Graphic Novel Review 40/365: Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!

I took a trip into the city today with a couple of old students to grab lunch and hit up a couple of stores, possibly to find some new books for a Graphic Novel Review or two.

I wanted to hit up Quimby’s Books in Wicker Park at 1854 W. North Ave. in Chicago, of course.

I love Quimby’s!  They have some of the most unique product.  Their collection of independent comics and zines are almost unparalleled.  You might disagree with me, you might have YOUR SPOT, but for me, Quimby’s is A-1.

Title: Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream  

Author: Laura Park

Publisher: Uncivilized Books (2016?)

Age Rating: 17+

Above is what I ended up picking up at Quimby’s.  They have an amazing collection of comics and graphic novels, so whenever I go in there it’s rough to select only a few.  Pretty much everything is cover price, unless you consign a title with them.  If you do, you get 10%.  It’s great to go in and explore the litany of interesting books, but it’s hard not to take note and check the price on Amazon.  I always end up spending a few bucks even if I can find the title cheaper on Amazon.  I know how hard it is for brick and mortar shops, so I support them when I can.  With that said, there are tons of things at Quimby’s that you can’t find at a massive on-line shopping site like Amazon.  And it’s for these titles that Quimby’s is essential to the industry voice.

Funny story: the woman in the store was leading me around, showing me the different sections that the comics/graphic novels were housed, and I told her about my project, and I asked if many of the indie books were readily available for purchase on-line so I knew what I could say on my blog and where to send readers.  She said, “I don’t know.  We have a store.  I don’t tell people to shop online.”  Whoops.  So, with that, make sure you hit up Quimby’s for your indie comics, Chicago people!  We also got into a small debate about the classification of comics vs. graphic novels, but I didn’t push the issue.  These terms are highly contested.  People feel strongly.  Myself and the helpful woman included…

I did pick up a couple of obscure books from bigger publishers, but I also picked up a few small-press books.  I got three issues of Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream by Laura Park.  It’s an autobiographical mini-comic that is broken up into short segments about Laura’s life.  The art, while simple and black & white, does utilize some amazing cross hatching, and many of the short tales are interesting.  The small booklets are available through Uncivilized Books, and you can check out their catalog here.  I dig the books.  I love the honesty and vulnerability of Laura Park.

And I must say, as I perused the collection at Quimby’s, the honesty and vulnerability practically falls from the shelves in that store.  I think I even saw actual physically drawn mini-comics on the shelf.  The power of “Here’s my art!  Love it or hate it!” is very present at stores like Quimby’s.  And it’s a great place for teachers to check out titles that might not cross their “Other items shoppers have bought” list.

Here’s a picture of me in a heated discussion at Quimby’s:

Happy reading!

Eric

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