I escaped LA for a week and spent time relaxing in Seattle with some of my favorite people. On the way to the airport, we made a spontaneous stop at Fantagraphics Books, a place I never heard of before. They describe themselves as a publisher of “comics for thinking readers – readers who like to put their minds to work, who have a sophisticated understanding of art and culture, and appreciate personal expression unfettered by uncritical use of cliché.” So, if you’re looking to read bland, mainstream superhero comics, you won’t find them there.
R. Crumb comics, Peanuts, and Love and Rockets are at the top of the popularity scale. Out of the many comics they publish, you are sure to find something that exercises your imagination in plenty of ways. During my visit, I picked up all three Ganges comics by Kevin Huizenga, whose comics are a part of Fantagraphics’ internationally-produced Ignatz series. After spending a lot of my time in Seattle reading the complex, seemingly slice of life short stories of Raymond Carver, the idea of reading about Glenn Ganges, an “everyman” character, really appealed to me.
If you ever find yourself in Seattle, you won’t regret stopping at the store. A bonus is the record store that shares the same space with the bookstore.
1201 South Vale Street
Seattle, WA 98108