The Cheque, Mate (1992)

I’m back! Apologies for the extended time off, you can read what I’ve been doing on my professional blog if you’re curious.
One thing I did while in LA was to seek out some comics stores. I actually went to four stores:
  • Golden Apple Comics is famous but was somewhat disappointing. It felt awfully ordinary to me.
  • Meltdown Comics was an amazing shop.I could have spent hours in it and spend crazy amounts of money. It’s like a Barnes & Noble for comics – the inventory is absolutely insane. I found so much great obscure stuff here, which I’ll be reviewing over the next few weeks. They had everything from this month’s new releases to scads of back issues to obscure indies and classic collection.
  • Hi-De-Ho Comics of Santa Monica is another amazing shop, similar to Meltdown. While I was in there, a woman bought a giant stack of Carl Barks Library volumes, which tells you the kind of shop they are. Old and new, they have them all. And if you head over to the Promenade, they’re easy to find on Santa Monica Blvd.
  • Earth-2 Comics is a great neighborhood shop in Van Nuys run by my pal Carr. They’re a perfect neighborhood shop, with great stock and lots of great graphic novels.

I honestly recommend all but Golden Apple, especially if you have some money to spend.

It was at Meltdown that I found my copy of this obscure Eddie Campbell gem. Campbell is one of my all-time favorite creators. His autobiographical comics are real treasures, slices of life full of verve, style and wit. Campbell is perfect at finding the right moments to capture in his stories, his noodly pen line and blithe spirit bringing his comics to emotional life.

"The Cheque, Mate" is not for beginning Campbell readers. (I recommend the Alec collection if you want to start with his work) It’s kind of an "odds and sods" collection of obscure and rarely-seen comics from over the years. In it, we meet an officious professor and William Shakespeare, Beau Brummel and a slacker with a dead-end job. The stories are light and airy and funny, and feel like yarns a pal might spin when in a good mood in a bar. It’s breezy fun that’s enjoyable while it happens and which leaves a smile on your face after reading it. Even obscure sub-prime Campbell is still a real joy.


6 Responses to “The Cheque, Mate (1992)”

  1. cauwel3 Says:

    golden apple is cool

  2. Jason Says:

    Why is Golden Apple cool?

  3. cauwel3 Says:

    Because I\’m not sure if I\’ve been to Meltdown. I think maybe I have but I don\’t remember the name. I used to go to golden when I was In high school and we travele dinto LA. They always had creators met danzig there and those type of things. And it\’s been carign the torch for a long time. My favorite of course is my local comic shop they come and go often though

  4. Ariel Says:

    I think Golden Apple was cool in the 80s and early 90s when Bill Leibowitz the owner would have a lot of events and creators stop by to sign books and stuff. I can clearly remember meeting people such as Peter David, Dale Keon (I may be mispelling his name sorry about that) and even Glenn Danzing there in the past. However, Bill died of a heart attack late last year and maybe the shop hasn\’t been the same since, he was kinda the heart and soul of the place. As for the other places you mentioned, the only other shop I have visited is Hi De Ho. A few years ago my buddy George and I went comic book hunting in L.A. and we went back several times. There was also a shop down Melrose called "Cheap Comics" which was trying to compete with Golden Apple, but I think they went under.

  5. cauwel3 Says:

    frank in sons in walnut about 30 miles out of LA has the best prices and it\’s basically a trucking warehouse that they have a show at every weds and saturday. It\’s really cool and close to my house. It\’s benn going on at least ten years now

  6. Ariel Says:

    Back when I was driving, I tried going there once. (Frank and Son\’s in industry) but i took a wrong turn and ended up in Diamond Bar or somewhere so I never found it. I got too lazy or hungry to drive back and they were tearing up Valley so it was really annoying to go there, but I know it\’s supposed to be a good place to get comics.

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