Danger Room comics in downtown Olympia hosted a special signing event on Wednesday, May 15. Guests Nathan Edmondson and Matthew Southworth were there to greet fans and answer questions. Both are members of the comic book community: Edmondson has written several award winning series for Image Comics and has worked for Marvel and DC, and Southworth is an artist, writer, and musician who’s works include the critically acclaimed Stumptown.
The event started at around 4 P.M., with customers coming to get comics and graphic novels signed by the two. They, along with owners Frank Hussey and Casey Bruce, shared stories and banter with customers as they made purchases and got signatures. A question and answer session with the creators followed at 6 P.M. It started off with the owners asking them a few questions the shop had come up with for them. The mood was light and fun, with the audience, owners, and creators making jokes, ribbing other writers, and dispensing advice. “Seriously, the next person who asks a question has to take a cookie,” Edmondson said at one point, threatening the assemblage with a box of shortbread. The guests also answered more serious queries, such as the state of the industry now that digital publishing is a major force, and the place of sites like Kickstarter in the creation of new work. This whole time the shop still continued to do business (an important note, as Wednesday is the weekly release date for new comics), encouraging customers to stay and chat.
Danger Room has been a downtown Olympia mainstay for years. It was closed for a time, but a few years ago reopened under Hussey and Bruce’s management. The shop itself is rather small and cozy, with big windows on the exterior walls to entice customers. Located on the corner of 4th and Columbia, and with easy bus access, the store has become a favorite of Evergreen State College comic book fans. This is perhaps not just due to the friendly staff and good location. Danger Room has a proud history of community involvement as well. Aside from events like Wednesday’s signing, Danger Room is involved in the yearly Olympia Comics Festival and Arts Walk, among other things. They have a whole shelf dedicated to the local comics community, and an entire separate shelf for alternative, indie titles.
Danger Room will be involved in this years Olympia Comics Festival Saturday, June 8th. Nathan Edmondson just had his most recent series, The Dream Merchant, released through Image Comics. Matthew Southworth’s current projects include Day for Night, the story of a child thief in 1930s Pittsburgh, and The Loudermilk Brothers.