Which reminds me, someone tell certain comic publishers that having the prices on their covers in a 2pt font sucks.

§ November 18th, 2019 § Filed under eyeball, sterling silver comics § 1 Comment

Don’t really have a regular post as such today, for which I apologize. I’ve been busy and preoccupied with work-type stuff and thus didn’t have the spare brainpower to dream up anything at least somewhat entertaining for the site.

You can read about it here on my Facebook page, but basically, what with all the stuff regarding my eyeballs and the related costs, plus another surgery scheduled for next month, combined with the usual fall sales doldrums but no shortage of product being churned out by the Big Two comic companies (well, it’s mostly the One)…I find myself in a…less comfortable position than I’d prefer to be in.

I’m sure I’ll be okay…Christmas is coming up, and that’s usually a good time for the store. But I thought maybe encouraging some of my pull list folks to come by, and maybe encourage other folks to step into the shop and maybe grab a book or two, or perhaps visit my eBay store or maybe even just call in with a want list or three, would help me ride out some lean times here.

On the plus side, several people heeded the call and contributed to the cause, which was much appreciated. And hopefully it will continue. Every little bit helps, whether you visit the shop or mail order or join the Patreon or whatever, it’s all great support and very welcome. I can’t thank everyone enough.

I took kind of a hit throughout the year because of my vision issues…as one might imagine, if my vision is cloudy or obscured entirely due to bouts of internal bleeding, that makes it difficult to grade and price comics, or put things on eBay, or read prices printed on comics or even my own price tags, or check invoices. At one point I couldn’t even make out covers. I had to have people peeking over my shoulder, mostly my dad, telling me what I was looking at in order to function. Plus, having to pay someone to cover for me on the days I absolutely couldn’t be in the shop (like, say, when I was in surgery) was an additional financial burden.

It’s all very frustrating. And it’s probably going to recur with my next surgery, which is on my left eye, AKA my “good eye.” I have vision in my right eye, but it’s not as strong and has some obscuring issues and I won’t be able to drive while my left eye recovers. I’ll probably be able to read prices and stuff but grading comics is going to be out. Plus, I suspect I’ll probably have to print out my Diamond invoices at a ginormous font size rather than trying to read the tiny light grey-on-white lettering on the invoices they send me.

And that will be in the middle of December, when I should be doing good business with the holiday season.

This is a lot of complaining, I realize, and I’m sorry to make you read it, you four people who made it this far. All in all, I’m doing better…haven’t had a rebleed incident in my left eye for a while, and my eyes do seem to be healing nicely, and I am a lot closer to the end of this than the beginning. And this coming surgery is relatively simple (a lens replacement) so recovery should be short, but my eyes are tricksey things, yes they are, so who knows how long it’ll actually take for my eye to be back on its feet. Er, so to speak.

Anyway, this is a problem I never anticipated when opening my own store, I’ll tell you what. But I’ll muddle through it somehow. I mean, what’s the alternative, getting a real job? P’shaw on that, I tell you.

Tom Spurgeon (1968 – 2019).

§ November 14th, 2019 § Filed under obituary § 6 Comments

Tom Spurgeon was a unique and treasured voice in the comics community, with the incomparable Comics Reporter being a wonderful outlet combining his sardonic worldview with his love of the medium (often despite itself).

I interacted several times over the years, usually over email and, later, Twitter. He was never anything less than friendly and kind in all my dealings with him. On occasion, and not often enough, I’d drop him a line thanking him for a mention of my site on CR, or for noting my birthday (as he did every year), and he always seemed pleased that I did. Even though I’d been in this business for a very long time, Tom doing little things like this made me really feel like I was part of the larger comics industry.

What really got me was this: I was a longtime reader of The Comics Journal, which Tom wrote for and edited for many years. That someone from TCJ, a magazine I enjoyed and admired, a magazine that held comics to a loftier standard than most, found interest and value in sometime I was writing was…validating, to say the least. I still have an email from Tom where he tells me “you know you’re my favorite!” which I’m sure I’m not the only person he’s said that to, but I still value that moment quite a bit.

I…don’t think I ever told him just how much that support, those interactions, meant to me. I had considered that maybe, someday, we’d meet in person, perhaps when he had the opportunity to visit my shop (like he said he hoped to here). Never happened, unfortunately, and so I never fully related that gratitude.

I should have, regardless, at least over email. But I can’t now, though I can still tell all of you what his support meant. And how much I’m going to miss his writing on the internet. It feels strange to think that he won’t still be around, gathering links, reviewing comics, writing commentary, being silly and/or witty on Twitter, looking askance at whatever the rest of us are up to, and otherwise just being Tom.

I know that’s the same with every death: the loss of one particular collection of perspectives, experiences and personality that can’t be replaced. But losing Tom…that’s a rough one. We’ll still have all his writing to enjoy, but it’s difficult to imagine there being no more.

My condolences to his family, his friends, and to the rest of us.

So long, Tom.

BEHOLD THE AQUARING.

§ November 13th, 2019 § Filed under gelatinous cube, legion of super-heroes, retailing § 9 Comments


“So what’s the deal with this ring?” asked the customer, gesturing at the little pile of plastic Legion of Super-Heroes rings I had laid out on the counter, a promotional giveaway for the new Legion series that debuted last week. “Are they for Aquaman?”

Um, Aquaman? How do you get “Aquaman” from a ring that very clearly has an “L” on it? I didn’t say that to the customer, but I did let him know what the rings were actually for, and that seemed to satisfy him.

What struck me, though, is that he knew enough about comics to mention to the people he was with that the Flash used to have a ring in which he would keep his super-compressed costume. But he didn’t know enough about the Legion to be able to identify one of the flight rings, which is a fairly integral element of the series. …Which is fine, of course, just because you like superhero comics doesn’t mean you have to know Every. Single. Detail. of each and every one.

But he wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what the flight ring was. I had a number of people certainly identify what it was supposed to be, but had just as many other folks, comic reading folks, coming-in-every-Wednesday-for-the-new-goodies customers, who did not know what that ring was supposed to represent.

There was once a time when Legion fandom was a thing…like, it was one of the franchise’s defining elements was its active, involved fanbase. And that fanbase eroded over the years for various reasons (discussed both by me and pal Andrew a while back) to the point where DC no longer found it profitable to even attempt at keeping an ongoing Legion book on the stands for the last several years.

Of course, that absence has changed now, with DC’s much-ballyhooed Legion relaunch last week (preceded by an entertaining two-part mini bridging the current DC Universe to the Legion’s future), brought about by DC’s equally-ballyhooed acquiring of one of Marvel’s Big Name comic writers Brian Michael Bendis. Whether that rebuilding of what was once the formidable Legion Fandom will follow is…well, okay, it won’t, it’s a different time, and the natural, organic evolution of that fandom over years and decades isn’t suddenly going to repeat itself with the latest revival, however long it manages to last without yet another reboot.

I remember the last time DC Comics provided plastic Legion ring giveaways to tie into some new Legion thing or ‘nother, it seemed like everyone was in on it. They all knew the Legion, knew what the flight ring was and what it represented, and so on…but then, Legion was still an ongoing, if not entirely what it once was, concern at the time, a couple of decades back. Now…after being basically gone, or generally off the average comic fan’s radar, for about a decade or even more, one can’t depend on a shared fan nostalgia that will remember some piece of a franchise that was dead, or might as well have been, when several of today’s fans first got into the comic collecting hoohar.

Now, the good news is that despite some of my customer base not recognizing the Legion ring, there is still enough of the rest of that base to have either recognized the Legion, or are new to it but have been intrigued enough by the advertising/guest-appearances, to pick up the book. In fact, it was a near sell-out for me, and I have a box of restocked copies heading my way…well, today, hopefully…and even then about half of those restocks are already spoken for. I haven’t even got one for myself yet, since I was saving copies for the shelf.

I spoke with a friend who has a comic shop a few hundred miles away and says he can’t give them away, so I guess Your Store’s Mileage Will Vary. I’ve experienced this before…even back in the ’90s, I was comparing notes with a retailer in L.A. and he was all like “you sell how many Legion!?” But I hope this series is an overall success (in whatever meets “success” levels in today’s diminished market)…I do like the Legion, and I would like to have a new comic of theirs I can read. It won’t be the same, with the characters all cut off from their long history that brought me to these comics in the first place, but I can still enjoy a good comic regardless. I mean, assuming it’s good.

Oh, and I figured out why that customer thought this was an Aquaman ring:


…because he probably saw one turned on its side. An easy enough mistake to make, I guess.

“Keeping it short,” he says.

§ November 11th, 2019 § Filed under movie reviews § No Comments

So I found myself fighting a cold most of the weekend, which is still affecting me even now, as I type this. It’s not too bad, and this is really the first time I’ve been fully under the weather with an illness since I got scared straight into living a healthier life, so I suppose I can’t complain too much.

Anyway, as such, I’m keeping this post fairly short so that I may hit the sack a little early and kinda goose the recovery along.

I did want to note that I watched the recent Hellboy reboot film, and…well, I actually kind of liked it. Not a great film, but a good and watchable one. It crams a lot of material from the comics into its two hour runtime, which makes for bit of a crowded and cluttered experience but certainly an energetic one, and it manages to keep your attention as it rushes from set piece to set piece. David Harbour makes a fine Hellboy, though there’s something about the makeup that strikes me as…off, somehow. Some element about the design that strikes me as offputting. It’s not the hair, it’s more like…the shape of the head and body feels odd to me…weirdly distended, maybe. I’m not sure. Could be I’m just used to the old makeup job.

Despite that, it’s generally fun…mostly more f-bombs and a lot more bloody than the previous films, but there’s still some humor. Like I said, a lot of stuff from the comics makes it in here,, though once you get to the whole “Hellboy is descended from King Arthur” thing, that’s almost like one revelation too many…fans of the comic might dig it, but your average moviegoer might be all “wait, that too?” Plus, comparisons to the previous films are minimized just a hair by pairing up Hellboy with two other characters from the comics aside from Liz and Abe Sapien (though the latter gets a tease for a sequel that will never come).

The special features on the disc don’t avoid the comparisons, however, and the interviewees, including Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, go on about how this film hews much closer to the source material than those other films, and how much darker than this film is than the other films, and how Hellboy’s makeup is more realistic than that in the other films, and so on. I don’t think they’re trying to put down the other films, but it occasionally comes off that way.

While overall I liked the film, I think I would have preferred a third film in the del Toro version of the series. I understand the financial reasons why they decided to opt with a new film rather than continuing the “old,” but as it turns out, given the success or lack thereof of this flick, they might as well have continued the original films. Ah well.

But this movie did have Thomas Haden Church as Lobster Johnson, so by that standard the reboot has a leg up on the original film franchise.

At the very least, I’d like to find out why the cockroach arms. Or legs. Whatever they are.

§ November 8th, 2019 § Filed under indies § 3 Comments

Seth Michaels asks, in response to my posting about Boris the Bear:

“So what are your thoughts on Roachmill, Mike?”

[FOR THOSE OF YOU IN A RUSH: “didn’t read it, sounds neat.” FOR THOSE OF YOU WITH TIME TO KILL: carry on]

Gotta say…never read it. Not even entirely sure what it was about. I remember it from when it was coming out, seeing it on the shelf and ads in comics/’zines and such, but honestly my primary memory of it was a copy of the second trade paperback pictured above (one of Dark Horse’s early thin trades with the flimsy-ish covers) that we had kicking around the former place of employment forever. Might even still be there, for all I know, haunting the shrouded corridors, a wispy ghost of comics past sending chills into passerby.

Anyway, doing research for this post (i.e. “Googling”) I was reminded that Roachmill actually started at Blackthorne Comics, a publisher perhaps better known today for the large amount of 3D comics they put out (or maybe I just think that because I recently got a bunch of those 3Ders at the store). Blackthorne published a half-dozen issues, Dark Horse ten, and I guess that was about it unless the character popped up in the Dark Horse Presents anthology.

Checking with that font of all knowledge worth knowing, Comic Sans Wikipedia, the Roachmill entry finally has clued me in to the premise of the series. I had the vague sense for all these years that he was some kind of bounty hunter, but it’s a little more complicated than that. I don’t think I knew, or remembered, that it was explicitly science fiction. Also, the Wiki entry notes that the comic’s tone easily switched “between comedy, satire and serious sci-fi” which makes it sound a little Nexus-y to me, and that has me intrigued.

Alas, there’s no really easy way to catch up on them now…as I keep typing here, I’m recalling some very distant memories of there being some minor back issue demand for Roachmill at the old shop, and issues weren’t easy to come by even then. Nearly 30 years on, it’s decidedly less easy to just happen upon them in a shop, I’d imagine, but what with the online stuff all the kids are into, it might not be too much trouble to piece together your full run of this.

Not that I’m looking to do so at this very moment, since I’m still catching up on new comics that came out back in April, but Seth, your question has me reconsidering a comic that I haven’t really thought much about for a long, long time. We’ll add Roachmill to the “get around to reading this in the few short years I have left” mental list.

At least it’s not another hardcover.

§ November 6th, 2019 § Filed under swamp thing § 3 Comments

JohnJ dares to inquire

“You didn’t mention Swamp Thing: Tales from the Bayou which collects all the new Swmapy material from those Walmart exclusives along with a few other things. Maybe you were waiting for a full entry just about it?”

If I didn’t mention it in my End of Civilization post, it’s probably just because I didn’t immediately have a joke (or, rather, a “joke”) come to mind as I was frenetically paging through Previews. But, oh yes, I’m definitely aware of it, and will certainly order a copy or four for myself.

As JohnJ said, Swamp Thing: Tales from the Bayou trade paperback (cover image above) does indeed collect together those new stories from the sevenSwamp Thing Giants that were theoretically found within Walmarts across the country with the apparent exception of the four stores in my immediate area, of course. But it also contains the short Swampy tales from the Winter Special, Swamp Thing Halloween Horror (another Walmart exclusive giant) and the Young Monsters in Love one-shot.

Interestingly, the recent Swamp Thing hardcover Roots of Terror, which is still in print and available, also collects the stories from the Winter Special, Halloween Giant and Young Monsters in Love. However, Bayou does not have the story from Cursed Comics Cavalcade which Roots does.

So, while I must have this trade to get those elusive Swamp Thing Giant stories, it is just a little annoying that they’re doubling up on reprints on that other material, instead of just doing, I don’t know, a thinner trade or a two-part comic book sized reprinting like Batman Universe etc. But I guess I’m tripling up on some of this material since I do own some of it in its original form, so I, the Guy Who Owns Like Two Dozen Reprints of House of Secrets #92, am not really in a position to grouse.

Whoops, almost slipped past me.

§ November 5th, 2019 § Filed under sterling silver comics § 10 Comments

Today is the 5th anniversary of the day I opened my store, Sterling Silver Comics, to the madding crowds. A big thanks to all you folks who helped me get this far, whether you purchased anything from me or offered me moral (or immoral) support online. I greatly appreciate it.

Post #5001.

§ November 4th, 2019 § Filed under collecting, indies § 9 Comments

I noticed a while back that post #5000 was quickly approaching…then completely forgot to mark the occasion. Though, as was told to me on Twitter, it certainly is somewhat fitting to have an End of Civilization entry for that particular milestone. Or millstone, as the case may be.

But hey, 5000 posts, that’s pretty good, right? Especially given that for the last few years I’ve only been doing about three posts a week. Anyway, see everyone back here in about 6 1/2 years for post #6000!

While we wait, let’s talk a little bit about Boris the Bear.

I’ve written about Boris the Bear before, in this post highlighting a few of the better titles from the 1980s black and white boom. I really, really enjoyed that series and it’s always on my “I should reread that” list, once I, um, catch up on all the new comics that have come out since April.

I acquired in a large-ish collection recent a full set of the Boris the Bear comics, including the Boris Adventure Magazine spinoff, and the Instant Color Classics reprints, and so on. In fact, this collection was so complete, it had both the first and the second printing of the first issue from 1986. If you’ll take a look at the crookedly-displayed comics in the photos below:


The fronts are identical, but the back covers are different (1st print is on the left):


Here’s a closer look at the back cover of the first printing:


I only bring this up because…I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a first printing of this comic before. The copy of #1 in my personal collection is a second print, and now that I’m thinking about it, the first issue of this series I bought off the rack was #2 (the Transformers/robot parody issue). I think I’d read a positive review of the first issue somehow (probably in Amazing Heroes…I mean, not many other options at the time) and ended up- buying the second issue when next I visited the shop since that was what was available.

Now clearly I bought that second printing of #1 eventually, since I have one (I mean, it only follows). According to a blurb inside the second printing, Boris #3 was supposedly released concurrently with the first issue’s reprinting.

I noted the Boris Adventure Magazine earlier in this post…featuring a more immersive parodic experience than you were getting in the main title. I’d only bought the first issue at the time…but this collection has ’em all, so I may end up keeping a few of those for myself. Plus…I don’t havethem here to double check, but I’m reasonably sure the collection had five issues of the series while a couple of the online comic book databases I looked at only have issues one through four. I’ll keep you all updated if there is, in fact, the rare #5 at the shop when I go back in Monday. EDIT: Turns out I was mistaken. There’s just four. No idea why I thought there was a fifth issue.

So anyway, kicking off the next 5,000 posts with a little Boris the Bear talk. TIMELY AS EVER, SEZ I. Thanks for sticking with me and reading all my nonsense, and I’ll have more of it for you later in the wek. See you then, pals.

Progressive Ruin presents…the startling return of the End of Civilization.

§ November 1st, 2019 § Filed under End of Civilization § 11 Comments

BOO! Here it is, returned at last, on the scariest night of the y–oh, wait, it’s November 1st. Gosh darn it. Well, here it is anyway, aften months on the backburner, the new End of Civilization! Get out your copy of the Diamond Previews catalog, the November 2019 edition, and follow along while I try to remember how to do this:

Previews cover:


“Celebrating the 21st anniversary of Shadowman’s death!”

…yeah, that’s right, that’s some Unity humor right there.
 
 
p. 44 – The Clock #1:


The prequel to Doomsday Clock, before, you know, everyone thought they were doomed an’ stuff.
 
 
p. 50 – The Complete Witchblade Vol. 1:

Look, if this is gonna be complete, it”ll have to reprint this:

Sorry, that’s just the law, it’s out of my hands.
 
 
p. 74 – Project X #2:

“…Mark Millar and Netflix teamed up to give you the perfect Christmas gift-the sequel to one of the most beloved Millarworld projects since the dawn of time.”

I had no idea Superman Adventures was a Millarworld thing.
 
 
p. 82 – Frankenstein Undone #1:


Just page after page of folks telling the monster his zipper’s down.
 
 
p. 100 – The Mask: I Pledge Allegiace to the Mask #4:


Finally, this shameful series is over! Surely there’s no way the public could tolerate someone making a mockery of the American Presidency like this!
 
 
p. 102 – Everything #5:


“I’d like to add Everything to my pull list, please.”

“Oh, so you’d like…Everything, you say?”

“Yes, please get me Everything. I want to see Everything in my pull box when I return to your shop.”

“…Why, certainly. Just so we’re clear, you’re asking me to give you…Everything.”

“Yes, Everything, that’s what I said. I want Everything.”

Ooookay, you asked for it.

[CUT TO: ONE MONTH LATER]

“Hello, I’d like the contents of my pull box please.”

“Sure, here you go…just a couple comics in there, plus this one copy of Everything.”

“Ah, excellent. I look forward to reading this single issue of Everything. Thank you.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
[What? Were you expecting something else?]
 
 
p. 139 – Marvel Action Spider-Man #1:


A new year, a new first issue for no real good reason! Did IDW license that idea from Marvel too?
 
 
p. 147 – Afraid of Everything:


Well, great, now what am I supposed to name my autobiography?
 
 
p. 222 – House of Cerebus #1:


BEHOLD THE MIGHTY AND SPECIFIC MICROTARGETING MARKETING OF DAVE SIM…”so Mike liikes Cerebus and Swamp Thing? HOLD ON TO YOUR SHORTS”
 
 
p. 252 – Cat Shit One #1:


Just straight up putting the word “Shit” in Previews. Which is fine an’ all, whatever, but I when my book Man, Can You Belive Fuckin’ Comics, Am I Right? comes out, I expect equal treatment.
 
 
p. 278 – DC Super Heroes Can You Help Save the Day? Lift Flap Book:


“The Green Lantern John Stewart needs your help on the planet Xanshi…lift the flap and see what happens!”
 
 
p. 293 – Black Widow Little Golden Book:


Wow, comic “fans” have already tanked the review score on LittleGoldenBookReviews.my and it hasn’t even come out yet. I can’t figure out why that would be.
 
 
p. 294 – Garfield’s Guide to Digital Citizenship: Online Etiquette GN:

“I hate Mondays. Also, gay people, women, and most if not all minorities. You understand, Garfield?”

“Look, I was with you up to the ‘Mondays’ part. We…need to work on the rest of that.”
 
 
p. 337 – Betty Boop’s Guide to a Bold and Balanced Life HC:


First step…learning how to balance yourself when you’ve got this hideously oversized noggin you have to carry around.
 
 
p. M55 – Peanuts Snoopy Jumping Out of Cake Fiure:

“Bob, I don’t mind telling you…this is one weird as hell bachelor party.”
 
 
p. 60 – The Dark Crystal Essence Bottle Prop Replica:


Imagine the delight in your doctor’s face as you hand him or her your…sample in this charming item!
 
 
p. M62 – Pop! Ad Icons Chester Cheetah Vinyl Figure:


Look, just let me know when Funko gets around to their Pop Ad Icons figures of Fred and Barney enjoying a smoke:


 
 
p. M72 – Justice League Bust Series PX PVC Busts:


“Whatever you do, don’t mention the Justice League movie in the solicitation text.”

“But…but they’re clearly based on th–”

“Do. Not. Mention. It.”

“That’s obviously Gal G–”

“DO NOT.”

“But they’re literally called ‘Justice Leauge Busts.'”

“Let’s hope they think we’re talking about the comic.”
 
 
p. M92 – Ryo Male Swimsuit Body Figma Type 2:


At last, a little equal time here, to counter all the female PVC figurines offered through Previews with ladies in bikinis, skirts, or less. Now we just need dozens of these guy figures in each catalog, all posed for their prostate exams, to continue to redress the imbalance.
 
 
p. M94 – The Nun Valak Defo Real Soft Vinyl Statues:

So when the Warrior Nun Areala comics and associated action figures started coming out, word got around that some actual nuns found those amusing and purchased some for themselves to dispaly in their…secret nun headquarters or whatever. Now, people being people, I suspect there is a non-zero chance that at least one nun out there is going to want one of these busts for themselves. I mean, there’s gotta be one nun, right? …If there is, direct her to my store and I’ll order it for her.
 
 
p. M111 – Twin Peaks Music from Limited Event Series Double LP:

“Mike, look, just because you bought a new record player recently doesn’t mean you need every new vinyl LP that gets released. You have plenty of old records to listen to, so–”

“TOO LATE, ALREADY ORDERED”

“…Sigh.”
 
 
p. – M113 Star Wars Ceramic Mugs:


So they’re going to do mugs like this and not offer one based on Krelman? There is no justice.
 
 
p. M116 – Monopoly Avengers Edition Game:


Do not pass GO, do not collect two billion do–wait, you did what?
 
 
p. M116 – Monopoly Disney’s The Lion King Edition Game:


Do not pass GO, do not actually play this game, just stack it with the other specialty Monopoly games people have given you over the years just because they managed to put one out some customized edition that marginally aligns with one of your interests.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 4 – Thor #1:

Remember the running gag in the intro pages to the Groo the Wanderer comics where Sergio kept trying to convince Mark that each issue of Groo should be a new “#1” to improve sales? …Oh, the prescience.
 
 
Marvel Previews p. 13 – Iron Man 2020 #1:


DC better get on the ball and revive this feature to counterprogram:


 
 
Marvel Previews p. 138 – Tales Through the Marvel Universe TP:


Coming soon: Tales Above the Marvel Universe, Tales Under the Marvel Universe, Tales on the Adult Shelf Kept Not Really Separate Enough from the Marvel Universe, Tales Just Down the Street from the Marvel Universe, You Gotta Hang a Left at the Trader Joes Then Go Another 100 Yards, Tales in the Exact Same Place as the Marvel Universe, Just Vibrating at a Different Frequency, Tales Put Away in Some Old Boxes Out in the Garage, Maybe Behind the Containers with the Old Encyclopedias We Need to Donate or Throw Out of the Marvel Universe, Tales That Are The Complete Opposite of the Marvel Universe (reprints of Freak Bros. comics), and of course Tales in Direct Competition with the Marvel Universe (reprints of DC Comics…shhhh, don’t tell Warner Brothers!).

No, not that Red Tornado.

§ October 28th, 2019 § Filed under eyeball, retailing § 4 Comments

So that’s customer Mark, dressed as the second-scariest Michael Myers in Hollywood, visting my store and picking up a copy of what would of course be the Halloween star’s favorite comic book. “GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL [creepy Halloween suspense music plays].” Now, Mark’s come by the shop on previous Halloweens in this outfit, and since he’s “in character,” he doesn’t say a word. At all. An I know it’s Mark, a friendly, affable guy, and he’s just foolin’ around, but it still very much has the affect of being…very unnerving. Doesn’t helpt that Mark’s a pretty tall guy.

Anyway, go check out his Instagram for more cosplay goodness, as well as a pic of the two of us where you can get a good look at my bloody right eyenot makeup, but very Halloween-y just the same.

Speaking of Halloweenies, I certainly was one, spreading the spooky cheer at my store with this year’s assortment of the Halloween ComicFest comic book giveaways. Again, it’s not quite Free Comic Book Day levels yet, with wall to wall people all day, but it’s a comfortable level of travel ebbing and flowing throughout opening hours. I had several people waiting outside my door when I did open, including many children, which is always good to see. In fact, there was a family with a lot of children waiting outside not for my shop but for the Chinese restaurant next door…so I did what any good neighbor would do, and told them “HEY COME INTO MY SHOP, I’M GIVING AWAY COMIC BOOKS” and lo, they did that very thing and I fulfilled that very promise.

So, I gave away lots, and more still on Sunday, because I didn’t feel like breaking down the table where I had them all laid out and I always order more than I immediately need to have them around for future giveaways and donations and such. And, this year, I had more people preordering the ComicFest freebies in bulk for their own Trick-or-Treat giveaways on the actual night of Halloween, so that was nice.

And on that topic…yes, like my Free Comic Book Days, I easily made my costs back for the event, so, you know, success all around.

One of the tricky issues I had was that there was a lot of work to be done the Friday before, only part of which was prep for the event. Now, over the last week or two, I acquired and/or completed the processing on multiple boxes of old comics…more, in fact, than I could file into the current configuration of back issue boxes. So instead of waiting ’til after the event (probably ’til close to the following weekend, which would be the only time I’d have clear to attempt the project) I decided to get as much of it done as I could this Friday so I’d have everything out and ready for sale.

Needless to say, I did my best to get everything rearranged and comics sorted and resorted and fit into new places…I often refer to this as “playing Tetris with the store,” trying to get everything properly squared away in the areas I have available. And I managed to mostly get everything back together into mostly working order…still in the process of relabeling the boxes so the customers (and me!) know what’s in them, and I did have to leave a few empty spaces for boxes on some shelves as I’m awaiting a new shipment of short boxes to come in. I didn’t want to use up the few I had in stock for sale because, well, I want to sell them. And I used up all my spare used short boxes that I already had on hand.

Or I could have just said “I rearranged lots of comics and boxes and got everything mostly squared away before ComicFest,” which is probably easier on your eyes to read.

And about eyes…right when I got to the shop, I noticed another little swirl of blood in my right eye, which meant I had to make a quick emergency trip to the doctor for treatment (read: INJECTION IN THE EYE) to keep that little swirl from turning into a red tornado. So, on top of rearranging the store for back issues and prepping for the Halloween giveaway the next day, I had to take an hour-something out of the middle of the afternoon to go get that taken care of. As such, your pal Mike had himself a very long Friday. It all worked out in the end, though.

Except for all these back issues. I’d be happy to sell you some! You need a mostly-complete run of the Marvel/Epic Hellraiser, surely.

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