Today at the Journal, we've got our latest installment of Retail Therapy, this time with Jenn Haines. There's a lot of things I agree with Jenn about, but the main one this week is that I also think that Barrier comic from Marcos Martin is gonna rule.
We have a very specific mandate: exceptional products and service for everyone. This means we are very family-focused, and welcoming of people of all ages, genders, and abilities. As a result, there are publishers, such as Zenescope and Avatar, that are special order only. We have a huge commitment to kids books, and I'll pretty much try any graphic novel that's intended for kids. And we are focused on providing a wide range of books to meet the tastes of our very diverse customer base.
Beyond that, we really just look at our customers' buying habits and see where their interests lie. For example, we don't carry collections of older material or any new hardcovers, as they've traditionally gathered dust. Instead, we want to give customers the chance to find things they won't usually find elsewhere. We order a lot from smaller publishers and self-published material direct from creators, as a result. Sometimes, a popular creator, or a really great publishing mandate, like that of Lion Forge, will get us to take risks on new series. And sometimes, it's just that I like the look of something. However, I've learned the hard way over the years that what I like is not what sells!
But of course, we've also got that TCJ Review for you: today, it's Patrick Kyle's Everywhere Disappeared, and it's being covered by Cartoonist Diary alum Tom McHenry. Yes. Yes indeed.
A palpable joy in the act of drawing is consistent throughout Kyle's work, and it's invigorating to look at. Linework, after all, is just another way of tracing how a mind thought about something, and Kyle's mind chooses just what's needed to propel the story, then embellishes the rest or not, seemingly at a whim. When a character needs a hand and arm to pick up an object, that arm and hand will appear -- frequently exaggerated to maximize visual effect -- and as soon as that hand is no longer needed, the next panel will show the same character as a torso with feet. Why waste time on the uninteresting when your reader will fill in missing arms for you? It's the same principle that saves comics artists from drawing every single frame in between two panels, and Kyle experiments with the mind's ability to fill in gaps on figures, faces, even the physical spaces the characters reside in.
The more of these blog posts of old super-hero comics with rad covers I find, the better it makes me feel about the future, because if there is a future, i'm going to buy some of these old super-hero comics, and I'm going to make my own blog posts about them. Coincidentally, the one I just read two days ago was one the Punisher comic above, whose cover would have fit perfectly with the linked article's theme.
And finally, if you haven't read Peggy Burns on Love That Bunch, the Love That Bunch tour, and the cartoonist behind those comics, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, it's high time you remedy that. I'd call it image heavy, but there's a lot of weight in those sentences as well. Is it positive day? I guess it's positive day.