Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Free Comic Book Day 2015: War Journal

Saturday, May 1, 2015

9:15 AM  I've slept later than I intended but I know there's no way to get to Acme Comics' Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) event early enough, particularly when you have people like this...












...who camped out by the front door of Acme Comics on Thursday. Less hardy and/or insane souls employ a simpler strategy of just getting up early Saturday morning. I'm not worried. I've been going to FCBD at Acme Comics for several years now with my daughter. We got there last year around 11:45 AM. By that point, the line is stretching back to Elizabeth's Pizza. (By the way, Elizabeth's makes the BEST pizza. And the location near Acme has a waitress there who looks AND acts just like Clara Oswald from Doctor Who. And she's a Whovian!) The wait from Elizabeth's to Acme's front door is just about 2 hours. Miranda and I are OK with that and besides, it's not just getting the free comics. It's about the party. 

This year, Miranda and I were there about an hour earlier than the year before. It won't help us.   

10:55 AM  About a half block from Elizabeth's is a convenience store. No, the line is NOT reaching to the convenience store. About another half-block away from the convenience store is a dry cleaners. THAT is where the line starts! Whoa! 

Still, we immediately make new friends. Miranda meets a girl named Brianna (which is not her real name but dang if I can figure out how to spell her real name) who happens to go to the same school as Miranda but they had never met before. Meanwhile I chatted with Brianna's dad, Matthew (now THAT I can spell) who is a Doctor Who fan but is really big into Game of Thrones. Me, I'm not a GoT fan but that's what's cool about these types of things: you meet people of similar interests but with different tastes. 

11:15 AM  There's a guy there with the cutest black lab. His owner has trained him using German words and phrases. But he also responds to English words too. Wow, a bilingual dog. 

There's someone dressed as Black Widow and I really, really, really want to get my picture taken with her. But only kids seems to be running up to her for photo ops. Photo ops for middle aged would be pervs are not so forthcoming. But she was really hot. I mean, literally. A black skin tight suit on a sunny day, she has to be a bit warm. 

Speaking of the weather, we lucked out there. Sunny skies with a few random clouds, a bit of a cool breeze and temps rose up only to about 72. 

At this point we've made it to the convenience store so I pop in to get my daughter and I some sodas. I'm glad she stayed outside with her new friend because this place was creepy. It was dimly lit and there was a smell of dust. The guy behind the counter was hunched over and I think he spoke Russian. 

But here's the really weird thing: over by a wall near the entrance was porn. When I was younger, seeing porn mags in convenience stores was not that unusual but they were mostly kept in a back corner. These were right by the front door, begging to be stolen. And that they existed at all in an age where naked women are all over the internet (or so I've been told) seemed strange. In fact, I entertained the idea that if I dared looked closer, I might see that these magazines were cover dated from the 1970's. Anyway, I'm not going back in there again or I'm going to need a round of penicillin.  
11:50 AM  We've made it to Elizabeth's Pizza where people start ordering take out. That's right, pizzas were being delivered to comic book fans standing in line. Most businesses along the row of shops next to Acme look at those hungry and thirsty geeks and think, "ka-ching". However there is a day spa that actually hires a security guard to keep people away from their door. They do not understand the true spirit of FCBD. 

12:40 PM We've made it Geeksboro! This is where the El family loves to go to see Doctor Who episodes. So the sodas from the 1970's inner city convenience store are long gone so it's time for liquid refreshment. Geeksboro makes a great peach smoothie! 

I should point out that half of the 137,458 people in line had already seen Avengers: Age of Ultron. For the rest of us who had not quite been so fortunate, it was...ARGH! I wanna talk about the Avengers movie too!!

1:30 PM  We're up to the music store. It's a cool place to get instruments of all kinds. One year the store had a band out front to play. The band was great but I'm kind of glad they didn't do it this year. By this point in the line, I'm starting to tap out a bit and I'm not good with live music when I'm like that. I tend to get cranky and I say "Huh? Wha...?" a lot.  

1:55 pm  And yea did we passeth through the valley of retail and arriveth upon the edge of the promised land. Verily and I sayeth unto thee that the bounty promised in the prophecies uttered by Comic Book Resources and Bleeding Cool had cometh to pass. Hallelujah! 

I can imagine that if you're young or young at heart and this was a first visit to Acme Comics, there must be something magical about the place. Rows and rows of books with a variety of posters, statues, action figures and more! If someone made a movie about a Willy Wonka who led kids through a comic book store, well, that might be a bit creepy. But I might watch it! 

2:15 PM Miranda and I embark on our long trek back to the car. We bid farewell to Matthew (I shake his hand and thank him for his company as we spent time in the trenches) and Brianna. The line's a bit shorter now but still stretching back to the pizza place. 

Acme Comics does have artists in attendance doing sketches but Miranda and I usually give these a miss. By this point, we're both tired and all we want to do is break open these plastic bags.  

Wow! This event never ceases to amaze me. People standing in very long lines to get free comic books. But as I said, it's not really about the stuff, it's about the party.  

I was a bit bummed to see that I missed out on the Doctor Who FCBD edition. I later find out that one of my Twitter followers got one of the last copies. He had arrived at Acme at 9:30 AM. He left at 1:30 PM. Wow and I thought our wait was long. 

At the end of the day, my daughter and I have made our way home. Later my wife comes in and asks what we want to do this evening. We both reply in unison whisper, "Shhhhh! We're reading!" 

You gotta love Free Comic Book Day
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Tomorrow, Comic Book Week continues with a review of Batman#40 and the end of the Endgame! 

Spinner Rack Flashback: June 1977

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