Monday, December 13, 2010

18 observations after a long weekend spent largely in the comic shops and second-hand bookstores of Sydney, Australia

1) Comic Kingdom on Liverpool Street is dark and old and has the surliest staff on the planet and is one of my favourite comic book shops ever. There are things in there. Things I never knew existed.

2) It’s there that I get Not Brand Echh #7 for $2, and the 10-year Love and Rockets anniversary issue which is just page after page of Los Bros talking about their art, and some reprints of Kirby’s Jimmy Olsen, and loads more.

3) My second favourite comic shop in Sydney is Kings Comics on Pitt, where it’s clean and open and has the friendliest damn staff, but they just sell all the same stuff I can get in Borders.

4) Although I did get some Dogem Logic, because Alan Moore’s free-rolling essays are always worth a look.

5) Newtown is my favourite destination for second hand shops, and I found some cheap Kochalka, a Who’s Who, a Judge Dredd megazine and more of that goddamned Justice League Europe that I can’t stop getting.

6) That Dredd comic was the only 2000ad thing I got all weekend, which was bitterly disappointing. They have just vanished from the second hand market.

7) I always, always buy Cerebus the Aardvark comics when I see them going cheap. It’s a frustratingly long process, but it’s all worth while when I get some Church and State-era comics for $1 each.

8) Jamie Hewlett did more covers for Shade the Changing Man than I ever realized, but I’m not surprised by how beautiful they are. Shade is another series that I get on the cheap, and like the aardvark, it’s taken me 15 years to get about half of the whole series.

9) Strange Tales II #2 is more than two-thirds cheaper in Australia than it is in New Zealand. Fuckin’ NZD.

10) Still, it’s worth any price. Los Bros Hernandez = always good, and Jeffry Brown, Paul Hornschemeier and Paul Maybury all bring the thoughtful goodness.

11) Holy shit! I completely forgot I bought Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such, The Heckler #1 and a 1992 reprint of Starlin’s Warlock three years ago, but left them sitting on my sister’s bookshelf, until I saw them there on Sunday morning.

12) So that’s where my bloody copy of American Tabloid went.

13) I keep buying copies of Wolfman/Colan’s Night Force, but I never get around to reading them.

14) I had an excellent weekend – I got drunk on high quality hooch and danced with pretty girls and met a beloved family member for the first time in nearly two years and went swimming and saw a redback spider and went trainhopping and the most exciting thing that happened to me all weekend was finding a copy of The Room With No Doors by Kate Orman at the bookshop across the road from Kings Comics.

15) Okay, it was better to see my little sister again, but damn: I’ve been actively searching for that novel for 12 years, and I got that and Eternity Weeps and Godengine for $20. I paid $60 for a copy of Lungbarrow two years ago.

16) So when it comes to the Doctor Who New Adventures, all I need is The Dying Days and one of the Warlock books and I’ve finally Got Them All.

17) It took me six hours to finish The Room With No Doors, because people kept talking to me.

18) My one regret over the long weekend is that I didn’t buy Fandom Confidential starring Jim Engel and Chuck Fiala, because their fumetti pokes at 1980-ish comic creators scares the living crap out of me.


Jim Engel said...

Scares the living crap out of you HOW????

Bob Temuka said...

It's hard to explain, Jim, but it's certainly nothing personal. Fumetti freaks me out in some weird way that is something to do with the eyes. And I'm just scared of the 1970s in general for vague and confusing reasons that I'll try to explain in my next post....

Comics Bonfire said...

comics kingdom generally have terrible staff, when i would enquire about the cost of things they would say things like, "oh thats expensive." there was one nice guy though who gave me a discount on a pile of old charlton horror comics, and yeah they do have an amazing selection, i caught a glimpse of their backrooms, and they surely are filled with treasures.

Kate Orman said...

Comic Kingdom's staff were surly twenty years ago, when I was an X-Men-obsessed uni student. It's kind of a miracle they're still in business!

Bob Temuka said...

To be honest, I got nothing against surly comic book shops guys. I go to these places to be left alone to find stuff. Not to make friends.

The guys at Comic Kingdom scowl at me every time I ask them to put on lights in their back room, but it's always worth it.