Betting on Yourself – An Interview with ALAIN PARK

We recently corresponded with Alain Park, co-owner and operator of the Howling Pages graphic novel & print store, to discuss the campaign to open a comic book store in the Portage Park area, the advantages of running a store under a predominantly graphic novel model, and the importance of building a community within your local comic shop.

Note: The Kickstarter for Howling Pages can be found here.

COMIC BOOK YETI: Alain, thank you for joining me today to discuss your Kickstarter. Like I mentioned to you previously, and for the reader’s benefit, I stumbled across the flyer for your Kickstarter at a coffee shop in my area and was so impressed with your ideas for the store!

But before we discuss your store, do you remember the first comic that made you fall in love with the medium? Was the local comic store your entry point to comics?

ALAIN PARK: I guess you could break down my entry into comics into two parts, my childhood and then my teen years. As a kid, I read a lot of European comics. My mother is Belgian and I spent a lot of time with Tintin and Asterix & Obelix and other adventure-type European comics. At the same time, I was also reading a lot of Conan the Barbarian, which felt like an oddly familiar cousin to Tintin in a way. So if there’s a comic that made me fall in love with the medium, it’s probably some weird cross between Tintin and Conan.

The store as an entry point was important, but that didn’t come until later in my teen years. That’s where comics became more than just a kid’s enterpris