A few weekends ago, I happened on a small town of mind-altering art and sensation-enhancing words that goes by the name of Santa Cruz, California. Only in a town full of suspiciously friendly people would I find such a cool comic book dispensary as Comicopolis. Wouldn’t you know it? They’re down to sell those quality indie books you’ve never heard of that you should be reading. I chatted with John Arnold for blunt words on the chronically good books they stock their store with.
Hello, Comicopolis! First of all I dig your store and I dig the prime real estate that your indie books have. How long have you been carrying books by local/independent artists and writers?
JA: From the very beginning. We’ve always believed in supporting independent press, and especially those working locally.
What do you look for in these books when stocking your shelves?
JA: Same thing we look for in all books: quality storytelling and artwork.
Do you have any zines/books in your personal collection that used to, or still do, adorn your store shelves?
JA: I’m a huge collector, and have a ton of books in my personal collection. I’ve been reading comics since I was a wee lad and so, of course, have many, many, Marvel & DC books. But I’ve also enjoyed many indy/small press works. The list is way too long to go into here, but some notable works include Asterios Polyp, Habibi, Blankets, Black Hole, and of course, BB Wolf and the Three LPs (my first published GN).
I imagine you make a decent profit on books from the big two and similar publishers. Why would you carry books by artists and writers most people haven’t heard of?
JA: It is crucial for the industry to constantly see new talent and new ideas. It would become stagnant without it. With that in mind, I think it is necessary for all of us, publishers, retailers, distributors, to take chances and promote new talent and their work(s).
If you and your business associate were to dress up as a comedy duo, who would it be?
JA: Martin & Lewis
To find out more about Comicopolis, there are multiple links in this post. Seriously, what’s your problem?