A little over a year into its existence, a new bookstore and gallery just off South Street continues to hold strong in spite of the pandemic. Partners and Son, founded in 2020, carries a unique assortment of comics, graphic novels, zines, anthologies, periodicals, and art books from indie presses. The work featured on the shelves comes in from around the world, with a healthy dose of Philly's own talent included. These comics vary from magical slices of life to bloody punk chronicles, with sci-fi adventures and many cute cartoons you might not associate with your idea of comics.
Drawing into the future
The store is run by artists and partners Gina Dawson and Tom Marquet. After years of working in New York, the couple relocated to Philadelphia for space to start a family and their vision of a gallery. "We had always dreamed of having a space that married both comics and contemporary art," Gina mentions when asked about the store's inspiration.
Covid-19 has forced a large portion of the shop's business online. They found this had its own benefits, unexpectedly broadening their audiences. On top of regular local sales, they often send books internationally, from the UK to Russia.
Regarding the selection being mainly from indie presses, Partners and Son follows the interests of its owners. "Buying comics for the shop gives a kind of license to try things that we might have not quite gotten around to as regular people, because now we can imagine a reader for a book even if it’s not precisely what we go for. It’s kind of like buying a gift for somebody else that you might actually want for yourself, constantly."
Looking to the future, the store hopes to host events in the future when it’s safe to do so. "There are so many cool things being produced in the Philly comics community and we want to be able to offer space for book releases, panels, maybe a small festival. We also can't wait to get back to having art openings and closings and studio visits."
What, When, Where, and Accessibility:
Image Description: A storefront has 'Partners and Son' labeled on the door. The windows reflect the outside, the photographer visible in the center of the door, with snow and cars behind them. The windows also offer a glimpse inside the store. A sign with an illustrated person wearing a mask with text that says "Be cool, wear a mask."