March 31, 2008

I went to Columbus to visit relatives over the weekend. As usual, I had a delightful shopping experience at The Laughing Ogre – good selection, friendly staff, etc. While wandering around the city, I happened upon two other comic shops that weren’t open during their posted hours. It was pure chance that I stumbled upon either store, so I’m not outraged or anything, but it did strike me as an odd and not at all encouraging trend. I’m just saying.

I also did an informal Barnes & Nobel/Borders compare-and-contrast. The Columbus Borders reinforced my perception that they have a better selection of comics and graphic novels. Again, if Barnes & Noble takes over Borders, I hope they let Borders set the course for graphic novels and manga. I tend to pre-order anything that I suspect won’t ever show up in a Barnes & Noble, but the last thing anyone needs is a smaller number of outlets that will carry interesting graphic novels. Just ask Dark Horse.

Also, this struck me as kind of depressing. There once was a funky, interesting neighborhood called The Short North in Columbus (think Dupont Circle in Washington) that seems to be kind of a victim of its own success (as is Dupont Circle, which has too many pricey shoe stores to be funky and interesting any more). It’s kind of gone mall, if you know what I mean. The great gay bookstore that was there forever has been shoved several blocks north of its former neighborhood.