Inaugurated in the late 1990s, it has just received the Eisner, the most prestigious award in the ninth art, for a career marked by the dissemination of comics in its community.
The absence of tourists has left the downtown streets empty during the hot hours. That is, almost all day. So much so, that it seems like the confined Seville. On Zaragoza street, at six o’clock, Sergio López (Seville, 1975) appears in the store and raises the gate of his business, Nostromo, which has just won the Eisner Award for the best comic book store in the world. The visitor is greeted by the addictive smell of paper and ink. In the last few days, a constant stream of journalists, curious people and, above all, proud customers, have passed by.
That same door was opened for the first time in 1997, in the days when comics in Spain were definitely leaving the newsstands to be sold in specialized stores, partly thanks to the fervor for the role and merchandising of video games and sagas like Star Wars, but, above all, because of the most important transformation the sector has undergone: its passage to adulthood.
The Eisners, the most prestigious awards in the ninth art, are announced every year during Comic-Con in San Diego, which this year has been fundamentally digital. Until now, only Akira from Madrid and Norma from Barcelona had deserved to enter this category. The list of winners has almost always included bookstores from major cities, which is why López and the four people who pilot this ship with the same name as Alien’s are living their victory with more epic character. Last year they were finalists and, this time, with unbridled enthusiasm, they improved their candidacy by betting on highlighting their efforts to organize activities to promote comics in Seville.
Nostromo is a well cared for shop, with a varied catalogue, a notable quantity of collector’s items and a careful treatment of its readers, something that will never replace an algorithm. However, its managers insist that the key to victory lies in the dissemination of the comic that they have been doing within their community. Among their merits is the fact that they have brought great figures to Seville, a place where the events in this field every year used to be counted on the fingers of one hand. George R.R. Martin, creator of Game of Thrones, Juanjo Guarnido, the most awarded Spanish cartoonist of all times, Carlos Pacheco, one of the first Spaniards to enter Marvel and DC, David Rubin, four times candidate for the Eisner, who today works with Neil Gaiman, creator of Sandman, and national awards such as Antonio Altarriba and Paco Roca (winner of an Eisner this 2020 for The House), among others, have all passed through there.
After the confinement, which has made everything online, this award has come as if from heaven: “We closed during the state of alarm, in solidarity with the majority of stores in the country. I feel that the Eisner is already being noticed in sales, but between the visits, the calls and the cloud we are in, we still haven’t been able to check it out”.