Answer: I don't really know, actually.
Growing up, I was somewhat stranded in rural Eastern Washington. Relatively depressing... and, actually, there was a 2 and a half year window (7th grade, 8th grade, and the start of my Freshman year) where hormonal imbalance, basic early teenage alienation from my peer group, and what was clearly a sub-par education -- made me a worthy candidate for psychosamtic drugs. (One day, I just sort of woke up, realized that "we're all in it together", and snapped out of it.)
About the only good comic book available within a 50-minute radius was the anthology "Dark Horse Presents" -- an anthology that had one long 3 or 4 year winning stretch. In retrospect, the Simpsons comics I picked up were crap, but it took a full year to break that habit. Eventually I discovered the EC reprints -- which probably set me up for a fairly decent shift in tastes (Hey... I'm a fan of a great deal of old commercial comics!).
I mostly got by on catalouge orders. After exhausting Slave Labor, Drawn and Quarterly and Spit and A Half provided me with Chester Brown, Jennifer Daydreamer, and a multitude of other talents. Really, the Seattle comic stores only suplemated my comics reading. (Actually, I probably largely got by on 2 fairly massive
My musical taste was slow in forming... In general, more mainstream than my brother's... as an aside, it's kinda fascinating that we more or less discovered David Byrne / Talking Heads at the exact same moment. I had picked up on Talking Heads from 94.5 KATS, a rock radio station that I listened to by virtue of the fact that there wasn't anything better which, occasionally, played their 4 biggest hits of "Once In A Lifetime", "Take Me to the River", "And She Was", and "Burning Down the House." Once or twice a dj showed some individuality and snuck in "Psycho Killer" (something I imagaine they'd never be able to do under the auspices of Clear Channel Communications.) So, at a used music store in Seattle, as I was rummaging for something good -- my brother picked up the Talking Heads album "Stop Making Sense" -- looking for David Byrne for some reason (because one of his songs was used as a theme song for a by now 4-years since cancellation tv show, if I remember his explanation correct), and I ended up snatching it out of his hands.
I don't know if the Halo Benders are particularly good. From what I've heard of them, they're pretty good, and have catchy tunes... but so is corporate rock band Queen. (If I grew up in the 80s, they might just as well have been my favourite band...)
It seemed like a whole pile of indie punk rock.
So, I went there, whenever my parents travelled to Seattle, to pick up comics, in a place devoid of the latest X-Men. Strangely enough, I can't think of what comics Fallout was responsible for introducing me to. I picked up Tom Hart's Hutch Owens from them... but I might as well have bought it at Zanadu-- where Tom Hart famously was employed for a time. I picked up a random issue of John Porcellino's King Kat -- a comic which I look at the back issues of and think "meh", and look at the current issues of and think "This is good." That wasn't where I bought Underwater, a comic my brother warned me about, but which I adored immediately. I cannot really think of a single item I discovered from them.
Sitting here in Portland, which seems to have an amazingly high per capita number of good comic sources in the USA (An axis of Powells, Reading Frenzy, and Countermedia ... a store I haven't been to located over on Fremont which sounds something like Fallout... a very good independent book store that's not necessarily a good outlet of comics, but has a rack frozen in 1997 or thereabouts to persue -- alongside a good selection of graphic novels), what throws me is that... I tend to go to 2 sources that have the atmosphere of a typical comic store... where Batman dominates, and the store clerk scratches his head at how well the Sugar and Spike reprint is selling, or expresses how he doesn't see anything in Ghost World, or calls Gary Groth a hypocrite for eating at McDonalds...
The frequent 50% sales, and the aging hippy owner's personality, redeem the place considerably. (And, of course, it's selection is superb.)
Hm... what was my point?
Oh. Right. Fallout is closing. Long live Fallout. You will be missed. Etc.
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