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

November 2, 2004

Just-Announced Warren Ellis Signing to Support Re-Location of Comic Relief

imageWriter Warren Ellis (Ultimate Fantastic Four, Planetary, the forthcoming Iron Man) has announced a signing at comics retailer Comic Relief, to be held Thursday, November 4 from 5 to 7 PM, a event that becomes noteworthy for its underlying cause. According to information quickly passed around on-line in comics-related message boards and chat rooms by sources close to the store, the important Berkeley-based comic shop is moving from its present location after being evicted by its landlord.

imageIn a message board posting at the web site owned by comics trade magazine The Comics Journal, Comic Relief owner Rory Root (pictured) notes that the store was up to date on rent payments but is moving by choice of the building owner. He also notes that lease negotiations for a new location are ongoing.

Comic Relief may be best known in the Bay Area comics market and within the comic book industry as an exemplar of the "comics bookstore" comic shop, with a greater emphasis on trades and collections over magazine and periodicals. This model for retail has resulted in Comic Relief carrying an enormous and eclectic catalog, making it a destination store, an anchor of the industry showcase San Diego convention, and a place of last resort for researchers or artists seeking an out of print volume or twenty.

As many comic shops have increased their trade paperback and collection offerings as the popularity of more permanent formats has grown, Comic Relief has been an important resource for initiatives such as selling directly to libraries. Root is a frequent speaker on industry issue at conventions, including appearances on panels at the 2003 Book Expo America spotlight on comics publishing.

Although the store has yet to make a direct appeal to comics fans on behalf of the costs incurred by the forthcoming move, fans of the store have been encouraged to come out on Thursday 5-7 pm or to pick up something for the holiday season via a visit, on-line avenues, or simply over the phone mail order. Check here for store location and to see a bigger version of the screen shot above.

Photo by Whit Spurgeon
posted 6:28 am PST | Permalink

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