Friday, July 14, 2017

My Collections, Part 1: The Beginning & Chronicle

I've wanted to make a post highlighting my collection for some time, but I've been unsure of how to do it. I've already made a post about my Locke & Key collection, but it's grown since then so I want to update that.

So how do I go about presenting it? With Joe Hill, do I go by series? That's going to be another huge L&K post with other tinier posts. With Starman, do I break it down by the different Starmen, starting with Ted Knight?

Whatever I do, I've got to start somewhere. My collection is constantly growing, what with new Hill books and comics (even if they're only new collections or series based on his works if not written by him) coming out, and I'm still building my Starman back issue collection. If I keep waiting, I'll ALWAYS be waiting.

So fuck it, let's kick this bitch off with something small.

I don't know when he started working with me, and I don't know when he quit, and I don't know how long he was here. I've been with the same company for more than 16 years now, and everything just blends together. It's a swirl of friends and projects and bullshit.

But I digress.

There was a guy, his name was (and still is, if I'm being 100% factual) Jonthan Gibson. He was hired as a computer forensic analyst. I don't take to new people quickly, but we ended up bonding over nerdy things, eventually forming a good friendship.

When he was in school at the Savannah College of Art and Design (Jonathan, please forgive me if I get any detail wrong, and by all means feel free to correct me), he and artist Julie Collins self published three issues of a fantasy comic book called Chronicle.

One Friday during my lunch break I was visiting my friendly neighborhood local comic book store (LCBS from here on in) because they had posted on Facebook that they had purchased a box full of variant covers and they were priced to sell. I'm a completist, so when I'm collecting something, I'm collecting ALL of it, and that includes all types of variant covers and reprints. So I spent a little bit of time shuffling through the short box of comics, pulling out issues here and there, so I "needed," some I figured I could flip for profit (meh, I've been only slightly successful with that). Toward the end of the box I came across two black and white comics, no publisher mentioned anywhere on the cover. The title tickled something in my brain, so I pulled one of the comics out. There, right on the bottom, was my coworker's name. Out of all the comics I bought that day (and it was quite a few), these two, issues 0 and 1 (sadly, no #2), are by far my most valued (in sentiment if not monetary value).

I bought these books after Jonathan had moved on from ROCIC to greener pastures. However, I host a Game of Thrones season premiere viewing party every year that he attends. The first one I had after purchasing his comics, I brought them out and had him sign them for me. Just because he's my friend doesn't change the fact that I'm a collector at heart. I've since located Ms. Collins through social media, and I'm about to get in contact with her to see if she might have an extra copy of #2 lying around and/or if I could mail the two comics I have to her for her to sign.

Jonathan has kept up with Chronicle, transitioning it to a web comic. You can click on the links to visit the strip's webpage and Facebook page. The strip isn't his day job, so updates aren't 100% regular, but I recommend giving him a look and a follow.

So that's it for this first installment. I'll begin my Joe Hill collection with the next installment...but which series? Hmm, decisions decisions.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Deleted Posts

I don't know if I have/had any regular readers of the blog. Going by the post-view numbers, I averaged around 50 views per post. I have no idea who any of you are. Friends? Relatives? Strangers who stumble on to the posts because of the songs I attach?

Anyways, if you're a regular, you might notice that almost all of the posts from this year were deleted. A couple of weeks ago a friend messaged me on Facebook and said she had stumbled across it and thought I should take a second look at what I had written, especially the more recent posts. So I did, and wow. Two things came to mind: 1) I sounded like an absolutely bat-shit crazy mother fucker, and 2) I threw a really great woman under the bus. I don't like deleting things I write (I DID save everything to a Word document so I can keep it all to myself), but I felt this was necessary. I did this for two reasons. The first was pure selfishness. Like I said, I sounded bat-shit crazy. Sure, it wasn't there in the first post, but you could actually see the evolution of it. My little breakdown was there for all the world to see. Eventually I'll want to be in a relationship again, and I swear if that person were to ever come across my craziness, that'd be it, game over, man.

The second reason was because I HAD thrown someone under a bus. I said some hurtful things because I was hurting. It wasn't right, and I was ashamed. The one post that I kept up because I thought I was being pretty insightful about myself, I edited it a names.

So, what have I learned? If I want to write down feelings and shit, buy a fucking journal. Also, keep posting about my comic collection. That damned Locke & Key post has almost 400 views. That's huge for me. There's an update for that in the future.

Still throwing out videos and lyrics, I felt this was appropriate.

When I was young, I was so full of fear
I hid behind anger, held back the tears
It was me against the world, I was sure that I'd win
The world fought back, punished me for my sins
I felt so alone, so insecure, I blamed you instead and made sure I was heard
And they tried to warn me of my evil ways
But I couldn't hear what they had to say 

I was wrong, self destruction's got me again
I was wrong, I realized now that I was wrong
And I think about my loves, well I've had a few
I'm sorry that I hurt them, did I hurt you too
I took what I wanted, put my heart on the shelf
How can ya love me when you don't love yourself

It was me against the world, I was sure that I'd win
The world fought back, punished me for my sins
And they tried to warn me of my evil ways
But I couldn't hear what they had to say

I was wrong, self destruction's got me again
I was wrong, I realized now that I was wrong
And I think about my loves, well I've had a few
I'm sorry that I hurt them, did I hurt you too
I took what I wanted, put my heart on the shelf
How can ya love me when you don't love yourself

I grew up fast, I grew up hard
something was wrong from the very start
I was fighting everybody, I was fighting everything
but the only one that I hurt was me
I got society's blood running down my face
Somebody help me get outta this place
How could someone's bad luck last so long
until I realized that I was wrong

I was wrong, self destruction's got me again
I was wrong, I realized now that I was wrong
And I think about my loves, well I've had a few
I'm sorry that I hurt them, did I hurt you too
I took what I wanted, put my heart on the shelf
How can ya love me when you don't love yourself

I was wrong, self destruction's got me again
I was wrong, I realized now that I was wrong
And I think about my loves, well I've had a few
I'm sorry that I hurt them, did I hurt you too
I took what I wanted, put my heart on the shelf
How can ya love me when you don't love yourself

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bright Side

We shared a lot of great music. I get to see Deadpool opening weekend. Drowning my sorrows at the Flying Saucer. When the grief passes I hope we can still be good started out that way. I realized that I can in fact love someone again, and that was a big question I had after my divorce. The romance within me did not in fact die. And as long as she's happy with herself and her life, that's really all that matters to me.

Edited to add: I've also got some fucking awesome friends.

Edited again to add: Due to the stress I've been under the past month or so I've lost a pretty decent amount of weight, and I really look better than I have in a long time. Double-edged sword?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mindset Reset

I did a LOT of thinking yesterday. A LOT. About who I am, what I'm doing, what I want, what kind of relationship I want, how I handle relationships, and who I want to have a relationship with.

I thought I had spent the last six years recovering from my separation and divorce by finding out who I am, but I've learned that what I've done is just packed that relationship person away until it was time to bring him out again. I jumped into this thing with both feet. When it started, I thought we were on the same page. After a couple weeks it was evident we were moving TOO fast, and she wanted to slow it down. That was fine with me, but I didn't really know how to do that. I had already fallen pretty damn hard for her, so it was difficult to apply my brakes and slow it down. How do you do that when you have such strong feelings for someone?

I didn't see what my sad attempts at slowing down were doing to her. In my blindness/hubris/selfishness, I thought her issues were only in dealing with her ex-boyfriend. I thought her leftover feelings combined with him stringing her along were causing her stress. I didn't see that, although I was adamant about not pressuring her into making any decisions, my constant BEING THERE through texting and social media was doing what I didn't want to do. I was pressuring her.

Earlier this week was her breaking point, I think, and it took that for me to fully see that, yep, my gung-ho attitude about this was as much of a factor as his lackadaisical attitude. Hence my deep introspection yesterday.

My life is not defined by my relationships. My relationships should ENHANCE my life. My relationship with my kids, my parents and sister, the rest of my family, my friends, and those I fall in love with...these relationships cannot control who I am, what I do, or how I think. They are here to build me up and fill me with love, but I'll never be completely full if I don't love myself. Yeah, that sounds way to New Agey for me, but it's true.

I let my kids get under my skin too much without stepping back and really appreciating them for who they are and how they're growing up. #1 is so fucking smart. I was a very above-average student, but I didn't apply myself, so I skated through everything. #1 soaks up knowledge wherever he can. He DOES things. He's got more going on as a 6th grader than I did in middle school and high school combined. He plays the saxophone because I did, and with less than a year under his belt, he's better than I was at his age (and I was pretty darn good). He's got a really good group of friends, and he loves being a Boy Scout. I fucking admire him so much. But he's also incredibly emotional, and I think that's what I see of me in him the most. He's quick to anger, especially at his younger brother (which, to be honest, is justified a lot of the time). Out of the three of them, he's the only who will ever remember his mom and me married. He had to grow up very fast when she left the four of us, and it just makes me sad.

#2 is so much a girl. She likes make-up (although I don't let her wear any yet), dresses, Barbies, babies...yeah, very much a girly girl. And that's not something I pushed, but she chose it, and I'm okay with it. I tried to get her into nerd stuff via comics and TV and movies, but she's not into it and that's fine...she's blazing her own path. She tried gymnastics and cheerleading for a few years, but that started to bore her. She's always loved music (there's my girl!) and singing, and after she showed me a song she wrote (holy shit, it was amazing for 9-year-old), her mom and I decided it was time to talk about music lessons. But we left it up to her. She was currently in Girl Scouts, and she ended up choosing singing and piano lessons over that. I cannot wait to she her grow as a musician. She has so much talent and heart that I just know she's going to do incredible things.

#3 probably has the most of me in him. He's energetic, but he also loves to spend tons of time on the computer (closely monitored by me, don't worry). He's not nerdy like me (that's all #1), but he's also crazy smart...but he doesn't do anything with it. He does his work, does it well, but beyond that he doesn't enjoy learning like his older brother does. He also changes gears pretty quickly. He did "ninja" class for almost a year before getting bored. He plays basketball, but he really has no idea what he's doing. He's in Cub Scouts, but I think he goes just to see friends and go camping every now and then. His emotions are always just under the surface too, but it's more about frustration and sadness as opposed to #1's anger. He tears up easily if he gets yelled at (which I tend to do more often than I should. That said, he is also the sweetest boy. He wakes up every morning with a smile. He's quick with hugs and kisses on the cheek. He is probably biggest headache causer out of the three, but sometimes he's the easiest to forgive.

Why do I let these wonderful kids get under my skin so much? Why do I get exasperated with them? They make my life better just by being here. When they're with their mother every other weekend, my house is quiet and still and lonely. I really don't know what to do with myself when they're gone. Then along comes *****.

***** is also a single mother with kids Bobby's age. Somehow, miraculously, when we started going out we discovered our kid-free weekends synced up. How perfect was that? The last two weekends we didn't see each other, though, and I kind of spiraled into a "what am I going to do with myself?" mode. There was smoking, and there was drinking. Looking back, I can see that my relationships with my kids and with ***** were dictating my attitude and feelings. They weren't there, so I couldn't be happy? Bullshit. That's just bullshit, and I'm just now realizing that. I cherish every second (despite headaches and tantrums and sibling spats) with these people I love, but just because they're not around doesn't mean I still can't be happy. I have friends. I have interests. I have hobbies. I have a house that has been neglected for far too long. I have OTHER THINGS.

My life is not defined by my relationships. ***** and I have been talking constantly since the beginning of October. For better or worse, that's when the relationship really started. But in that time, we've seen each other a total of five times. Only. Five. Times. Five times does not a boyfriend/girlfriend make. SHE knows's just taken me this long to figure it out.

I'm still in love with her. I won't say that won't ever change, because things happen and it's very early in this messed up little relationship we have. But being in love with someone shouldn't make you or them sad. I honestly can't say with any certainty that we'll make it. I'd like to think we will, but as with all relationships, if it does end I know I'll be taking good things away from our time together, things about me that I've realized and can put to use (which I'm already starting to do) in my life and, hopefully, in future relationships. But right now I'm going to do whatever I can to make this work, and right now that means giving her space. I think I spoke on that in yesterday's post. I was pretty successful yesterday I think, and I hope it wasn't the cigarettes helping with that, because I crumpled up the remainder of my pack and threw them in a dumpster this morning (I did save ONE to have before starting work...hopefully my last one ever) so I can't rely on their calming effects anymore. They were just a crutch anyways. As far as communication with her goes, I'm mostly following her lead. I'll text in the morning with a "Have a good day!" and possibly send out a Snapchat if we're still trying to keep our streak going, but daytime contact will be instigated by her only (my decision). I'll text in the evening to see how her day was, and if she wants to continue texting or talking once the kids are in bed, then that's her call. If she doesn't text or Snapchat during the day, then that's no problem. She's got stuff to do, I've got stuff to do...and we've only been out five times. Her frequency of contact does not determine my happiness or who I am.

This was a pretty big revelation for me, so I guess this post ended up being a lot longer than I originally intended. If you read the whole thing, I appreciate it. If you're coming here for pop culture reviews, I apologize for the abrupt change in posting topics, all this is very therapeutic for me, and obviously it's helping. I wonder who IS reading this, though? Do I know you? If not, how did you stumble upon this? I know ***** used to read it, at least when I was going through my divorce and posting links on my Facebook page. She hasn't mentioned anything about it, so probably not?

Time to work. Thank you all for reading. Here's my favorite Paramore song, as a treat (lyrics copied below the video with the relevant ones bolded).

When I was younger
I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind
He broke his own heart
And I watched
As he tried to reassemble it

And my momma swore
That she would never let herself forget
And that was the day that I promised
I'd never sing of love
If it does not exist, but darlin'

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

Maybe I know, somewhere
Deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways
To make it alone
But keep a straight face

And I've always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable, distance
And up until now
I had sworn to myself that I'm content
With loneliness

Because none of it was ever worth the risk

But, you are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

I've got a tight grip on reality
But I can't let go of what's in front of me here
I know your leaving in the morning, when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream, oh

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

And I'm on my way to believing
Oh, and I'm on my way to believing.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

My Locke & Key Obsession

I'm quitting new comics. This Wednesday, when I go to Rick's Comic City in Donelson to get my last batch of new comics, I'm going to cancel my hold box. I don't know if my dwindling enjoyment is just a thing (I've quit a few other times in the past) or a product of the re-emerging depression, but I'm okay with it. I'm pretty excited about the money I'm going to save. I'm also attempting to sell my collection. I've done that one other time, and I learned some things from it. Primarily I learned that if I REALLY like a series or character, I shouldn't get rid of it.

This time I'm keeping a few boxes, and I'm going to be slowly adding to that collection. Starman is my guy. The James Robinson series in the '90s was AMAZING. So I'm keeping all of those books. But this post isn't about Starman, it's about Locke & Key.

The only reason I started reading Locke & Key was because I'm a huge Stephen King fan, and Joe Hill is King's son. At the time of its release, though, I was at the tail-end of my previous no-buying kick. I was, however, reading them online. I was hooked after the first one. When I got back into buying, this series of mini-series was the first thing I added to my pull list.

Over the past year or so, I've worked hard to track down the issues I've missed, along with variant covers, trade paperbacks, hardcover collections, special collected volumes, and collectibles. This post is just a way for me to show off something I'm really proud of.

Bleeding Cool #5, Doctor Who Classics #2, IDW 10th Anniversary Comic, and IDW Coming Attractions 2009 #1 -
These contain either short stories or previews of one of the L&K minis. I think all I need is the retro variant cover to Doctor Who Classics #2.

This is the first mini series. The only regular issue I'm missing is #1, and apparently there's a foil variant out there, but I've never seen it. I'm also missing the Deluxe Hardcover, the Signed Limited Hardcover, the slipcase for the hardcover set (I bought all my HCs separately through Amazon), and the 2008 SDCC Slipcase sets (three of them). 
So, these pictures are going in alphabetical order, not publication order. These are ALL the issues of L&K: Alpha #1. I'm not missing a single thing.

These are the Wondercon variants for Alpha #1 and 2.
These are all the 2nd issue of Alpha. Again, I'm not missing an issue.

This is the complete Clockworks mini. The only issue I'm missing is the variant for issue #2.

This is Crown of Shadows. I'm only missing the variant covers for issues #3, 5, and 6. As a neat little aside, I've got a coworker who custom makes crowns and other items. I've shown her some pictures of the Crown of Shadows, and she's going to make me one, and hopefully I'll even be able to put the Shadow Key in it! I can't wait to post a picture when she's finished. Why don't you check out her Etsy page?

These are two one-shots: Grindhouse on top and Guide to the Known Keys on bottom. I'm missing two variant covers for GttKK, the convention variant and one with a red bar instead of a blue one in the top left corner. I think it's a 2nd print?

Here we have Head Games. I've got all the issues and variants, I'm just missing the signed limited hardcover, some black label hardcovers (I'll address those a little later), a blue label hardcover, and the Subterranean Press hardcover with dust jacket.

This is Keys to the Kingdom. I'm missing the variant covers for issues #2, 3, 4, and 5. 

This is Omega. Looks like I've got all of these. :D

These are the Welcome to Lovecraft specials that reprinted the very first issue. I just got the half-key variant that's on the far right a few weeks ago.

Here's the Red Label hardcover for Head Games.

This is one of the Black Label hardcovers for Head Games. Mine includes an original sketch by Langdon Foss.

This is Gabriel Rodriguez's Artist's Edition Portfolio. There are eight (I think) prints inside of uninked pages from throughout the series. They're pretty neat to look at.

This is the IDW 10th Anniversary Slipcase. I know I already have the comic that comes with it, but I also wanted the book. Maybe one day I'll eventually open it and read it. :D

These are the three oversized hardcover collections of the first three mini-series. I don't know if IDW is planning on releasing the rest of the series like this.

Here we've got the oversized treasury edition of Crown of Shadows.

This is the first volume of the Master Edition. Each volume will collect two of the mini-series. The one on the right is the convention variant. I've already got Volume 2 preordered from Amazon.

There's a coloring book! I bought two of these, one to keep and one to actually color. It's hella detailed and kind of a bitch.

This is a slipcase that collects all of the standard variants for L&K: Alpha #2.
Deluxed Edition hardcovers for Welcome to Lovecraft and Head Games.

All of the standard hardcover volumes, as well as the convention exclusives for volumes 4 and 6 and the covers collection.

Trade paperback slipcase.

Odds and ends: L&K the Game as well as an extra key card that was a convention exclusive, some temporary tattoos, a bookmark advertising the audio book (bookmark for an audio book? whatevs), and a L&K themed weekend pass for the 2012 C2E2 convention.

The aforementioned audio book.

Framed poster for Crown of Shadows.

Framed poster for the audio book. 

And finally, I'm pretty sure these are ALL of the keys produced by Israel Skelton and his Skelton Crew Studio. They've got some other stuff I'd eventually like to have, like a bust of Bode and some jewelry. Yeah, I'll even collect jewelry...hence calling it an obsession.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Oh Captain, My Captain

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            The arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tons of Comics Listed on eBay

I'm not sure if anyone is still paying attention to this, but I thought I'd leave this little link here. I'm putting a bunch of comic books on eBay. Single issues all start at $.99, and listings with multiple comics will likely have prices less than $.99/book. All Buy It Now prices will be around half the book's value (as listed at

The summer is a rough time for a single father with three kids in daycare. Ugh. So if you need some comics, check out what I'm offering, and check back every day through the next week or so for new additions.

I've also got a few hardcover collections and trade paperbacks available.

My Comic Book Listings

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tomorrow afternoon you'll be able to buy Louis CK's movie "Tomorrow Night." C'mon, it's by the same guy who wrote and directed "Pootie Tang." How bad can it be?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Can the Structure of Network Television Completely Change?

Let's have a discussion about TV.

I'm going to throw out a bunch of crazy ideas, and let's talk about them.

I like TV. I LOVE great TV shows. I hate being a TV lover during the summer. Why? Because the landscape of network television is nothing but a sea of reality shows and reruns, sparsely dotted with islands of original programming provided by cable and premium networks.

As I think about the summers of my youth, lo the many years ago, I remember the summers as a time for reruns. You could catch up on many of the episodes of your favorite shows that you might have missed for some reason during the normal "season."

But that's not necessarily the case anymore (same basic outline with occasional changes to the details), and really, I don't think it SHOULD be the case. At least from my point of view (a viewer, not a network exec or an advertiser or an actor), I think that method of programming should be totally scrapped.

Will it ever be feasible for the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and, to a lesser extenet, The CW) to adopt a similar programming schedule as cable and premium networks (FX, AMC, A&E, HBO, Showtime, etc.)? If so, what would this mean? Would sweeps months disappear? Would reruns? With Netflix, Hulu and network website streaming, is there even a need to air reruns? Would it be possible to for a network to air 22-24 consecutive weekly episodes of a show, then replace that timeslot with a different show? They already do this with reality television, and channels such as FX, AMC, HBO, Showtime, etc. do it with episodics. Over the past 5-10 years, we've already started to see the breakdown of the standard television viewing season, September-May. Would a system like this force a network to choose their shows more carefully rather than just greenlighting a ton of shows, throwing them on air and seeing what sticks? Would the networks have to have faith in their programming choices and allow a show to build an audience rather than canceling a show after one episode of less-than-pleasing ratings? Or would this scare network execs and we'd only get statistically "safe" shows, more Chuck Lorre produced sitcoms and less Community or Parks & Rec, more CSI spin-offs and less Firefly or Fringe. How would this affect advertisers? Hell, how would this affect actors? The shows we see this happening to now have an average of 13 episodes per season. Would networks shorten their episode loads in order to save their actors from burnout, and would this in turn force writers to tighten story arcs and give the viewers more "meat" and less "filler"?

Could a plan like this actually make TV better (imagine a TV landscape where EVERYTHING is on par with Justified or Mad Men). Could it make TV worse (playing it safe rather than taking chances). Would it change anything at all? Or will the major networks forever be content letting the FXes and AMCs take all the risks, even if it means never being able to take credit for the next critically acclaimed masterpiece?

I know there are only a handful of people who occasionally glance at this blog, but I'd like to get as much of a discussion going about this as possible. I'm not saying WE could effect any change, but it'd be nice to know that I'm not the only person who has thought about this.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Biffy Clyro Releases "Opposites" Video

It baffles me that Biffy Clyro hasn't caught on over here. And really, I wonder if they care all that much? They're apparently HUGE over in Europe, headlining festivals and winning awards and all that. Over here? The only other person I know who has even heard about them ONLY knows about them because of me.

Their popularity shouldn't bother me as much as it does. I guess I just want people to like the things that I like, be excited about the things that excite me. I like Biffy Clyro's music; it excites me. Why won't you listen to it?

Here's the video of title track from Biffy's double album "Opposites." It's quite awesome. Go buy it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Nashville Comic and Horror Festival 2013

This is a great time to be a comic book fan in Nashville.

First of all, you’ve got plenty of stores to scratch your itch. Besides my store of choice, Rick’s Comic City on Old Lebanon Road, you’ve also got two Great Escape locations, the main store on Charlotte and a smaller branch in Madison on Gallatin Road. Down the road from the Madison Great Escape is Comic City Too in Rivergate. It’s in the Home Depot shopping center, also on Gallatin Road. The newest addition to the Nashville-area comic scene is Flint Town Comics in Gallatin. It’s the smallest of the stores that I’ve mentioned, but it’ll definitely handle all your new comics and Magic the Gathering needs. The back issue selection is pretty limited, but that doesn’t mean I don’t find enough to keep me busy every time I’m able to pop in (which is less than I’d like).

That’s not a bad selection of stores to choose from.

The big thing, though…the thing that really makes this a great time to be a comic fan in Nashville, is the number of comic shows that’ll be happening here this year.

Wizard World has added a Nashville date this year. Held at the Music City Center on October 18-20, we’ll be treated to such celebrities as Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Norman Reedus and Jon Berenthal (The Walking Dead), Billy Dee Williams (Lando), James Marsters (Spike), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Dean Cain (Superman), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Jason David Frank (the first Green Power Ranger), Lou Ferrigno (Hulk), and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules). Comic creators scheduled to appear include Neal Adams, Tom Bancroft, Paris Cullins, Fernando Dagnino, Nathan Edmondson, Pascal Garcin, Ale Garza, Michael Golden, Mike Grell, Greg Horn, Stan Lee, Mike S. Miller, Mico Suayan, Arthur Suydam, and Freddie Williams II.

My oldest son is going to receive a photo op with Tommy the Green/White Ranger for his birthday. I’m excited to get some pretty awesome autographs.

The previous month, the Nashville Comic Expo will be at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. September 14 and 15 will see appearances by celebs Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) and Drake Bell (Ultimate Spider-Man), as well as comic book creators Jim Steranko, Dennis Calero, Joe Jusko, Clay Mann, Pablo Marcos, Don Rosa, Andy Smith, Tim Townsend, and Herb Trimpe. If this expo is anything like the expos in Tampa and Orlando, additional guests will be announced pretty regularly up until the day of the show.

I will pay for a picture with Cohan, and I will not be a victim of hoverhand. Also, more comic autographs! Yay! I’ve got a Strange Tales waiting for Steranko’s John Hancock.

But there’s a show happening sooner than these two. It starts tonight, actually, and it’s the Nashville Comic and Horror Festival being held at the Hotel Preston tonight through Sunday. This is a smaller, more local show, so the celebs are going to be quite as mind blowing. That being said, appearing will be Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island), Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time, Incredible Crew), Sgt. Slaughter, and Doug Jones (Hellboy). The big draw for comic book fans is Jim Starlin, the guy who killed Jason Todd and made Thanos a force to be reckoned with. Other creators appearing are Jonathan Glapion, Steve Scott, and Joe Pruett. Like I said, it’s smaller, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be awesome. 

My son is excited to go to the Jeremy Shada Q&A on Saturday (he’s a new but big fan of both Adventure Time and Incredible Crew), and he has saved up his allowance to get a photo op with him. I’m going to be the good dad and spring for an autograph. J As always, I’m showing up for some autographs (I’ve got a Strange Tales for you too, Starlin!), but I’m also going to sit in on Starlin’s Q&A. I’m always on the prowl for back issue deals, too, so we’ll see what happens.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013: A Look Back

I don’t think anyone who attended Free Comic Book Day 2013 at Rick’s Comic City would say it wasn’t a success.

The kids and I got there shortly before 10 a.m., and there was already a decent line. It was chilly and rainy, but the sidewalk was covered, so that was okay. The kids got really antsy really quickly. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long until the doors were opened and the festivities began.

First up were the free comic tables. Each attendee was able to get five comics, and if they spent $10, they could pick up five more. Here’s what we snagged:
·         Bobby
o   Spongebob Comics Freestyle Funnies
o   The Smurfs
o   Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man Flipbook
o   Kaboom Summer Blast
·         Bella
o   It’s an Ugly Doll Comic and Other Stuff
o   Disney Fairies
o   Molly Danger/Princeless
·         Parker
o   It’s an Ugly Doll Comic and Other Stuff
o   Kaboom Summer Blast
o   Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man Flipbook
·         Me
o   DH Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar
o   Infinity
o   Superman Special Edition
o   Walking Dead Special
o   Absolution: The Beginning
o   The Red Ten #0
In addition to the comics, the boys and I also snagged a FCBD Heroclix Iron Man and some Iron Man 3 stickers. Also, Rick did something that was pretty damn awesome. He didn’t limit the free comic book choices to just the special FCBD releases. He had a bunch of DC New 52 and Marvel Now releases available. So I also snagged a Wolverine #1, an Iron Man #1, a Fantastic Four #1 joining cover variant, and a Cable and X-Force #1. Parker snagged a Wolverine #1 and an Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Marvel Must-Have edition. So already we’re all pretty happy.

We hopped into the main shop for a second, saw that there were some giveaways that you needed a ticket for (spend $10, get a ticket), and moved next door to the artist/$.50 comic room.

Jonathan Glapion was there, and he signed my copies of Batman #s 9 and 13. We then moved over to the reason my daughter was excited: Andy Price, artist on IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. She had one of her comics, issue #4, signed to her. Andy was nice enough to pose for a picture with her, but she was too shy. I also had a copy of issue #4, and he signed that for me. Next, we met Tom Bancroft. I pulled out my copy of Danger Girl Special, for which he provided a pin-up, and he signed the cover. We talked about the book a bit, and I picked up a Little Mermaid sketch for Bella and a Spider-Man print for Parker. Bancroft then gave me a set of his series, Opposite Forces, and autographed the first issue. While we were talking, Parker had moved to the next table, where cartoonist Chris Schweizer was drawing him Wolverine on a blank trading card. Chris did this for free, then did a My Little Pony card for Bella and a Spider-Man card for Bobby. I picked up a copy of his FCBD offering, a Crogan Adventures story in the Rated Free for Everyone issue, and he signed that for me.

Next we all did our best to scan through the sale comics, but it was difficult to flip through comics and keep an eye on a handful of kids. Parker and I found a few things we wanted, but Bella and Bobby were more interested in the comics they already had.

We moved back into the main store since I had to get some supplies (bags, boards, long box), and while we waited in line (SOOOOO frickin’ long), I let the kids pick something out. Each chose a comic book (MLP for Bella, Adventure Time for Parker, Sonic for Bobby), but by the time we got to the register, each kid had switched the comics out for a toy (Chewbacca for Parker, Witchblade for Bella, Green Lantern ring for Bobby). As we left we hit up the ticket table. Parker got a Star Wars patch, a tote bag and a Dark Avengers hardcover collection, while I snagged an Ultimate Comics Death of Spider-Man hardcover and an Iron Man: Extremis hardcover.

This whole experience lasted only about two hours, but we were all wiped by the time we left. It was a great day that all of us enjoyed (probably me and Parker a little more than the other two), and this set the bar pretty high for next year. Rick did a great job this year, and as the only comic shop in Nashville I know of to do more than just offer some free books and a sale on merchandise, I hope this was as successful for him as it was for the fans. My only suggestion for next year would be to get in touch with a food truck or two. Nashville has a great, and I’m sure one of them would have loved to have set up (despite the rain?) near the shop.

Now that FCBD 2013 is over, it’s time to get excited about the Nashville Comic and Horror Festival this weekend!

Here are some pictures I took. Had I gone to this even by myself, I would have taken a picture of everyone that came in a costume. As it were, I'm glad I was able to get any pics at all. These kids were all over the place (thanks for the extra pair of eyes, Jonathan!). Although, had they not been there, I probably would have spent all day going through  the $.50 comics and walked out of there with an obscene amount of comics. It wouldn't have been pretty. So, thanks kids!