Above is a sampling of merchandise from the old Super Longs, aka the Payless, aka International Super Store, one of the last remaining drugstores with any love in it. The following is an excerpt from an illustrated essay I'm working on about Oakland's beloved Super Longs:
The store’s high regard had a lot to do with its practicality: convenient location; vastly diverse stock; all-night hours for those who hated crowds and loved that special insomniac weirdness. At the same time, Super Longs was marked by its impracticality. In a time when all other motives had been crushed beneath the bottom line, the store’s survival was unreal. It was notorious for losing money, skated by on tradition and vanity, and in some early-morning hours, as you walked back through its empty parking lot, you could almost believe it was there solely as a favor to the citizens of Oakland.The piece will consist of cut-out merchandise and stockable shelves, and portions of it will be included in Janelle Hessig's forthcoming memorial fanzine about the store. I hope to include a longer version in the next issue of Runx Tales, out in 2012. Viva la International Super Store!