I was lucky enough to take a rare non-comics related trip last month, yet still managed to get comics involved! Usually I spend my personal vacation time at New York Comic Con or other conventions along the east coast. This usually includes show prep, travel time, expenses, and loss of vacation days… so if I really think about it those aren’t vacations in the traditional sense at all! Don’t get me wrong, we do enjoy meeting fans at the shows, drawing commissions, and making Curls Studio more visible to the world, but let’s face it – that’s not a vacation. That’s working.

So it was such a treat to enjoy a relaxing time at Austin Books & Comics in Austin, Texas. Their store is amazing and had an excellent selection of material including indie, self-publishers, all-ages, back issues, trading cards, buttons, shirts, newly released comics, and more. In addition, everything was clean and the aisles were easy to navigate. Several comic stores I have seen seem mildewy and dark with the front display comics damaged by sun, but at Austin Books & Comics the books were in good condition and it was a fun experience to shop there. They even put on a lot of in-store events and support the local community of artists. Many of the local creators are tagged with signs to indicate their books including Bad Cat Comics #1 which features a hand-printed silkscreen cover. The employees were friendly and guided me next door to their other shop, Guzu Gallery, which focuses on art books, special children’s books, limited edition products, and designer toys.

In my eyes, Austin Books & Comics is doing it right by getting their customers excited and building a community base of fans and creators. The shop is beautiful and I hope more comic store head toward this direction. Even having a gigantic Hulk display is reason enough to come in the store.

Here is a photo of Jimmy Palmiotti’s Queen Crab on the shelves. Shameless plug: I have a pin-up in that book.

As you can see in the photo above, my (not so secret) stash from Austin is filled with many goodies that I look forward to reading. I also purchased a card game called Nuts and a pack of old ALF trading cards!

If you are interested in seeing more images from our trip, head on over to the Curls Studio Facebook page and give us a “like” while you’re there: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Curls-Studio/50763422380