Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 18, 2010

Fantagraphics Store Powers Past Fourth Anniversary, Larry Reid Still Hilarious

A few folks have sent me a link to this Seattle University student newspaper profile of Fantagraphics' brick-and-mortar location on the near south side of Seattle, which means someone out there likely posted it first: my apologies. It's probably worth noting that the effort moved past its fourth anniversary a few weeks back is currently operating in the beginning days of year five. The venerable alt-comics publisher opening a store was sort of controversial back when it opened, but it seems like it's gone pretty smoothly, doing so according to the parameters initially set for it. As a store it serves a tourist-book audience, a devoted Fantagraphics fan-following and general consumers without a restrictive sense of store fealty; as a performance space it serves as the natural home for alt-comics events that the city hasn't had for years, if ever. As far as I know, no Seattle comics store has gone out of a business as the result of Fantagraphics opening that location. In fact, I think the retail scene in the Emerald City is richer than the one from when I moved away.

The thing that I like about the idea of the Fanta store -- I haven't been; I've barely visited Seattle since it opened -- other than the fact that I enjoy manager/curator Larry Reid more than I enjoy most human beings is that it, and also things like D+Q's flagship store, are kind of old-fashioned ideas that are made to work on the companies' behalf. I think comics sometimes focuses on new ideas to the detriment of the old. It's a lesson to keep in mind. Four years thus far seems to me a pretty good run for any such endeavor.
posted 1:00 pm PST | Permalink

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