This profile of the Seattle Fantagraphics store in a college newspaper gives us all a chance to admire their gold leaf signage, but it also presents yet another example of the eternal conflict of art and people with mustard in their goatees as they argue the merits of graphic novels in bookstores and what that means for bathroom privileges.

Now Reid claims that graphic novels are taking off as more and more bookstores are acknowledging them for what he believes they are—works of visual and literary art.

As this graphic conversation was taking place, a customer, specifically the only customer in the store, crept out of the adults only section to offer his two cents on the scene. From the familiar smile Reid greeted him with, one could tell he was a regular. He went by the name of “cool-guy” and the dried mustard in his goatee belied, or perhaps pointed to, his expertise of comic books.

“I think it’s great that mainstream bookstores are finally carrying these things. The only problem is that you have to buy something if you want to use their bathrooms and their selection isn’t as good,” Cool-guy said when comparing Fantagraphics to stores like Barnes and Noble.


  1. Wonder if he means that you have to buy something if you want to read it in the bookstore restrooms? I’ve never heard of a mainstream store putting the facilities off limits except for proven customers.

    But since he was coming out of the adults-only section, maybe he had some other motive for wanting the solitude. I would hope that Fanta would oblige him to buy a book before they let him use their restrooms too. It’s only fair.

    “Comics as Restroom Reading-Material– We Told You So!”