A woman with whom I work had a secret. She tried to hide it. Made remarks that I'd think she was "weird." (I really like this woman, and there are few things she could do to make me say that.) She slipped something into her desk and said, "You'd make fun of me for my comic books."
This woman had no idea I liked comics.
After I assured her that was not the case, I asked to see what she had. She produced two Supernatural trade paperbacks from Wildstorm.
I'm not a fan of the show. Have never seen it, actually. I do know it has a large fan base, and this woman was one of them. She explained, as if I had no concept of a trade paperback, that the books were originally single issues of comics, but these books collected them.
I actually found it pretty neat.
This woman is a bit older than me (I'm 38), and she was kind of proud of what she was reading, despite the fact that she hid it from me.
I wish American culture was more like Japanese culture insomuch that comic books were not objects of shame, but widely accepted forms of entertainment and literature. That's starting to change somewhat and probably will be the norm in another ten to twenty years, but I wish it were now. I wish adults could read something like Preacher in public without having to explain. Granted, there are those who would say their special little books were no longer so special since everyone liked them, but it's not punk rock -- it's fucking comic books! They're meant to appeal to the masses. Hence the popularity of Supernatural and its translation to comic book form.
When I read the Lady Snowblood books in public I often had to explain. The cover color scheme had people asking me if it had anything to do with Kill Bill, and that leads to more explanation. I don't hide my entertainment/artistic choices in shame, however. I feel like it's my duty to be ambassador for things I like. If I don't do it, who will?
The woman was pretty damn excited about her purchases. She was going to take them home and devour them, most likely in one sitting. And I hope she caught an ad or two in the back of the book for other books that looked intriguing ... though it's Wildstorm, so you can't get your hopes too high.