Columbus and I have a long history together, from attending SPACE there most every year, to the parties at the Laughing Ogre, to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library (where I first met Dylan Williams, paging through old White Boy newspaper pages wearing white cotton gloves), to Used Kids Records, and more. Columbus is always one of my favorite destinations.
Monday I ran errands, dropping off copies of the new King-Cat at Used Kids, Wholly Craft, and Laughing Ogre, and visiting (as usual) the Wexner Center Bookstore, the best museum bookstore I've ever been in. I picked up a nice artbook documenting the graffiti, posters, and artwork of the May '68 Paris uprising, plus a collection of the seminal Destroy All Monsters zine from the seventies. And later I found a copy of Amy and Jordan at Half Price Books. So a good book day.
Tuesday I had an appointment with Matt at the Wexner Center to show him some Spit and a Half stuff, which he happily picked up for the store. It never is less than a total thrill to me to get good comics into someone's hands.
Ginger Vitus, my Columbus housemate.
Wednesday morning I was back out on the road, making the short, three-hour trip to Pittsburgh. I was excited to have enough time to stop in Wheeling, WV on the way. I've always been in too much of a hurry to do so before, or coming through late at night. And Wheeling looks so run down and beautiful from the interstate.
County Courthouse in Zanesville, OH.
Before that, though, I impulsively got off the highway at Zanesville. The only thing I remember about Zaneville is driving through it when I was on the road with my band Smile, in 1991. And back then I was probably hungover. So I thought I'd go check it out.
Zaneville was run down and beautiful, and home to the masterful "Y-Bridge":
Photo of Zaneville Y-Bridge by Maurice J. Fox, from Wikipedia.
(Click to enlarge)
I headed back on down the road and was in Wheeling in no time. Wow, Wheeling was run down and beautiful, but mostly run down. It was kind of sad. I drove around for a bit, but didn't take any pictures.
Then I was in Pittsburgh, which is, apparently, my new home away from home. Having never been there before March of this year, this was my third visit since then. I love Pittsburgh. I travel around a lot and see a lot of nice places, but Pittsburgh is one of the few places I could actually see myself living in.
I headed over to Copacetic, one of the great American comic shops. Bill (the owner) and I shot the breeze for a long time as I wandered around looking at stuff. I picked up a copy of Onward Toward Our Noble Deaths, a manga I'd been eyeing for some time. The cartoonist (and my PGH host) Jim Rugg showed up and we went out to dinner, then back to his place to chatter endlessly about comics, Cleveland, the Situationists (a looming trend), Kirby (the artist, and the cat), and so on. Living in physical isolation from other cartoonists, it's so nice to be able to talk shop when out on the road.
Next morning we went to the Carnegie Art Museum and spent much of the day there. Afterwards, we stopped in at Phantom of the Attic, another great PGH comics shop, then headed back to Copacetic to meet Bill for dinner.
After dinner, Jim and I wandered around PGH a bit more, ending up at the Big Idea, one of the nicest infoshops I've ever been in. I dropped off a bunch of King-Cats and eyed their shelves. I picked up a copy of the new Crimethinc book, Work, and Ken Knabb's Situationist International Anthology. Then back home to blabber more about comics.
On the way back to Jim's, he took me on a detour up Mount Washington, to the best views of the city. No kidding. Pittsburgh shure is pretty.
From Mt. Washington, to the west.
To the east.
And the next morning I was back on the road, heading to Brooklyn.
And when I got to Brooklyn, this is what I found:
NEXT: Brooklyn Part One