Saturday, May 14, 2011

Free Comic Book Day 2011 and Motor City Comic Con 2011

Free Comic Book 2011 was a blast. I took the day off of work (Saturday, May 7) and brought my 4 year old son along. I would first like to extend thanks to the participating retailers here in the Metro Detroit area, as I know that these special edition "free" comic books actually cost them money to buy. I would assume that the influx of foot traffic that actually buys stuff that day more than offsets the cost, but it is still nice to get something for nothing.

We started the day at Warp 9 Comics in Clawson, MI. They had no limit on the amount of different titles that you could get, limit 1 copy each per customer. They didn't order everything available but had a healthy selection. No one retailer ordered every title available, at least to the stores that I went to. There were something like 64 different titles offered this year, so I don't blame them! People were lined up well before the store's opening at 11AM. We got there 15 minutes early and were like 10-12 people back, with many more people arriving shortly thereafter.

Next up was Detroit Comics in Ferndale, MI. The party was well under way, with throngs of kids and people everywhere. They had a very kid friendly environment, with different comics-themed arts and crafts, NONE of which my son wanted to do. I was like, dude, I want to make me a Spider-Man mask. He got a balloon. The limit on free comics was either 2 or 3 per adult/ 3 or 4 for kids. I don't remember which. They had some titles from Free Comic Book Days of the past, and there was a ton of different titles to choose from. I picked up one of The Moth, read it and loved it. Turns out it was from 2008. I tracked down the trade paperback that Dark Horse put out in 2005, and it's gathering dust in my backlog as of this writing. I might even get around to reading it sometime in 2012. My son suckered me into buying him a Hulk comic. They also had the Green Lantern Free Comic Book Day Hero Clix, which they gave away to the kids. My son loved his.

We then went across town to Big Ben's Comix in Allen Park, MI. It was maybe noon by this time, and the store was a-hopping. They had the 501st Legion Star Wars costume troupe there, and they were standing outside and walking around the store. I think that the limit was 3 free comics per customer, but again, I can't remember.
My son was scared by the Tusken Raider, but he was cool as Hell and talked to my son. The little guy was nervous and intimidated, and asked me how they got here. In a spaceship? "Sure." I don't see it. "It's on the roof."

Here is my son posing with Chewbacca. He thought that he was the real deal, and followed poor Chewie around the store. I think that Chewie might have gotten annoyed with him, so I pulled him away after a while.

The Stormtrooper was extremely gracious and patient with my son's seemingly endless Star Wars questions. I suspect that he is a Father or Uncle himself, as he was very good with kids.
We spent a long time there, as my son wanted to stay there "all day and all night long" and he wanted to ask them to "come to my house". The Stormtrooper indirectly caused a car accident. I thought that was kind of funny, that someone was so shocked that they rear ended the car that had just stopped at the red light.

We broke for lunch at McDonald's, who were featuring Batman Happy Meals. My boy was bordering on sensory overload at this point, but we were having a lot of fun.

Next up: Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, MI. Organized chaos would be the best description of the store on this day. Everything moved orderly and efficiently, but there were a ton of people. My son decided that he didn't want to stay after a few minutes. I think that he was burnt out, and we skipped out on the three other stores that were on the docket. Maybe next year...

I went to the Motor City Comic Con yesterday at the Suburban Collection Center (the artist formerly known as the Rock Financial Showplace) in Novi, MI. Novi is an upwardly mobile suburb of Detroit, but food around the center was scarce. Thanks to my friend's Droid we did manage to find a Jimmy John's close by. They jacked up the price of advance tickets this year from $20 to $22. Parking was $5. 
I love "dinged" and 1/2 off trade paperback and hardcover boxes. I sift through tons of sand and always come out with gold. It does make me regret buying anything throughout the year, though, because at least 50% of what I buy throughout the year can be found for 1/2 off here. I need to develop more patience and start doing more bottom feeding at these cons. I scoured through the $1 boxes of floppies, and am one issue away from a complete run of the '90s Morbius series. I set out a few months ago to get every issue, but the game was to not pay more than $1 an issue. It has been successful thus far, ditto John Byrne's Blood of the Demon series. Once I have all of these, I will read them and then decide whether or not to bind them. I have never bound my own hardcover collections before, and am afraid.
As always, there was a plethora of nerds dressed up in costume, cosplay chicks who are way too hot to read comic books, and other looky loos. I like my conventions more "down and dirty", less glitzy and more comic books oriented. Still, it's all good and I suppose that there is room for everyone. I guess that I pine away for the days when being a nerd wasn't so goddamned fashionable. 
Oh, and Tony Harris is a dick. He wouldn't sign shit until after 6PM, even though he was there all day. 

1 comment:

  1. Great reviews Kris. Sounds like fun. Glad Billy had a great time.