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Tuesday, April 26, 2022 

New specialty store for independents opens in Dublin, Ireland

RTE ran an article by the manager of a new comics store in Ireland, mainly dedicated to selling creator-owned products:
When we lived in Madrid we lived in The Comic Book District. The neighbourhood wasn't really named The Comic Book District, it was Malasaña, but within a 15-minute walking radius there were almost a dozen comic book shops. It’s skewed my expectations from cities ever since.

Little Deer Comics began as a side project within DCAF, the Dublin Comic Arts Festival. The festival did a good job reflecting Ireland’s comic creators, but we didn’t have the budget to invite international guests, so to bring some international context to our local event, I began importing comic books to sell at DCAF.

[...] We can’t compete in size with Dublin’s existing comic book shops or bookstores (Books Upstairs and Chapters have wonderful graphic novel sections), so we try to stock what they don’t, and highlight creators who wouldn’t normally get the spotlight. Because comics are a storytelling art form and everyone has their own stories to tell, the stories that interest me the most aren’t the stories I’ve heard before from the creators I’ve seen before. That’s why you find so many self-published and small press comics in Little Deer, because that’s where you find the fresh new voices and stories.

Sometimes a customer will say "I don’t know where to start with comics," but unlike movie posters and prose books, it’s entirely reasonable to judge a comic book by its cover! The artists of creator-owned comic books are responsible for both the interior art and the cover art, so if a cover strikes you, the art inside should as well. We also divide our store by genre. If there’s a genre you enjoy in prose, or television or film, you’ll likely enjoy comics in that same genre.
More to the point, it should all be judged by merit, and coming from indie creators, it could make some sense you'd want to judge the cover too. As for where to start, I'll say this: the way the mainstream handled today, you most definitely wouldn't know where to begin, since Marvel/DC were destroyed artistically years ago. So provided the creator-owned books aren't overly political and heavy handed, unlike the sorry state of the mainstream now, that's why it's better at this point to start with the independents. So if the store manager in Ireland has a good idea how to market everything, I'll wish him good luck with his new venture. There's doubtless a good deal of creator-owned products in the works that sadly won't get the attention they could in the USA, so maybe a European store like this would make a much better place to search.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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