Top Shelf got twenty grand on Wednesday because the books are
GOOD. They produce work of unquestionable quality, from
Guess what? There's an audience for these works that 90% of
comics stores refuse to acknowledge. An audience that a
distributor without a sales force isn't getting into bookstores.
I'll agree, there's a lot of good independent work that's not getting the exposure it deserves. (I consider myself fortunate the store I patronize seems to carry a lot of the small-press stuff.) But I don't think Top Shelf got bailed out simply because they were just "found online" and people happily paid for their wares over the 'Net. I looked them over and bought a few books that looked interesting because a writer whose work I enjoy immensely, who also favors and plugs others' works that I enjoy, pointed it out and said "THIS IS GOOD SHIT AND YOU SHOULD BUY IT AND READ IT". (And of course, there was the implicit threat he'd hunt down all of us that ignored him with a bowel disruptor set on "rectal flood".)
Oh, and if you don't read Transmetropolitan, you should, before I see to it that every one of you is infected with a contagious venereal disease that produces large, itchy, singing pustules.
I'm learning more about how I handle death as the days go on since Brian died. It still hasn't really hit me yet. I start getting that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach when I see someone else react to it. The look that Maggie Scher gets when she recounts how a kid called her (one of many to call Thursday) asking her to deny the rumor was true, and how she had to say she was sorry, but she couldn't. When Pat (Brian's mom) starts to lose her composure, talking to relatives on the phone, when she mentions how Brian's not coming home again. The awkwardness as someone tries to find something comforting to say as they leave, but can't, knowing how futile it is all along.
I'm going to be a wreck come next Saturday at the funeral. Zach wanted me to come along to catch the minor-major league doubleheader down at the stadium that night, but I've already passed on it. I'm certain once I'm in the midst of all of Brian's friends and family, and people start talking about his life, I'm going to lose it. It's going to be too much, and I'm not going to feel up to the sort of suspense and excitement that baseball brings, as much as I love the game. (Zach understands, of course.)
I never used to understand denial. The crying friend or family member on the news, vocally denying the death, talking as if the deceased were alive and okay. There's an episode of "Homicide" where a man starts shooting children and staffers at a school before taking a classroom hostage, a girl sees the police videographer, she starts poking her friend being loaded into an ambulance telling her to get up, she's triple-cut repeating "It's just TV, it's not real". That used to annoy me... come on, you KNOW they're dead, nothing you say will change that, start coping with it.
Intellectually, I know Brian's gone. But it doesn't feel like it yet. I'm used to not seeing him every other day, since graduation last June and his departure for college. It feels like any other month-or-two stretch that I don't see him. It's some kind of emotional bubble, one I can't seem to pierce. I can only conclude that my psyche, on some level, is denying this. I don't know if it's good or bad yet, I only know that I can't frown upon it in others anymore if it's something that I do too, even if it's in a different form.