Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Arcane Comics and More

Driving along 15th Avenue NW through Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, there is a sign on the side of the road near 58th street. The occasional passerby may not notice it, but those familiar with the area, know that the sandwich board advertising Arcane Comics braves the rain and even the sporadic sunshine 365 days a year. Tucked into an office building next to a dental clinic, Arcane Comics and More is home to a vast selection of comic books, everything from the mainstream, well known titles, to the more obscure, lesser known books like Alan Moore's A Disease of Language. While the quantity may seem overwhelming, it's a joy to spend an afternoon in a place that has such well stocked shelves you're guaranteed to find exactly what you're looking for or discover something new.

In addition to comics, the store is home to apparel, toys, and manga, but what sets them apart from other local stores is their subscription service. There is no initial fee to start a service and no minimum number of titles you have to subscribe. An added bonus of the service is receiving 10% off other store merchandise. While their selection and services are great, what truly makes the store a gem is the knowledgeable and friendly staff always ready to greet customers with a welcoming smile. Arcane comics is open seven days a week from 10 am to 8pm, with another location in West Seattle.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There is a section in every local comic book store that is dedicated to a very specific type of comic, it is not the Marvel heroes or the DC crime fighter, or even to the lessor known Wildstorm sidekicks; this is a section focused on a certain style of art called anime. Anime is a Japanese drawing style whose characters can be identified by their exaggerated expressions, wide, innocent looking eyes, and long legs and arms. While anime has it's roots in Japan, there is a strong following here in the US that began in the early 1990's with the introduction of cartoons such as Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z. A combination of these shows, along with video games and comic books catapulted the anime industry in the US to be the 4 billion dollar market that it is today. The popularity has grown tremendously over the years, so much so that there are conventions held around the country that celebrate the anime industry. Seattle is host to the eighth largest anime convention in North America called Sakura-Con. It is a three day event held at the Washington State Convention center and it is happening this weekend April 2-4. The convention will have discussion panels and anime artists and cosplay participants. On Saturday April 2, the Seattle Women's Anime Meet up with have a panel from 10:00 - 11:00 AM to introduce themselves to the larger community and to hopefully recruit more members for their fan base. Another local group attending the convention is a Soul Candy, a Seattle based band that combine their love for anime with music. For anyone with a passion for anime or just a budding curiosity, Sakura-Con is definitely the place to be this weekend.