Sneak preview of the new indie bookstore Howling Pages available this weekend in Portage Park, as doors will open April 23 for Seventh Corner Gallery art show; official store opening set for May 13
by BRIAN NADIG
The community can get a sneak preview of the new indie bookstore Howling Pages, at 4354 N. Milwaukee Ave., during a pop-up art show from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 23.
Howling Pages, which will be selling graphic novels, indie comics and printed art, is not scheduled to officially open until Friday, May 13, but its doors will be open to the public this weekend for a one-night show hosted by the Seventh Corner art gallery, said Howling Pages owner Alain Park. Admission to the show is free.
“It’ll be comic-book inspired art,” he said. “They’ve been doing a few pop-up shows in the area.” Seventh Corner includes several Portage Park area artists.
While the store has not opened, support from the community has been overwhelming, Park said A kickstarter campaign has raised $16,366 to help pay for the store’s initiall inventory
“The response has been tremendous, … especially from the neighborhood,” Park said of the fundraising campaign. He added that most of the contributors area are residents who he has never met.
The store will not carry single-issue, periodical-style comics, sometimes referred to as a “floppy,” Park said. Instead the store will feature graphic novels, which contain an entire storyline of a comics series, he said.
The inventory will include some famous Marvel and DC character storylines, but there will be an emphasis on independent novels, including international and self-published comics.
Park said that he hopes the store’s wide selection of book-length comics will help draw new readers to comics. He added that it can be difficult to choose one comic that is part of a larger storyline but that a novel allows the reader to capture the entire story.
Park said that he enjoys comics as a hobby and that his background includes being an artist and a writer. “I worked a number of years in publishing,” he said.
Portage Park was chosen as the shop’s location in large part because I Park lives there. “I wanted to invest in my community, and I wanted to be able to walk to work,” he said.
Park added that the the Milwaukee-Montrose area is becoming “a destination,”:with a variety of unique, small businesses, including Tone Deaf Records at 4356 N. Milwaukee Ave. and Moonflower bar at 4359 N. Milwaukee Ave.