To go from Tokyo to southwest Georgia entails a huge amount of culture shock, not the least of which comes from discovering how many manga titles are available in this relatively rural area heavy on pecan trees and peanut fields. I hit the local Books-A-Million and received a pleasant surprise. They have more than an entire aisle devoted strictly to manga.
Not only that, but they also have another section for "adult manga." I got so excited, I forgot the books I'd been reading. Except for Nana, which I didn't see. Does Nana not sell here? Are Yazawa Ai's elegantly styled but emotionally troubled young characters too alien for the locals? Or do they love Nana and Hachi so much, Books-A-Million sold out of every single volume in a matter of minutes after placing them on the shelf?
Or did I just overlook them like a dumbass?
And as far as western comics go, Books-A-Million has Tokyo's Tower Records and Blister beat. I had no idea Image's Walking Dead had gone through so many volumes. They stock DC and Marvel books deeply, too. And they had a few delightfully oddball selections like Titan's James Bond Omnibus Volume 001.
The store's magazine section offered at least as many new monthlies as Blister. I didn't poke through them because I rarely indulge in monthly mags. Just the occasional New Mutants, Conan, Hellboy or Walking Dead. Every once in a while, I'd splurge in Tokyo and pick up a few titles just to sample them and keep abreast of new developments.
Books-A-Million could use more Fantagraphics books, though.
I didn't buy anything. Money is tight right now and with Mother's Day this weekend, I couldn't see spending a lot of dough on myself. It was nice to see a wealth of funny books on the shelves, though-- and a lot cheaper than in Tokyo. Import prices suck!