The Record Shop, Episode #1: 'Open'

I have been writing "The Record Shop" for five years. Originally conceptualized as a comic, in the spirit of American Splendor, where I would write vignettes based on my experience working in a small record shop and handing it over to a great artist, who would make it come alive as a comic strip, I have reconfigured the vision into short, written exercises.

I will spare you the gory details of the fruitless search for an artist, but know this: I found it difficult to find an artist with whom to collaborate. I actually found one guy who drew six comics, but he got too busy working on his own art. PopMatters published two of these episodes, but then mysteriously stopped... This first episode introduces us to the dude who works at the record shop, Lewis. The idea for this first episode comes from an old student of mine, Bayard Morse. I like to think I would never be this callous, but you never know...

"The Shop follows the day-to-day life of Lewis, its one and only clerk. His daily interactions with the regular and one-time customers often resembles group therapy mixed with a southern revival. Freaks, geeks, enthusiasts, and tools, Lewis not only sells music, but often solves the world's problems... in theory, anyway." --Chris Pomeroy

My original sketch of the record shop, representing your favorite record shop in Any Town, USA

Dude wearing jeans and a ringer t-shirt with the Pi symbol on it sitting on the sidewalk in front of the record shop, eating a cinnamon roll and drinking a cup of coffee.

Guy walks up in blue jeans, t-shirt, blue mechanics jacket, Chucks, black sunglasses... coiffed hair. Total hipster. Tries the door to the shop. It's locked.

Turns to dude sitting on curb.

Customer: Do you know what time it is?
Dude: No.
Customer: I think it's like 10:15 or something and they're supposed to open at 10.
Dude: Huh...
Customer, flummoxed: I have to get to work -- I can't wait around for them to open and I want to get the new Lone Bellow record.
Dude: ...
Customer: Fuck. I've got to go.
Dude: See you.

Dude finishes his cup of coffee, stands up, walks to the door of the shop, takes out key, unlocks door. Walks in. Turns CLOSED sign to OPEN.