Monday, October 22, 2012

Palookaville 2: Things Get Fishy

This issue is the first of a two-part tale (assuming my memory is correct), a slice of life narrative concerning writer/artist/protagonist Seth working at a seafood restaurant and having an affair with his married boss.  Here are some random thoughts on this issue:

*It's printed on newsprint.  Cartoonist Eddie Campbell always argues that comics look best on the worst paper possible, but I doubt many readers, especially those who are also collectors, agree.

*The letters page contains letters from fellow cartoonists Mike Allred and Scott McCloud, as well as David Greenberger, who I assume is the guy behind the Duplex Planet zine. There's also a letter from Malcolm Bourne who seemed to write a letter to every good comic in the 1990s.  I could read an entire novel by somebody, and I've still probably read more words written by Mr. Bourne than that novelist.  He was a very prolific letter writer!

*I think I might have picked this up at Watch The Skies!, which was a great little comic shop in Kent, Ohio USA.  For some reason, Kent had three comics shops.  WTS was the best of them.  Comics folks such as Jay Geldhof, Rob Ullman, and Marc Andreyko used to work there, and other comics folks such as P. Craig Russell, Jill Thompson, Galen Showman, Vince Locke, and Brian Bendis used to stop by when they were in town, which for Russell and Showman was a lot since they lived in Kent or thereabouts.  Anyway, WTS, with the help of wise publishers such as Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly who kept back issues in print, would stock an entire run of a comic at cover price in whatever was the latest printing.  This was good business because if someone liked an issue of something, then he or she could come back and get the rest.  Today, trade paperbacks and digital comics make things even easier, but back in the early 1990s, the WTS system was great.  Though it can be fun to hunt for a missing issue in a comic run, it can also be a pain.  As a result of WTS, I got hooked on and picked up entire runs of comics such as Bone, Love & Rockets, Hate, Eightball, and, of course, Palookaville.  Alas, the store went out of business a few years into my sojourn in Kent.  I always thought that three comic stores in a small town was probably two too many; it's just a shame that the best one went under first.    

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