Cheer Up Charlies
"..."It's the first Saturday in May now, every year," says Brad Bankston, affable head honcho of Austin Books & Comics. "It's mostly a celebration of comics and a sort of giving-back to the fans, but it has multiple purposes." He counts those purposes off on fingers faintly stained from the back issues he's been attending to in the store's vast archives: "Getting people who already read comic books to try something new, maybe a different comic than what they'd usually buy..."
"...Artist Terry Moore, writer-artist of the series Strangers in Paradise, was the featured guest, signing copies of a limited edition lithograph produced just for the event and featuring an unpublished image from Strangers in Paradise #80. Austin Books owner Brad Bankston reports that 142 fans packed the store (and consumed more than 30 pizzas, a keg of Shiner, and several cases of soda)..."
"...Brad Bankston, manager of the comics and science fiction specialty store, Austin Books, says that local independent stores, aside from offering more individual attention to customers than the chains ever could, help make Austin the city it is. He says it would be a shame to lose those unique businesses to the same stores you find in every other city...."
"...Guzu Gallery is a new annex to the perennial winner of "Best Comic-Book Store" in the Best of Austin Readers Poll, situated right next door to the original purveyor of graphics goodness. When the Iris hair salon vacated the space, Austin Books owner Brad Bankston saw an opportunity to expand his empire well, more like take something the store was already doing and do it in a slightly better way...."
"...They've scheduled panels (Indie Animation) and live interviews (Jill Thompson, Alex Robinson, and others) and wild performance (a section from The Intergalactic Nemesis, Sunday's Comedy Showcase at The New Movement). They've scheduled pre-parties and after-parties and more, so you can hang and work the witty banter with the likes of Tim Doyle of Nakatomi, with Kristin Hogan of Dead Squirrel Girl, with Brad Bankston of Austin Books & Comics, with the peeps of Top Shelf Comix, with E..."
"...Thanks to Brad Bankston and Austin Books, Leea Mechling and the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, and John Carrico for supplying artwork for this story...."