Bridge City Comics: Stumptown Hard Cover Signing
Attended the Bridge City Comics Stumptown Hard Cover Signing on Friday March 25th with a couple friends. We arrived there a bit later than expected due to some family issues on my part.
This was my first experience with Bridge City Comics and I’ll have to say it looks like a great store to service the North Portland area. The shop is a bit small and crammed, but it’s well lit and clean. Not at all like the dingy, spooky local shops of our imagination. All the staff seemed friendly enough – there were some ladies sprinkled in amongst the mens and even some parents with their kids.
Because it’s completely out of my territory, I probably won’t do a lot of repeat business at Bridge City unless there’s an event there. But I always make a habit of buying a book when I attend a free event. Baby’s gotta eat, ya know. BTW – we also bought two X-Factor trades, which I’m looking forward to reading in the next week.
It’s funny, I was chatting with a nerd friend yesterday about how comics is a struggling industry, and sometimes that’s such a difficult concept for me to grasp from this vantage point.
Portland is a city that is a complete outlier when it comes to comics. Instead of shops closing down left and right, we have new ones opening. Portland really does love comics, and that’s why it’s so strange to imagine that the industry could be struggling nationwide…because it seems to be growing in our city and the Pacific Northwest in general.
Especially the convention aspect. Stumptown Comics Fest is upgrading to a larger venue, Emerald City Comic Con has grown every year and it’s not even been around for a decade, and a new GeekGirlCon in Seattle is rising up this year to join the ranks. Conventions have almost become the hub on which most pop culture runs – sucking in the television, movie and even sometimes book publishing industries.
But comics, as an art form, may be dying. It’s tough for me to chat with folks who’ve been collecting longer than I have and hear them reminisce about the days when conventions were only for stocking their long boxes. We have something like that here in Portland – the Comic Book Show. We can purchase back issues, graphic novels and trade paperbacks tax free without having to drive three hours away. I like that it’s low-key. And honestly – it’s where I do most of my shopping.
This has kind of turned into rambling about the Portland scene in general, but I do feel like it’s hard to see where some of the comic book sages are coming from. The medium has been transformed in the last ten years and sometimes it feels like the publishers aren’t really completely on board with what is happening. Some people have stopped collecting floppies. Lots of folks are welcoming a digital comics revolution and/or reading webcomics. There are Kindles, Nooks and iPads roaming the streets consuming paper print media in their wake.
The comics industry IS struggling because of those things, but it need not be the end of the medium as we know it.
PICTURES AND VIDEO BELOW THE RANT
Personally – I’m more apt to pick up a collected version of my favorite series (Comic or TV) than a single issue. Maybe the revolution needs to be free or very cheap access to digital floppy content so we can buy the collected editions at the end of the story arch (like TV shows). Find some really tuned in advertisters (like TV shows). It’s easier to make room for a graphic novel or trade on my shelf than it is to store the ugly-ass long white boxes that are hiding in the spare bedroom, while the other books are proudly displayed front and center.
I dunno. I’ve digressed to the point of madness here.
Since we just harassed Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth at the beginning of the month, there isn’t much to say here. They were friendly enough. Rucka was sporting a Portland Timbers sweatshirt, which reminds me I need to check that sport out. Seeing a professional soccer game should be on my bucket list, but it’s not.
Southworth was totally congenial and seemed happy to sketch for fans. Eventually they cut off sketches, but he spotted us in the crowd and promised us something beautiful. We purchased the advertised print, got signatures from the two gentleman and it’s now framed and hanging on our designated “nerd wall.” Hell, most of our walls are nerdy. 😛
Here’s a pic of me proudly displaying the artwork:
It’s the fifth or sixth book we’ve gotten a character sketch in and I have to say I’m very addicted to them. Aside from any monetary value, it just makes the book feel immensely special.
And here’s the signed print:
There’s lots of fun goodies packaged in the book, like some re-prints of artwork Southworth has done for previous conventions and releases, as well as a mini-comic and some essays about the work. Here’s a video of the hard cover itself:
I’ve already encouraged everyone to read the series, but if you need further urging, read this here blog post I put together almost a year ago.
THIS WEEK: Expect some musings on teh internets and geek girls and a Sucker Punch review.