14 November, 2005

Letter from a Kochalkaholic!

Mr. Doane,

Let me guess: that's the most common subject line in your inbox.

I've been following your "Kochalkaholic" blog since the very beginning, and I figured it was time to let you know how much I've enjoyed and appreciated it. It's great to get all of this James Kochalka news all in one spot several times a week. Who could have guessed that such a thing would ever exist?

I think that if anyone were to be, in a way, credited as James Kochalka's "biographer," I think you would be it. I've never seen anyone put this sort of time and effort into one creator; I mean, even Chris Ware and Dan Clowes don't have their own "fan-blogs!" (For lack of a better term. I don't know what to call it. "Fan-blog" sounds kind of demeaning, I guess.)

Have you heard anything about a General Lack of Kochalka comics (and CDs, for that matter) in the Midwest? I live in Michigan, and I have never -- not once -- seen a James Kochalka product for sale anywhere near where I live. The only times I have bought Kochalka comics is when I was in the east coast. I wonder why this is...

I guess you could say that comics in general are harder to find in the Midwest, but I'm not sure if that's entirely true. The comic shops in this area don't always have the best selection, but they usually have small samplings of "alternative" comics. James' have mysteriously been missing.

Sorry for wasting your time with this cluttered, rambling e-mail, but I thought it was necessary to let me know how great your blog has been. I hope you continue to update it until James' death, at least; if you continue doing so afterwards, it might get a little awkward and tacky.

And maybe even tasteless, like that last sentence.

Have a great day.


Dear Dane,

James's comics have extremely low print runs in comparison to corporate superhero comics and even a lot of prominent indy titles, so your best bet is to let your retailer(s) know you're interested in them stocking his stuff, and showing them in Previews where they can order it. Some retailers are resistant to ordering anything not put out by Marvel and DC, but the very best comics retailers want the money of all customers who would like to buy comics from them, so don't settle for sub-par comics shops, make sure you find one that gets the job done right and meets your needs.

Thanks again for your kind words, it means a lot to me to know you're out there enjoying the blog, and hopefully you're not alone. :-)