Monday, 18 February 2019

The Ol' AMOC Mailbag: Please Hold for Dave Sim 12/6/2018 Extras

Hi, Everybody!

Did you know there's a Kickstarter going on?

Were you aware that the last Kickstarter item is available elsewhere?

Have you taken note of a deal of a lifetime?

You did/were/have?

Well aren't you #%@&ing special?!?

Friend to the Blog, and Heir to the Throne, Eddie Khanna sent in:
Hi Matt, 

As a follow up to the “Please Hold for Dave Sim” for 12/6/2018, I thought I would send the following: 

The COMICSHOP at  3518 W 4th closed its doors for the last time on January 4, 2019. Brent and Keith did an awesome job running the place, taking over management in the late 90's from Ron Norton, who remained the owner and passed away a few years ago. I’m sure I’m not the only long-time customer who has numerous memories and anecdotes associated with the place (like the first and only time I sold part of my comic collection, a bunch of early issues of BONE for a store credit of $100, and on my way home received my first and only speeding ticket for $115). 

Based on the CEREBUS issue I got signed (#171), it must have been June 1993 (although I always thought it was May) when I first met Dave at the 4th and Arbutus location, where it was located for the majority of its existence (next to what is now Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe, but was previously The Arbutus Cafe under different owners). I was driving by with my friends (who were ‘civilians’) and asked them to wait for me while I went in to get my weekly pick-up. When I went to the counter, I was told by Keith that Dave would be arriving shortly for an impromptu visit. Of course, the fanboy in me freaked out. I ran out to tell my friends in the car to go on without me, as I was about to meet comic book royalty (which probably generated the typical reaction one would expect from non-comic book fans in the early 90’s; “What the hell is comic book royalty and why are you giving up a ride home for it?”), ran back into the store past Ron talking to someone by the (then newly created and much, much smaller) Graphic Novel shelf located on the main floor facing the entrance door, up the stairs to the counter upstairs and started asking Keith, “So when is he coming? How long before he gets here?” To which I was told, “See that guy you just ran past down there talking to Ron? That’s him.” 

I bought another copy of the current CEREBUS issue (the aforementioned #171), and went downstairs and stood at what I thought was a relatively safe distance (but not so far away as to not make it clear that I was definitely interested in getting an autograph and meeting him). Diana was talking to one of the employees (pretty sure it was Simon) at the main floor cash till, I think about when she worked at the Comicshop at their first location, at or around the 3400 block on W 4th.   

Ron seemed to be talking to Dave about the increasing market for Graphic Novels and trade collections, and showing how they had set up a section devoted specifically to graphic novels (especially non-super hero ones), because of Dave’s introduction of and success with the collected CEREBUS trades, which started the whole graphic novel revolution in motion. 

I think Ron (and probably Dave)  could sense that I was standing over to the side with a bit of that ‘crazed fanboy’ look, and Ron asked Dave if he had time to sign an autograph for one of their regular customers. Dave said sure, and I came over, nervously holding #171. He asked me what my name was, and I must have managed to correctly say ’Eddie,’ because that’s who he drew a head sketch and signed it to. I remember watching him draw it, and was surprised by the fact he began by drawing the snout and head first. Whenever I tried drawing Cerebus, I always began with the ears. 

I don’t recall what (if anything else) I said, but I do know that I thanked him for the sketch and said, “I just wanted to say keep up the good work,” which of course I was kicking myself for saying later, since it seemed like the last thing I actually wanted to say to him (like sure thing. He’ll make sure every issue of CEREBUS meets the standard of some random guy he met in a Comicshop). I went back upstairs and showed off my head sketch to Keith, who said I could bring in my previously purchased issue of CEREBUS 171 and they would take it back, which of course, I wasn’t about to do. 

For all the times I went to The COMICSHOP, I only ever saw  2 other celebrities there (even though it was a frequented by a lot of famous and ‘famous’ people). One was when they had Paul Chadwick in there for a signing. The other was when I was in there looking at the week’s new arrivals, blissfully zoned out in that new comic book high, scanning up and down the racks, vaguely aware of the only other person in the store, some guy next to me who was also doing the same thing, but not really paying attention to him. This continued when I went to pay for the books, as the same guy was in front of me getting rung up at the till by Ron, and I was engrossed in the week’s new arrivals and flipping through them. They guy paid and left, and before Ron began ringing me up, he said, “That’s one way to get autographs,” and held up the Visa slip the guy had just signed. I couldn’t make out the signature. “Who’s that?” I asked. Ron looked at me like I was on crack. “Robin Williams. Didn’t you notice him? You were standing next to him for a good 10 minutes.”

(PS. some attachments: the head sketch, the ads for the Comicshop in the back of CEREBUS Dave mentions, and some invoices to the Comicshop from the Cerebus Archive, from the 2012 HIGH SOCIETY kickstarter material. I assume the later one is for when Dave did a tour and was a guest of the 'Shop in the 80's.)

Well, thank ya kindly Eddie!

That'll 'bout wrap it up, folks. Join me tomorrow for:
Next Time: "Get a load of the 'gazungas' on THAT one!"...


Jeff said...

Cool! Any chance we could find out what the note from Deni actually said, since it's unreadable here?

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...



(You mean you DIDN'T get the High Society Kickstarter?)

David Birdsong said...

“My records show no payments for ads in Cerebus #’s 23, 24 + 25. Total owing is $225.00 ($75 x 3). Is there a problem? Just let me know. Otherwise please send payment ASAP.

Thank you-

Deni Sim”

Lose your glasses, Jeff?

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Oh dear. "Dave started the whole graphic novel revolution" is another of those zombie lies that shambles along no matter how many times it's debunked.

-- Damian

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "Oh dear," that reminds me. Damian: I've always wondered how you knew I shopped at The Comicshop before I even mentioned it here (or anywhere else, as far as I know)? I suppose I'm not the most inconspicuous brown guy to ever walk through the doors, but still.


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Eddie: Ha! No, we've never met or even (as far as I know) seen each other. You're a conspicuous brown guy? I'm a goofy-looking white guy. I live in Shaughnessy neighbourhood and often shop at the Safeway at West King Ed; have we both been there?

I can remove the mystery. Brent at The ComicShop recognized both our names from here, and mentioned you to me a couple of years ago when I was buying one of the remastered Cerebus phonebooks.

-- Damian