Nerd Notes on Paris
You know, for a city of eternal grandeur, Paris is pretty nerdy.
For one thing, the French have these magnificent comic books. They're sold in hardback volumes, with fantastic art, all sorts of genres, and you can find them in bookstores, for cripes sakes. It makes me want to learn French just so I can read them. About half-way through my stay I found out there was a French comic shop (bulles de salon) within a few blocks of the apartment, which had a fantastic layout with a round room with featured items on display, and a long back room with older books, some American comics on their own shelf, and little figurines and posters. I got my wife a fantastic poster of a fairy queen in a long dress, which she was ecstatic about.
Manga's pretty big there two. Of course, it's translated into French, but it's still neat to see how much of it there is for sale - the French store above had some, the Virgin Mega-store had a bunch, and it turned up here and there as well. Two great indications of how popular it was is the posters for the upcoming Paris Manga show next weekend, which also has a bunch of sci-fi things going on. This showed up all over the Paris subway system, and the posters looked very appealing.
Another great thing I found was Manga Cafe, a place my wife and I found by accident as we went the wrong way to Notre Dame. It was great - a couple of rooms with lots of places to sit and relax, coffee, playstation, and internet. Additionally, for a mere 4 euro an hour, you could hang out and read their manga library, which was *huge*, thousands of volumes for the reading. And apparently some drinks were included in this price. It was a great looking place, and if you're visiting Paris you should check it out. Tammy got a cool pic of some of the art they have on the walls, which I'll have to post later.
Finally, I heard from Tammy (my wife) that there was a comic book store near where we were. I assumed it was a French comic book store, but no - it was an American comic book store, full of american comic books, collections, action figures and figurines! I didn't buy anything (because of having to lug it back home), but it was neat seeing that some folks enjoy our comics over there.
So, there you go - Paris is a very nerdy place!