The past few weeks have brought several changes—good and bad—to Portland's comic book community.
Southeast Foster's Guapo Comics and Coffee shop is closing after six years in business. Citing life changes and other obligations, the owners are moving on, though Guapo Comics will continue selling merchandise online. The space will remain a coffee shop, under new ownership.
Another of Portland's comic shops, downtown's Floating World Comics, has relocated. Now situated on the corner of NW 4th and Couch in Chinatown, the new storefront is bigger and more prominent, and features both a bigger space for curio-shop-within-a-shop Grass Hut to show their wares, and a selection of records curated by Landfill Rescue Unit. To inaugurate the new space, Floating World will throw a grand reopening party on Thursday, September 1, coinciding with a First Thursday art show featuring work by Brazilian artists Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon, from the new book, Casanova: Avaritia #1. The book's writer, Matt Fraction, will have a release/signing party at the new location on September 14.
Last week, the news spread quickly through Portland's comics community that Dylan Williams, publisher of Sparkplug Comic Books, was being treated for cancer and was without health coverage. When the news broke, comics blogs and artists around the country began urging people to support Sparkplug and help Williams pay for his treatment.
The locally based Sparkplug is a small press that emphasizes new, quality underground work. Williams followed his own unique tastes in finding new work to publish, along the way putting out excellent books by such notables as Jason Shiga and John Porcellino. His company has also been a boon for local artists like Sean Christensen, Amy Kuttab, and Chris Cilla (whose latest book, The Heavy Hand, was nominated for an Ignatz Award.)