The Comic Queen

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Comic Shopping on the Road

Whew! Just got back from the land of meat -- Denver to be more precise. (The amount of meat in the restaurants was crazy -- and I grew up in Iowa for crying out loud!) I didn't get a chance to get much of a feel for the city since I was working nearly non-stop; however, I did make a point to find a comic shop while I was there. Before I left Bellingham, I searched for the closest comic shop to my hotel -- the City Center Marriott.

Turns out Highlander Comics was less than a mile away, so on one of my very few free nights I hoofed it over to Highland comics a mere block away from the state capitol building.

Highlander Comics was a small shop, but for the size I was impressed with their selection. They had quite a few of the smaller publishers represented as well as some mini-comics from local artists. As with just about every Denverite I encountered, the guy I talked to -- I'm assuming he was the owner -- was very cool and took the time to talk with me, see what my tastes were, and make some recommendations. (I feel bad I didn't get his name!) I subsequently was very happy and spent more than I probably should have. But, hey, I was feeling heady knowing all the overtime I was racking up in Denver.

I purchased the following (a mix of comics I was looking for, local comics, and comics I've been meaning to purchase):

Queen & Country Operation: Broken Ground TPB from Oni (haven't finished it and I'm already hooked on this series -- now I know where a good chunk of the rest of my overtime is going)
Street Angel #2 from SLG (this a hilarious comic -- I command you to pick it up)
Blood Orange from Fantagraphics (still gotsta read it)
9-11 Emergency Relief from Alternative Comics (ditto)
Gotham Central #21 (the two comic shops in Bellingham were out, so I was thrilled to find this here)
Two mini-comics: The Cheerleader & other stories by Lonnie Allen
and King-Cat Comics and Stories Number 62 by John Porcellino

Then the guy who helped me gave me no less than seven free comics (some from Free Comic Book Day, some I assume were overstock). Very cool.

So, obviously, I had a good time there, and if you ever happen to be in Denver, the shop is worth checking out.

Here is a look at the two mini-comics I picked up.

The Cheerleader & other stories by Lonnie Allen
This publication features four tales. The first "The Cheerleader" was the deepest in both storytelling and underlying emotion. The story had to do with a teenage abortion, but a short description doesn't suffice here. This was my favorite of the comic -- my second favorite was a two-page interpretation of W.B. Yeats's poem "He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven."
Check out Lonnie online.

King-Cat Comics and Stories Number 62 by John Porcellino
I *really* dug this comic. Maybe I just sympathized with John, since much of the prose and comic was expressing his loss at moving from Illinois to Denver. I can definitely understand this. But mostly, it was the simple style that revealed so much below the surface. It's the same reason I like James Kochalka so much, but is difficult to express in words. Porcellino captures emotion in a one- or two-page comic the way a great photo does. A moment frozen in time, beautiful, sad, and joyous all together.
I'll definitely be ordering more of Porcellino's work from his website.


  • At 9:05 AM, August 11, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the excellent reviews of the indie comics. I've got to get a review of Revolver up on my site soon or let you borrow it so you can review it. It is definitely worth a look.


  • At 10:17 PM, August 15, 2004, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you for the kind words, you're obviously a person of discerning tastes my Queen.


  • At 5:53 PM, August 16, 2004, Blogger Erin M. Schadt said…

    *the Queen bows*
    Thank *you* Lonnie for the contribution of your voice to the world of comics. There will never be to many voices!


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