Friday, February 15, 2008

Very important question

-Are there any decent comics shops in Oregon outside of Portland? I mean, like in Eugene or Salem or points in between? My research has been inconclusive, though this scared the hell out of me.

-I'm excited by the prospect of a Fantagraphics' FCBD offering for this year: an Ignatz sampler. This, in and of itself, would be nice enough, but the lineup suggests that we're in for a year of great Ignatz releases. The book includes excerpts from: Sammy the Mouse #2, Delphine #4, Babel #3, Calvario Hills #2, Niger #3, Grotesque #2, and Wish You Were Here #3. I'm really, really happy to see more volumes of Gipi's Wish You Were Here, Zak Sally's Sammy the Mouse, and Sergio Ponchione's Grotesque, but I guess I'm most excited by two things. First, it seems that we'll see two volumes of Richard Sala's excellent Delphine series next year. I assume this means #3 will be out before FCBD? Second, and apropos of recent discussion in the comments section here, we finally get another volume of David B's Babel. Those who liked Epileptic really need to seek out the first two volumes of this series, which is similar and yet better in a lot of ways. There's a sequence at the end of the first volume which is as good a demonstration of what comics can do better than any other medium as anything else I've ever read.

My one concern is that there are no new series represented in the FCBD sampler. Hopefully this is just a sign of Fantagraphics/Coconino publishing a sudden backlog of completed volumes, rather than a sign that the series is winding down. I'd say that the publication of a sampler volume indicates that Fantagraphics still has big plans for the imprint. Which would be great, because the Ignatz line might be my favorite thing in all of the comics industry.

-A few other FCBD offerings which bear mention: Drawn & Quarterly are releasing a very nice-looking sampler of their manga offerings, under the fitting title Gegika. Actually, there are only two titles being excerpted here: the third (and possibly final?) volume of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's work, Good-Bye, and the much-anticipated Red Colored Elegy by Seiichi Hayashi. There's also an EC Comics sampler, featuring the likes of Alex Toth, Harvey Kurtzman, Johnny Craig, and Wally Wood. Both of those should be worth picking up.

I see at least three high-quality all-ages titles: This year's Disney reprint focuses on Gyro Gearloose, one of my favorite supporting characters from the classic Barks era. Top Shelf is once again offering an Owly and Friends comic, the friends including Korgi and Johnny Boo, a new character created by James Kochalka. Finally, there's a Gumby coloring book featuring the regular creative team and a few other folks.

And for those who go to the comics shop for things other than comics, there's some Star Wars miniatures and even a Heroclix Iron Man. Don't let the kids mess them up!

-I promise you that I'm not Jog's roomate. Although I did house sit for Tom Spurgeon when he was at San Diego one year. (Quick question: is "house sit" the right word when you and nine of your friends occupy someone's home without their knowledge or consent when your bus breaks down on the way to Burning Man?)


Troy Olson said...

Having lived in Salem my whole life, I would be very surprised if we had any comic stores that would be the equivalent to the better ones that are in Portland. It seems that Salem more or less caters to the lowest common denominator in most retail aspects.

This could also be my jaded view from having been a customer at one point or another at a couple of comic book stores in town that had rude employees and not so great selection (neither of these store are around any more - in fact, they have been replaced by gaming stores).

Also -- I'm scared to ever go in to Comic Connection now. Thanks for the heads-up.

Greg said...

Emerald City comics in Eugene is a very friendly (if overly geeky) comic shop in Eugene, located in the Smith Family Building (home of the eponymous Smith Family Bookstore) near the University of Oregon (it's a about a block from the U of O Bookstore). The shop's relatively pleasant except on days when gaming events are taking place.

The owners also operate the rather inferior Nostalgia Collectibles in the Smith Family II Building (no points for guessing why it's called that) near the train station downtown, which is now Eugene-Springfeild's only other comic shop, the four others open a decade ago having since closed.

Dick Hyacinth said...

Thanks for the feedback, guys. Is Cosmic Monkey in Portland as good as one might guess, given all their advertising in Fantagraphics comics?

Justin Boatwright said...

It might be a little out of the way of where you are looking but I visited Pegasus Books in Bend a few years ago on vacation and enjoyed it quite a bit. I seem to recall a pretty good mix of indy, mainstream and even manga. I haven't been back through Bend since then but it will definitely be on my itinerary the next time I'm in the area.

Matthew J. Brady said...

If you want to drive an hour south of Eugene, you can go to Heroes Haven in Roseburg. I grew up there, and that's where I started buying comic, so it'll always be my ideal comics shop. I make a point of going in whenever I visit my parents. In actuality, it's not the greatest store, but they offer a good selection of regular monthly comics for a small town. Not much in the way of graphic novels though, although I haven't been there in a couple years, so who knows if they've changed. The real appeal is the friendly owners, who I used to spend hours conversing with in my teen years. Good times.

Oh, and you can also hit Powell's books in Portland. They have a great selection of graphic novels and manga, both new and used.

Tucker Stone said...

burning man? oh puke. no wonder you hate my blog.

Anonymous said...

I think Danger Zone in Salem is very good. 1071 Commercial St SE.

I also like Borderlands in downtown Salem on High street, but that's mostly because they're also a game store.