Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh, what a day it was!

So, Free Comic Book Day has come and gone, and all I can say about it is "WOW!" I took my daughter and my sons with me to Heroes Aren't Hard to Find where I touched base with Dustin Harbin, one of the featured artists at this year's Return of Mini-Con. He told me about Ian Flynn, the writer on Sonic the Hedgehog and said he would make a great person to ask to the mini-con- so I will ask him! I also got to give a quick greeting to Budd Root and Andy Smith- two great artists from last year's con. Both of them had lines of folks waiting for sketches and I didn't want to hold them up! Back inside the store, my daughter spotted a teacher from her school (gasp!) and one of the library patrons spotted me! She introduced me to a wonderful person named Snow. Snow had put together an anime con for a Char-Meck library a year ago and had made some very good connections that helped her convention go well. She was willing to make some of those contacts for me and see if they would help with this convention, too! What a break! Shelton, the owner of Heroes was all over the place and he seemed to be going between boss mode and enjoying the crowd mode. My kids and I made our way around the store, finding not only the FCBD titles, but also scoring some other freebie comics and promotionals. My youngest also got a set of buttons that look like the various lantern rings from Blackest Night/ Brightest Day. He also found a Black Lantern ring! There were also bookmarks, newsletters, postcards and mini posters. Just the free stuff would've made the trip fantastic, but the store also had hundreds and hundreds of comics in the dollar bins- a great way to fill gaps in collections or find something you had always been meaning to read. We were also fortunate to get parking just across the street from Heroes, too. Things couldn't have gone better (except if we could've gotten some sketches from Brian Stelfreez and Adam Hughes)!
We then made our way towards Rebel Base Comics in the Cotswold area. It was late afternoon and many of the free comics were gone, but that was okay. It meant Troy must've had a good turn-out at his store, too. A Tusken Raider, Luis, was just done for the day and he let the kids take a look at all the gear that went into making the suit. Inside the store an Imperial Biker Scout was making the rounds. We stopped and talked to Jim McGhee of Area 51 Comics. Jim was a lot of fun to talk to, and he took the time to answer my daughter's questions about his webcomics, drawing dinosaurs, and why aliens make for good story and plot movers. A very nice guy, and he would've been at the mini-con, except he is going to a wedding that weekend. Bummer! My sons were amazed at not just the selection of comics (Rebel Base doesn't have the square footage of Heroes) but the seemingly unending selection of toys from the late 70's up to the present. We did score some fantastic posters and the War Machine Heroclix at Rebel Base! Awesome. WBTV was there filming, so I think we made it on the news, too.
Both stores put on first-rate events and they were the kind of thing everyone in the family could enjoy. To Troy and to Shelton (and your employees) thank you so much!
The comics this year didn't disappoint. We picked up a total of 17 comics- all 10 of the "Gold" comics and seven of the "Silver." The best titles though, in my opinion, were G.I Joe- Larry Hama is back as scribe and has an interesting start to the series; Fractured Fables and Oni Press Free-For-All were the funniest of the bunch; Irredeemable/Incorruptible was the best of the older audience books I got to see. It was interesting to see the world's greatest villain step up as the only person who could stop the world's greatest hero who has gone suddenly VERY bad. Might be worth looking into further! Seeing Dr. Solar and Magnus getting re-launched was nice, too.
Wonder how they will top FCBD next year?

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