Day Sixty. Free Comic Book Day.

May 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Day Sixty, I went to Titan Games and Comics in Duluth for Free Comic Book Day. I’ve never really been in a comic book store, and I didn’t know what to expect. The only comics I had read were the funnies in the Sunday paper, the Bunty annuals my grandmother would send me from England, and part of Watchmen which I had received from my job doing film promotions and publicity for Warner Bros.

Actually, I really liked all of the above reading, the Buntys especially. When I was a young pre-teen I found some of my Aunt Sal’s old annuals under the bed at my grandparents’ house. They were all from the seventies and had great tips for the youth of England including, “Get out in the sun, ladies! Use that tanning oil…if you burn, it will fade into a tan. No one wants to see you pale!” or something similar. I don’t think skin cancer and wrinkles were perceived as  quite the threat they are today.

So after I left work that Saturday, I headed over to the comic book store prepared to purchase a graphic novel from a top ten list I had found online. I walked into the tiny store within a strip mall apprehensively. There were quite a few people in Free Comic Book Day shirts and a line of tables set up in the corner by the registers with some presumably famous men in the world of comics. I steered clear as I had no desire to let on how little I knew about this world. I searched through the alphabetized books for A History of Violence, my choice from the list. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear to be in stock, and frankly, I felt too out of my element to ask an employee. Stupid, I know.  Everyone seemed uber nice and was having a grand time. They would probably loved to have helped, but in the crowded store the novelty of this world made me a bit self-conscious.

I passed by From Hell several times before picking it up as my choice. This was in part because I recognized the title and liked Jack the Ripper stories and part because someone had cropdusted the section of the store in which I was browsing. My friend Drennen and I had gone to see the Johnny Depp big screen version of the graphic novel many years ago, but I never saw the ending. The power went out half way through the film, and a snarly theater manager named Richard Sweat refused to give us back our money without our ticket stubs. I still chuckle at Drennen calling him Dick Sweat as we left Regal Hollywood 24.

Anyway, having chosen my book to buy, I went to the free comic book section and picked up a Green Lantern and Spiderman booklet. Then I made my purchase and headed out.

I really wish I had bothered to ask someone what their recommendations would have been. I’m sure I could have absorbed some new-found knowledge about this crazy genre of fans. Maybe next year…

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