Monday, August 8, will be FloatingWorld Comics’ last day downtown. That’s the last day of their moving sale, but it’s not the end of one of Portland’s favorite hubs for comics culture—far from it.
Jason Leivian, owner at Floating World wrote an email Friday morning saying that he had made a decision to move his shop to the Lloyd Center.
For the past 16 years, the curation from Leivian and the Floating World staff has been one of the most adept in the city—some claim “the world”—when it comes to showcasing auteur creators and the artists pushing the boundaries of 2-D sequential works… which is what you call comics when you want them to be taken seriously.
It was at Floating World that I discovered the works of Julia Gfrörer—and subsequently became so engrossed in her work that I missed the Amtrak train I’d come downtown to catch. The shop has proven a gateway to masterful locals like Sloane Leong, Sam Alden, and Farel Dalrymple (among others)—many of whom I first discovered when I picked up their self-published mini comics from the shop’s zine area, or when they came through for book signings and First Thursday gallery shows.
Leivian was responsible for publishing over 60 2-D animations and organizing experimental animation nights. But Floating World has also always left plenty of room for superhero stories, children’s books, and YA graphic novels—the staff showing just as much enthusiasm for X-Men as Mobeius.
“For the past 16 years, I’ve been proud to call Old Town Chinatown home….” Leivian sent a message to the Floating World list. It was a privilege to be able to identify myself as a Chinese-American shop owner in Chinatown. My daughter was born in the Lan Su Chinese Garden, and I had my wedding there.
He said that the last two years had been “boring at best, treacherous and terrible at worst.” Mercury. “I just couldn’t wait any longer for some change that is not right around the corner.”
Leivian’s letter describes his search for a new storefront leading him to the theoretically “dead” Lloyd Center Mall, where he plans to open the new location near record store Musique Plastique and local artist Eric “E*Rock” Mast’s Dreem Street shop.
“I was shocked by the amount of natural sunlight that bathed the Lloyd Center’s first floor. It was chilling, but it was purposeful. I’ve never thought of a mall as calming and soothing, but the energy was fresh and relaxing….
It all clicked: free parking, easy transit access, central location, an historic space that was being shaped by Portlanders who wanted to build community. Although it would have been a huge undertaking, and more difficult than moving my shop, the potential was too great to ignore.
From Fri July 29 to Mon Aug 8, Floating World Comics is having a move-in sale. From 11 – 7 pm, the soft opening party for the new location will take place at 1405 Lloyd Center Mall.