Tuesday, October 28, 2008

un regard moderne

...mandatory in Paris is a visit to un regard moderne; a legended retailer of small-press and otherwise marginal comix publications. Near neighbour is the former 'Beat Hotel': one-time home to Burroughs, Gysin, Balch et al.

To be honest: I found the selection - which is sufficiently extensive as to render human egress past the leaning 'skoob' towers of accumulated graphic detritus mortally perilous - a little disappointing. Ebay has been very kind to me in recent years & I've hoovered up some horribly obscured items (principally, in the Elles Sont De Sortie line) for what was relatively dirt-cheap (& correspondingly; proof also of just how difficult specialist retail is become in an increasingly global & digitised marketplace).

Such were the boom years of the Australian economy: in retrospect I can recognise what a supremely serendipitious thing it was to be earning real money while the Australian dollar actually traded at a decent rate of exchange... Upon returning, I stifled a weary yawn to make the final Goran Bregovic gig of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Bumped into a former colleague there, "we were worried you'd run out of money - the exchange rate went directly south for the Aussie, while you were away"... But I suspect, rather, that my timing could not have been better: I spent my savings while they still obtained a reasonable value.

Is financially much more tightened circumstances now, & perhaps not only for myself. But a joy it was to traipse about Europe in the knowledge that I didn't have to go back to work at the library. And now, the misremembered luxury of leisure moments in which to enjoy alla musique concrete vinyls and 'figuration libre' monographs. I've been hoarding gourmet artefacts of marginal creativity for the last 2 years, but with the defered expectation of ever being able to actually enjoy the damn things!

Anyways. Paris! Un Regard Moderne. Mark H found himself a graphic anthology of works by Roland Topor. I picked up the new Henriette Valium omnibus, and a collection of punky strips by Marc Caro; both of them published by L'Association (who did Persepolis, and the works of our friend Caroline's housemate, Florent)... some confoundingly beautiful books, but I was visited with much better luck at Bimbo Tower - digging up a long OOP #4 of L'Horreur est Humaine, and for a bare 4 Euros, heh heh...

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