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Sunday, July 13, 2008

FantaCo 1987

In looking for more FantaCo-specific material, I started leafing through a my journal from 1987. Ah, John Hebert comes over to my house a couple times to work on Sold Out #2 in March. Let's see, what else?

May 1987: A friend of a friend of mine (more like an acquaintance of a friend of mine) came into the store looking for a job. Let's call him Jacques. Apparently, I had met him before at a party, but he didn't leave much of an impression. He shows up without calling first and is ticked off that I'm at lunch when he arrives. He uses the phrase "Oh great, boychik" a lot. Jacques gave me a bad-looking copy of his resume. He criticized the Atari we had in the store (HE had a Commodore) and says he knows "more about comic books than anyone" because he's been reading them for years - as though I'd never heard THAT before. Jacques tells me the other places he's already applied today - doesn't THAT make us feel special, if we even hiring! He then told me FantaCo was owned by Fantagraphics and that Matt, the guy behind the counter, was "stupid" for not knowing that the store was owned by the people who put out Amazing Heroes. (For the record, FantaCo was not owned by Fantagraphics, Fangoria or any other entity). I wish we had had a job to offer so I could have turned him down.

July 30, 1987: There was a boy of about 12 patiently waiting outside the door of the store at about 10 a.m. The sign clearly noted that the store didn't open until 11, and that early morning is when I did mail order, stocked the shelves, organized the bank deposit, etc. As it turns out, the boy had come from Belfast, Northern Ireland to buy a set of Fangoria magazines ($249) plus $225 of other horror-related merchandise. His mother, who I hadn't seen waiting - worried that he was spending so much money and wondered whether the material would even get through Customs. The boy said something to the effect that at least you don't have to worry about getting shot all the time. I had the sense that, based on the wide range of products offered in the Fangoria ads, the store would be physically larger, but still I sensed that he felt as though he had come to Mecca. Had I known how far he had traveled to be there, I might have let him in earlier.
We sold four Fangoria sets in two days, two in the store, two in the mail.


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