My sad short story.

*Oh hell. You know, I went through my budget for the week, blocked off everything I’d need, and determined that a $25 book just wouldn’t be immediately necessary. It’s not like an Alan Moore book from ABC will become scarce or anything, right? No, I’ll just spend $15 or less on miscellaneous books and pick up the new Top Ten release next week.

There was nothing else around at the shop.

I mean, honestly, it’s all my fault. I don’t maintain a subscription box or folder or whatever, and I don’t preorder with any sort of regularity. I can’t really complain when everything is sold out by the time I saunter into the shop around 5:15 PM; hell, it’s probably good that books I like are selling out. Right? Right?!

But usually there’s something left over for me. This week - pure absence. No copy of the new Drawn & Quarterly Showcase, though that’s not much of a surprise; I believe I’ve only ever seen one copy of the last installment on a store shelf, and that store is nowhere near where I am now. Ditto with Ed the Happy Clown. Apparently the shop I visited opted for Antique Bakery over Bambi and Her Pink Gun as their Digital Manga choice of the week, unless Bambi scurried off the shelf, not an out-of-mind proposition mind you.

How about some more 'mainstream' offerings? Hip Flask? Missing. The Intimates #10? Fresh out. Marvel 1602: The New World? Wasn’t planning to buy it anyway, but there was only one copy left when I got there. Maybe a few minutes later and that’d be gone too.

So there was Top Ten: The Forty-Niners, staring me down. Is it bigger than the other ABC hardcovers? It sort of looked like it, but I didn’t really check. All shrink-wrapped up, so I couldn‘t flip through.



And damn it all - I walked away, no doubt subconsciously blubbering something along the lines of “W… well if there’s no new comics I want, then FUCK ’EM! I’ll buy old manga! NO! Some old bande dessinee! Wait, wait! Old books that combine manga and bande dessinee stylings under one cover! Ha ha ha, that’s it!” So wouldn’t you know it, I found a fine example of that very thing sitting in the bargain bin, Frederic Boilet and Kan Takahama’s 2004 release Mariko Parade (a follow-up to Boilet's 2001 solo book Yukiko‘s Spinach) for $8, and goddamn it I needed a distraction from minor inconveniences that I could have easily prevented.

The book looks really neat, though; I own Yukiko’s Spinach, and I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, so this’ll prompt me. They’re both published by Ponent Mon, which has put out a lot of interesting manga-type books, like Takahama’s solo collection Kinderbook, and Kazuichi Hanawa’s autobiographical account of three years spent in Japanese prison, Doing Time. So I’m looking forward to digging into this stuff.

Ah, but Alan Moore, Alan Moore. Left behind, left behind…