Well, in Germany, at any rate.
So the two weeks of radio silence turned into two months—sorry about that.
The bad news, now, is that I won’t be getting my comics weekly anymore, so no more weekly reviewing of the latest pamphlet releases. It was fun while it lasted, and I have to thank the crew at Captain Comics for serving me so well for eight months or so, and helping me fill in some gaps—finally got that John Byrne Fantastic Four #288 now that’s been eluding me for ten years, as well as those three issues of the Frank Miller and Ann Nocenti Daredevil runs I’d been looking for for ages. (I also appreciated the free donuts!)
The good news, though, is that I’ve been able to visit some other comics stores while I was on the road, and got a neat stack of books that I will be reviewing over the next few weeks.
My timing sucked, since I dropped by San Francisco’s Comix Experience just when Brian Hibbs was evidently somewhere else entirely on the continent—which, I was told, doesn’t happen very often. It’s a very nice store, though, and I found some indie books by Dylan Horrocks, James Sturm and Dean Haspiel, among others, that I wouldn’t otherwise have crossed paths with. On my way back downtown, I also paid a visit to Al’s Comics, where the clerk was on to me pretty quickly that I was feeding him my “long shots,” but still graciously found me a copy of The Winter Men #4 in one of his longboxes.
In Seattle, it took the combined inventories of Golden Age Collectables and Zanadu Comics to get hold of the first two issues of Phonogram: The Singles Club. Also, at Zanadu, the guys behind the counter wanted to send me to Ed Brubaker and Peter Bagge’s places when they figured out I was German, but failed because they couldn’t agree on where Brubaker lives. While the store looks a little stuffed right now, though, Zanadu’s another great place to discover all kinds of independent comics.
Finally, on my way east, I was lucky enough to step into Chicago Comics, which easily takes the cake as the Bestest Comics Store I’ve Ever Been To. The number of small-press and art comics they’ve got on their many, many shelves in addition to all the mainstream stuff is dizzying, and the store still manages to look open and bright in the process. I swear, they’ve got half the print run of James Turner’s otherwise completely sold-out The Warlord of Io and Other Stories, just sitting there on the shelf. I regret not making it to Quimby’s, but there’s always next time.