Sunday, April 25, 2010

Free Comic Book Day!

Do you like comic books? Do you like things that are new? Do you like FREE stuff? Then you're going to love Free Comic Book Day! On Saturday, May 1st, comic shops across the nation will hand out a wide variety of specially printed comics for FCBD (Free Comic Book Day). The idea started more than 9 years ago and has grown into a national (and even international) event. But why hand out free comics? Many of the stores and publishers see it as a way to attract people who may not currently be reading comics. For others, it offers retailers the opportunity to put new titles into their customers' hands, exposing them to new material to buy.

In the Charlotte area, there are three comic book stores- Pennyworth's (named after Batman's butler) in Matthews, located in a shopping center at the intersection of Hwy 51 and Monroe Rd.

Rebel Base Comics has the best parking of the three shops, located on Sharon Amity just off of Providence Rd and before you reach Randolf Rd. Rebel Base isn't just handing out free comic books, they will have the Imperial 501st as their special guests. If you don't know, the 501st is a worldwide coallition of Star Wars re-enactors who craft their own costumes down to intricate detail. They then don these uniforms for comics and Star Wars related events, and for many charitable organizations. The store also features one of the best resale collections of action figures and related toys you could imagine! For phone number, address, or other information, click the link under "Links For the Comics Fans in the Carolinas" (that's why I put the links there!).

Finally, there is Heroes Aren't Hard to Find. This store is the host of the annual HeroesCon and is the largest of the three comics stores, with tons of back issues just waiting to be grabbed up. Usually, FCBD at Heroes involves setting up some tables outside for people to get to meet some real comic book creators. Inside the store, the middle counter (under the life-sized Doc Ock) is lined with free comics. People just make their way around the counter getting the free comic(s) they want. The problem is, while the store is spacious, and they always have great artists on hand for the crowd, parking is very limited and shares space with shoppers from other stores and restaurants. Driving in a group and maybe walking a couple of blocks might be good ideas. Heroes is located on 7th street and Pecan near Showmars. For more information, again look for the link under "Links For the Comics Fans in the Carolinas."

This year's line-up of comics range from early readers (Owly) to adult-oriented titles (Fearless Dawn). Sure to be popular this year will be the Iron Man books (2 are being offered), Sonic the Hedgehog, the Tick (if you've never read it or seen the animated or live-action shows, you're missing out!), the Simpsons, Shrek, Superman, G.I. Joe, and Toy Story! For more about free comic book day, including the full list of titles that will be available, copy this address in your browser:

Along with the free comics being offered in comic shops, a variety of publishers (mostly independent or small press) are offering free comics via download to your computer! You never have to leave the house to enjoy some of the fun! And unlike their printed counterparts, digital comics don't run out!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Contest Time! Win Chrissie Zullo art!

Chrissie Zullo, painter of the Cinderella covers for Vertigo and penciler on an upcoming issue of Madame Xanadu, is holding a contest at her blog!!! The winner will get an 11" X 17" original sketch, signed copies of Cinderella issues 1-6 AND a signed copy of Chrissie's sketchbook! There will also be a second and third place winner. To participate in the contest, go to Chrissie's blog for the details (you can find her link down on the left).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where are the comics at the library?!

I you have come into one of the Union County Public Libraries in the past few days you may have wondered "Where are the comics?". Well, it's a case of good news/ bad news. The bad news is that all the children's comics and graphic novels that come through are being checked out and sent to the Monroe Library. The good news is that when they return, they will no longer be shelved with the Juvenile Fiction books, but they will have their own special code, JGN, and they will be given their own shelf space! This will make finding favorite comics faster and easier than ever, and it will give many people the chance to find comics they wouldn't have known about before!
For those of you faithful who come to Union West in Indian Trail, the comics/ graphic novels are going to start out being proudly displayed on the new books shelf, right next to the magazines. It will certainly change how the new books will be displayed, too, but that could be a good thing, also.
If you must have a comics fix from the library before the books get moved, plenty of comics can still be found in the Juvenile Non-fiction area, and in the Easy book area, too! Hopefully, we will be able to slap a special "Graphic Novel" sticker on these other comics in the near future, making them easier for everyone to find.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April Cartooning Club is on the 22nd!

Usually the Cartooning Club at Union West meets on the third Thursday of each month, but sometimes something comes up and plans change. Such is the case this month, as syndicated radio personality Sheri Lynch has asked to come to Union West and do a presentation to families on "why reading matters" which is very fitting since this happens to be National Library Week!
The Cartooning Club will instead meet next Thursday in the children's area at 5:30. So mark your calendars as we continue to gear up for the Return of Mini-Con, true believers!

Today's art comes from one of our regulars at the Cartooning Club and one of our most active contributors, Joseph, who gives his rendition of King Richard the Lion Heart!

Two Chances to Learn from a Pro!

Have you ever wanted to be able to sit down and have a professional cartoonist show you how to put together an entire page? Did you ever want to see how a story goes from an idea to a script to thumbnails to roughs to pencils to inks to letters to colors? Now you have two chances to learn about cartooning from two professional artists!
June 17 (Thursday) at the Union West Regional Library in Indian Trail, Dave McDonald, creator of Hamster Sam and Survival Island will do a 2-hour workshop that will take kids from idea to finished page! Dave will have artists put their final work on a full-sized sheet of Bristol board, the same kind of art sheets used by comic book artists. The workshop is for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 12 years old and of any drawing level. Space is limited, so we will have to register people for the workshop beginning with the next Cartooning Club!
June 18 (Friday) at the Monroe Library comic pro extraordinaire Al Bigley will do a presentation on cartooning. Al (who was one of our first artist profiles on the blog) has worked for Marvel, DC, Image and a variety of other comic book companies producing art of characters like Batman, the Avengers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and others. But he has also done art work for many different companies like LucasFilm (Star Wars), Food Lion, National Geographic, and NASCAR creating company fliers, store displays, food boxes, toy packaging, storyboards for commercials and concept art. Al has taken his talents beyond just comics and found a whole other market for his comic art skills! Join Al as he talks about the many things he gets to work on, and how he goes about creating a piece of art. There will be registration for this special event as well, so you'll want to go to the Monroe Library to get all the details!
To see the interviews of Dave and Al, click "artist profiles" on the right and scroll down! To see their blogs, look for their names on the right hand side of this blog under the links!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where is Ered?!

Where is Ered? Some of you may be asking- WHO is Ered? If you've been keeping up with this blog, you'll know Ered is the title character from Derek and Nikki Davis' online comic strip, The Ered Adventures (or TEA for short). Well, Derek and Nikki are running a contest right now- if you read the strips from the last two weeks, there are clues embedded in the story that lead to exactly to where Ered is. Can you solve the mystery? As an added incentive for you to get your sleuth on Derek and Nikki are offering prizes including graphic novels of their series and art work! So what are you waiting for?! Get over to right now! (Just copy and paste the address in your browser- or you can click the link over on the left!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

World Famous Monster Hunter Coming!

That's right! A world-famous monster hunter who has searchd for creatures like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Moth Man, the Yeti, Batboy and others is coming! As a matter of fact he's right behind you!
April Fool's!

Okay, that was pretty lame, but I thought I would get in trouble if I told you about the free Zhu-zhu pets give-away with the all-you can eat pancake supper at the library tonight. Give 'em a call for details if you don't believe me!