“You a fan,” he asks, in that eager tone of an aficionado hoping he’s just found another person who shares his esoteric interests.
“Uh, I used to be,” I say. “It’s been… gosh, seven years since I last read an issue. My collection’s stuck in a closet in my mother’s home.”
“You didn’t miss much, then,” he says. “They ended the old series about five and a half years ago. This new one’s okay, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the old one. The penciller’s got too much manga influence in his style to fit the writer’s neo-Victorian tone, and while the writer has a good ear for dialogue, his pacing is shi—uh, garbage. Pardon.”
I shake my head at his attempt to cover the casual profanity and smile a little. “I’ll keep that in mind.” With a nod at the garments, I ask, “What do you have?”
“A good start,” he says, and picks up the clothes. The top is something like a late autumn or early spring coat, made of something that could be denim – it’s hard to tell, with the dark color. It’s bulky, and looks quite warm. There are a couple zippered pockets down at the sides, each big enough for something the size of a paperback novel. The pants are the same color, and look like the same material. Big pockets on those, too, that can be buttoned or zippered shut. He shows me a few other pockets on the top, their zippers hidden under fold-over flaps of cloth, and built in so the bulk of the coat hides them almost perfectly.
It’s the most practical-looking costume I’ve ever seen, so much so that it doesn’t even look like a costume.
“They should be about your size,” Alter Ego says, holding the coat up in front of me for comparison.