I’m not part of any one scene. I’m an artist and have some artsy friends but I don’t really seek out to define myself as such. I’m a sorority girl and proud of it but not all of my friends are greeks. I’m Jamaican and Chinese and that suit me just fine. I think it’s a cool combination. And I think it sometimes throws people off guard that I am proud to be an American. I mean, I absolutely LOVE America. And yes, I am a Liberal. You can be both. And I like a lot of stuff that comes with belonging to the so-called “indie scene” in Gainesville. First off, the indie scene in Gainesville is much more of a welcoming atmosphere than most. People are nice here. For the most part elitist snobs who are wearing that thrift store shirt to be ironic and actually drive some sort of disgusting SUV are actually hard to find. Also, it’s a small town. You meet one person and then realize that they were in a band with your friend or served you sweet potato fries at The Top or you went to their ex-boyfriend’s art show at the Down-Home Gallery. Gainesville has a lot of charm in it and I like that it doesn’t make me choose. I can get decent food here for a good price. While I think our mall is lacking, Orlando isn’t that far away and that sorta makes me save money. Besides, I do NOT need to be obsessing over things I cannot afford.
The only thing I am missing in this town is a REAL comics shop with underground comix and a knowlegable staff. Not Manga, although I bet a store devoted solely to Manga would do pretty well in Gainesville. I’m talking independent comics or at least things a little more experimental than your standard superhero fare. R.Crumb? Chris Ware? Harvey Pekar? Some new person I don’t even know about yet who is self-publishing his own tomes like a mad monk? I would like to find out firsthand who the next Marjane Satrapi is by reading his/her book, not by reading the blurb in the New York Times Book Review! Note: if you haven’t read Persepolis, do it now. It’s simply drawn and sensitively told. It’s great storytelling. Also, it would be nice if I could go to one place and be able to find a decent comics selection. Right now the only series I am into is FABLES. I can’t wait to find out what is next. So Gainesville, you heard it from me first, if you want to get better as a city, we need a comix shop.
PS- I still think the term “graphic novel” is pretentious. It also sounds a little like it’s something dirty. Think about it.