury; Almeida was originally scheduled to fight Alan Belcher. I think Almeida wins this one easily (probably by submission), but that's based on an unfamiliarity with Yundt. You never know with unheralded, undefeated fighters--Yundt might be the next Georges St. Pierre. Still, I'm guessing that Almeida's history of fighting world class opponents trumps Yundt's flawless record fighting exclusively in Alaska.
Gleison Tibeau vs. Tyson Griffin: Griffin may be UFC's most entertaining fighter, and he's racked up quite a few quality wins in his career. I don't think Tibeau will offer anything he can't handle; Griffin wins by (T)KO.
Chris Lytle vs. Kyle Bradley: Ugh, I didn't even know this fight was on the card. Bradley looks to be a little too small to win this. Good to see this relegated to the untelevised portion of the show.
Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin: I'm going to go with Martin, who I still think has the potential to be a force at middleweight if he'd work on his technique a little more, by (T)KO.
David Heath vs. Tim Boetsch: Another last minute replacement (Heath was scheduled to fight Thomas Drwal). I'm going pick Boetsch under the assumption that, despite being a last minute replacement, he's been training and is in shape.
Keita Nakamura vs. Rob Emerson: I disliked Emerson when he was on The Ultimate Fighter. I like him even less now that I know of his past as a rich teenager who liked to beat up strangers with his friends. I'm not sure how he's remained under a UFC contract for this long, frankly. I presume this fight is at 155; maybe Nakamura will fare better at the lower weight class. He's definitely more talented than Emerson, and should win by submission.