Three times a year, the Eagles Lodge on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard transforms into the city’s best underground comics shop.
Five years ago, Andy Johnson, co-owner of Cosmic Monkey Comics on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, started Frankenstein’s Comic Book Swap with artist and publisher Tim Goodyear. The goal was to provide fellow anthologists, collectors, artists, writers and mini-publishers with affordable space to set up and trade in the art of copy—books, cassettes, VHS and other collectibles. It’s an unpretentious welcoming station for the curious and connoisseurs alike.
But it’s after dark, when all the traditional Marvel, DC and indie comics collectors are packed up for the day, that the mood shifts into an atmosphere more akin to a backyard barbecue.
In 2014, shortly after the swap started, Goodyear approached Jack Hayden of Snakebomb Comix about hosting an after-hours edition that would cater more directly to artists and small-press publishers.
It eventually became known as Comix Thing, which runs from 9 pm to midnight in the same spot. This is where you go to get Chris Cilla’s books, original prints and T-shirts from the author himself, or original drawings and mini comix by Sean Christenson, or Daria Tessler’s gorgeous Fantagraphics-published Cult of the Ibis. It’s also where ravenous tape collectors swarm boxes of spaghetti Westerns and cult horror flicks, like the found-footage gross-out Cannibal Holocaust, and other random genre-bending obscura from God knows when.
The next swap is coming up in November. With Dennis Dread of record label and film presenters Wyrd War on the turntables, the past few Comix Things have been the biggest yet—and with the Eagles Lodge recently turning down pricey offers from developers, the event appears to be in it for the long haul.