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April 28, 2013

Five Things I'd Direct A Casual Buyer To Consider At This Weekend's Stumptown Comics Fest

There are a ton of great books available for sale at this weekend's Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon.

One thing we forget about when at shows like this one is how the mix of recent backstock, alt-comics perennials and the latest books from which to choose. I walked through the show yesterday with an intermittent, casual comics shopper who walked away with the majority of what follows.

There are no wrong answers in terms of what someone wants to buy at a comics show, and getting stuff directly from the makers and primary seller of this material can be a special experience with which devoted comics readers can lose touch.

* Benjamin Marra's comics are always a hit with people that are simply looking for a fun comic to take home. Ask Marra about Kenny Loggins.

* Brandon Graham is very tall, which impresses people, and this book offers a lovely price point for an idiosyncratic, fun, accessible work.

* a bunch of people are selling original art, but few pieces are as nice as the pen and ink drawings Eamon Espey has for an astonishing $10. At least I think that's what they cost. Whatever it is, it's cheap.

* Matt Bors' kickstarted book, getting his work into the hands of an audience who simply wouldn't see it were this left to traditional publishing avenues, is the kind of thing comics shows were created to benefit.

* the two booths from which you should always buy something at a small-press comics show, if they're there, are Spit And A Half and Sparkplug. John P. didn't make this one, but the Sparkplug gang did, and this is a nice-looking book.

* just about brand new, over-sized tabloid Jonny Negron? Yes, please.

* this is a few years old, but I thought this Paul Tobin/Colleen Coover effort was unique and under-read and due to be rediscovered after the attention they've received for their digital comic Bandette.

* Becky Cloonan says she is particularly proud of this work, and that's enough of a recommendation for me. I'll be buying this one today.


Again, there are no wrong answers -- someone could be just as happy with their purchases not coming within a country mile of any of the above, and I'm sure I could swap all of these out for similar choices five or six times without a lot of effort. The fact that there are this many choices is what's great about a comics show. We should never look down on the basic act of commerce as unimportant or beside the point. It's not everything, but it can be pretty wonderful.

posted 10:00 am PST | Permalink

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