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Random Quickies: Our Valued Customers

The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons was a spot-on parody of the tubby, condescending comic shop owner who has no respect for customers. But what’s it like to see things through his eyes? Mr. Tim paints a dire but comical look at his customers in
Our Valued Customers. He holds up a twisted mirror to modern day geek culture with real things that he’s heard at his comic shop: the posers who put on an air of false toughness, the virgins who have obviously never talked to a woman, and the ones who think that watching Big Bang Theory over Community is a sign of geek pride. Man it’s enough to make you wish that geekdom wasn’t so mainstream these days … ESPECIALLY when you get to the one about Rob Liefeld, then you read the comments and realize that the fans of Our Valued Customers are the exact same ones that the comic mocks.

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Posted on June 24, 2011, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I love Our Valued Customers. Although it is slightly saddening that this guy has so much material to work with… There’s a new comic every day. That’s a lot of boneheaded customers. D:

  2. “ESPECIALLY when you get to the one about Rob Liefeld, then you read the comments and realize that the fans of Our Valued Customers are the exact same ones that the comic mocks.”

    Are you suggesting that Liefeld’s art ISN’T unendingly awful?

    • I’ve defended Mr. Liefeld on this site before, even while I was mocking some of his projects. The thing is that when I was collecting comics in the 90’s, Liefeld was by no means the worst comic book artist ever. That honor goes to Bob Blevins, the artist for Sleepwalker. See, I loved Sleepwalker as a concept, and I thought he had a great character design. But Blevins’ art was so relentlessly awful that I was embarrassed for even purchasing Sleepwalker #1. Like hide it under your bed embarrassed. The other thing: Liefeld wasn’t even the worst X-artist of the 90’s. Not when Larry Stroman (who, like Liefeld, also jumped ship to Image with the also ugly The Tribe) was making X-Factor absolutely unreadable. And Liefeld never made me want to drop a story like Greg Land did, who has been killing my enjoyment of the “Nation X” storyline in Uncanny X-Men.

      Look: Liefeld was never on any major labels. Sure, he was on New Mutants… but that title was not on anyone’s radar until Liefeld took over on pencils and turned it into X-Force. His other projects: Hawk & Dove, Youngblood, Heroes Reborn. Only the last had any characters that anyone cared about before Liefeld came on … and even then, in the long run Heroes Reborn was pretty inconsequential. So if he’s not long term ruining the legacy of any superheroes (like Greg Land currently is on Uncanny X-Men, an actual flagship X-Men title), then why bag on him? Because fans will pick up his books? Shouldn’t the hate and ire be directed at ignorant comic book fans, then?

      And then there’s the reason that I think the Our Valued Customers guy and I share: that the Liefeld thing is basically a tired, played out meme. As in, people will jump in on it because it’s cheap, because they know they have an audience, and because all the jokes were pre-made by other people, thus making it not clever at all. This includes that customer that OVC is parodying. This includes those commenters who are typing, “What’s wrong with wanting to kick Liefeld’s ass?” This includes anyone who posts that progressiveboink link anywhere. And this especially includes those two guys who, in 2009, approached Rob Liefeld at a comic book convention, weakly dissed him at his booth, videotaped it, and posted the video online so everyone could laugh at Mr. Liefeld.

      Remember. This was 2009. It was played out two years ago already.

  3. I wonder how much hate would be directed at someone who did this with webcomics? Just trawl some LiveJournals or forums. I bet the gamer comics fanbase alone could provide decades of material.

  4. Love it! Especially those slack jawed faces and logos on their clothes..

  5. Hate this comic! Making fun of socially awkward misfits in one of the few places they feel somewhat welcome and comfortable; it’s mean spirited! Sure some of the people that he depicts are awful–but many of them are just a little bit sad and lonely and wanting to talk to somebody about (what they assume is) common interests!

    We live in a time where information couldn’t be more abundant but human connection is increasingly difficult. But instead of having some understanding, I see a lot of picking on people whose only crime is being weak and inept. Again, some of the customers he mocks DO seem horrible. But that doesn’t excuse the rest of his nerdbully comic.

    Flat out, if I were local to his area, I would NOT shop at this comic store under any circumstances.

    Look at the nerds, aren’t they pathetic!!!! This comic is terrible to the core.

    • I can understand where you’re coming from, but Mr. Tim rarely comments on the customers themselves. He just draws a portrait of them with a quote by them. It’s some of the reader comments on the site that are more ‘mean-spirited.’

      I’ve been reading OVC for a while, and I’ve only seen maybe 2-3 comics that I felt were ‘unfair.’ And I can’t even remember which ones they were. Most of the comics really do feature people that are being downright creepy or downright rude. Because really, when you go to a store to ask, “Can I open this statue of Cat Woman? I only want to buy her if I can see her nips” you’re kinda asking for it. At least in my opinion.

      • Not to cross-promote my stuff but I found more that two or three that were unfair. Comixcube dot com, for my review this past Wednesday.

        I’m just saying.

    • Being a nerd is no excuse for some of the hateful shit I see on this site.

  6. The above sketch illustrates what happens when an uneducated American geek comes face to face with overseas cultural icons.

    I think Penny Arcade put it well when it ran its take on the usual “Warhammer 40k? Thats just a cheap rip off of Starcraft!” wheeze.

  7. This is some funny stuff, but with some people it seems he’s either too harsh, or blatantly ripping things out of context. For instance, a girl I know got me a comic for Sinterklaas, but she doesn’t know a thing about comics. So she simply asked for one “with lots of blood” and ended up giving me Requiem. In this webcomic I saw a gag that was basically exactly the same, and with the author implying the girl in question is completely insane. This seems unfair.

    Also, there’s the question about him mocking people for buying the stuff he has for sale. So a guy is a creep for wanting to buy some magazine called “Girls and Corpses” (which, after a look at their homepage, seems quite harmless), but it’s somehow completely different that at one point he was stocking up his inventory and decided to order that magazine, and physically placed it in his store. To me, it’s a sign of a shitty store owner if he mocks his clientelle for… well, that’s it, really. I don’t mind him making doodles about the dudes wanting to look up Wonder Woman’s (or who-ever) skirt, but people buying the stuff you have for sale? I suppose El Santo’s first observation was spot-on. This guy IS the Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons.

    In the end, though, only the lack of a proper archive feature prevents me from reading all of this. And it’s not meaty enough to follow. Too bad.

    P.S.: I recall many visitors of this site being up in arms about a site where the author had a database of pictures of women with hairy upper lips. But isn’t this the same, save for the fact that these people aren’t being photographed (though, there are plenty of pictures of mal-adapted nerds for everyone to laugh at, on the internet)? So why do these people deserve to be mocked, but those women not?

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