THE 3-MINUTE INTERVIEW: The Comics Journeyman

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People,Abby Hamblin

The Comics Journeyman promotes comic books and graphic novels on behalf of Fantom Comics, which has a store in D.C.'s Union Station. He's also the host of Fantom's spin-off website, subcultureforthecultured.com.

What perception do people have about comic books that you would like to change?

First, people are always surprised to even see a comic book store. It's disappointing, because the medium is stronger than it's ever been from a creative standpoint. Second, superheroes are merely one genre among many: relationship and personal angst stories; biography; nonfiction; classics; crime; zombies. ... And third, the comics medium is uniquely American -- like jazz or baseball -- but it doesn't get the attention it deserves. These are works of art that deserve serious consideration.

What draws you and your customers to the comic book form?

I personally gave up reading regular books years ago. Comic books ... it's just a language that speaks to us. Comics fall somewhere between reading a traditional book and watching a TV show or movie. Myself, I'm an explorer of all comics. I dive into offerings of every style imaginable.

What are the big trends in comics right now?

Superhero comics remain the bread and butter of the business. ... We're [also] really excited that more and more people are pushing toward a broader spectrum of what they're reading.

What does the future hold for the comic book industry?

The comic book has grown up. Even the words "comic book" aren't the best term for it anymore. Sequential art is a better term. It's the perfect way to present information to a person either for education or entertainment purposes because it follows more of how the human brain actually works.

Why is D.C. a good place to sell comics?

Were very lucky to be in D.C. because it's packed to the gills with our kind of customer base. It's educated individuals who often have pretty dull jobs. Smart people love comics, and D.C. is packed with them.

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