What Happened to the Bookstore?…


Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, January 22, 2007

A year ago, an independent bookstore opened in downtown Grand Rapids, River Bank Books. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago it closed. It was a bummer on several levels. First, you hate to see any bookstore close. Second, you’d like to see stores that aren’t part of mega-chains succeed. Third, things like bookstores make downtowns just that much nicer, and (whether it’s true or not) tend to be perceived as a bellwether of a city’s health.

I did, in fact, patronize the store. I didn’t go there as a destination, but it was nice to pop in while I was down there. I even bought some stuff, though obviously not enough.

So when I found out the news, I wanted to draw a comic about it because, you know, I wanted to call attention to the cause, and maybe help other downtown retailers and just sort of rally, um, support for the….

Okay. Honestly? I did, in fact, have some sympathies here, but my primary motivation for this week’s comic was my right thumbnail. A couple of days before deadline, I got my thumbnail bent back playing basketball. The nail luckily snapped back in place, but it was bruised halfway down and sore as hell. I couldn’t hold a pen without extending the thumb out, which was no good for detailed drawing. So I came up with this comic because it required limited drawing board work; I did most of it on the computer.

The thumb is all better now. So no smarty comments on next week’s comic about not being able to tell by the quality of the drawing….

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