Posts Tagged ‘Free Comic Book Day’

Class Reunion/Free Comic Book Day 2016

May 9, 2016

So every year there is an event that I look forward to almost as much as Halloween and it’s Free Comic Book Day. Of course, this year Free Comic Book Day was on a day that was also scheduled for my Friends School class reunion. This was year fifteen so you know I was going to be there. In fact, since I attended the 10-year reunion, I promised myself that I would do whatever I could to keep attending reunions. A lot of these people were people I spent twelve years studying alongside and we grew to know each other whether we wanted to or not. Friends School is also an important place in my life as it was where I spent a lot of my most formative years. I knew I was in for a packed Saturday so sadly I had to skip out on tabletop gaming and going to see Captain America: Civil War with my friends.

I saddled up in the morning and somehow climbed out of bed even though excitement and nervousness had made it a little hard to sleep the night before. Also, I had very little sleep the day before but more on that Thursday. I hopped in my car and drove over to the school and I was surprised to find all of the parking in the world open to me. For some reason, I thought that everybody would be attending events all day like I was. I got my name tag and headed to the Math/Science building to meet up with my first event. I had signed up to go on a short birding trip mostly because of my relatives (Jack and Sandy). Everybody in the group was at least twenty years older than I was but it was still a lot of fun. The teacher and alumni who led it are bird experts and their interest was contagious. The coolest thing we saw was a Red-Tailed Hawk having a dogfight with an American Bald Eagle. I talked with another relative by marriage who (surprise!) is also a graduate of Friends. I also talked with a few other alumni who were very nice.

After that, it was time for a break from the school which was great because I was getting hungry too. I took off toward the Senator Theater and parked. I walked past Batman who was hanging outside of The Amazing Spiral and headed inside. The Amazing Spiral is my comic book shop when I’m in Baltimore because the staff is always knowledgeable and extremely courteous and welcoming. They always have a great selection of trade paperbacks and graphic novels which are usually what I spring for. I walked around and took the place in. There were people dressed as animals, superheroes and Disney characters and everybody had a smile on their face. Free Comic Book Day happens the first Saturday of May and is a nationwide holiday for geeks like me. I picked up my five comics and the second trade of Squirrel Girl. I also picked up Hawkeye #1 and an issue of Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat. I then drove north and grabbed a Qdoba burrito and headed back to the school to eat and listen to Chris Hardwick interview Bruce Campbell. After, I read a little bit of my haul as I relaxed.

Having observed the holiday the best I could without seeing Captain America again, I shut my eyes for a little to conserve my energy. I got bored of that after a while and I decided to walk around the campus for a little while to check things out. The campus had changed a lot since I went to school there and I wanted to walk around the place to see the new stuff and drink in the nostalgia of the old stuff. I ended up doing a lot of walking since it is a huge campus. Eventually, it was time for my schedule tour and I really enjoyed seeing all of the new stuff inside of the buildings. The school is a really good one and it seems that it is even better than when I went there. It made me sad that Baltimore public schools did not get the same advantages and awoke my liberal/progressive spirit at the unfairness. Seeing all of the stuff that was the same as when I went to school there was like a boxer getting hit with body blow after body blow. I felt swept up in memories every step I took and it was a really powerful tour to take.

Finally, we got to the cocktail party and I was excited and nervous since I had yet to run into anybody from my graduating class. I walked around the party and ran into Mr. Watt but time ticked by and I still had not seen anybody from my class. I thought for a moment that they had all blown off the event in favor of starting our private party earlier. Finally, I ran into one classmate and slowly that became four and then we were all together. Talking to them was like no time had passed but also felt like a million miles away from high school. High School really sucked and by the end of twelve years of being together, I never wanted to see my classmates again. However, as time has gone by it’s easier to remember all of the good times and forgive all of the stupid mistakes we each made. These people are all pretty good people and it was really a joy to have great conversations with them. We ended the night at Cosima’s at Mill No. 1 which was a little fancier than the places I like but it was a nice atmosphere to share with the handful of classmates who decided to show. I had a great time and I can’t wait until next time. It’s going to be a long five years.

Free Comic Book Day 2015

May 2, 2015

Free Comic Book Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Comic Books were a passion of mine as a kid and, even though I don’t collect them like I used to, I still love the comic book industry. I used to walk miles to my local comic book store to spend my allowance on Saturdays. That was Comics Kingdom which was bought and moved and then moved again since. Comics Kingdom was kind of an intimidating place to go into and it was very small. The new owners renamed the place The Amazing Spiral and moved it to just south of Northern and York across from the Senator. The new place is bright, big and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about comics and tons of geeky stuff.

The Amazing Spiral is where I’ve gone for the last three Free Comic Book Days and it’s where I went today. I got into the store shortly after opening and the place was packed but everybody was polite and nobody ever blocked access to a shelf for long. Several of the staff were dressed as costumed characters. We got a Spidey, Harley, Fiona (from Shrek), Loki and Finn (from Adventure Time) and that was just the staff. I saw a lot of kids dressed up in pretty great costumes. It made me feel good to see so many people there enjoying comics, especially seeing the next generation getting into the genre.

I picked up Grimm Fairy Tales’ Wonderland, Doctor Who, Avengers, Captain Canuck #0, Mega Man, Teen Titans Go! and I was lucky enough to pick up the last copy of Step Aside Pops. I am especially excited to see Step Aside Pops as I’m a huge fan of Kate Beaton and to see a webcomic artist hitting the mainstream is always cool.

I also picked these two graphic novels for the 25% off sale.

I’ve heard great things about this run of She-Hulk a it focuses equally on her law career and superheroics and mixes in quite a bit of comedy. I’ve been focusing a little more on female heroes lately because I neglected them when I was younger and, while I think I missed out, I think they’re written way better now.

I’ve been a fan of the Sandman Mystery Theater series since college. I like the Sandman (Wesley Dodds) character and I like the mix of 1940’s and dreamlike setting. You’re seeing the world through the eyes of an insomniac, a man troubled by nightmares who instead fights crime.

I hit Qdoba for a burrito and headed over to the Rotunda for Phase 2 of my day. Of course, it was Phase 2 literally because it was Avengers: Age of Ultron, the end of the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I got there right before the theater opened and ended up fifth in line to buy tickets. This turned out to be lucky because even at this matinee, the theater was packed to the gills.

The movie was awesome. I had high expectations after the rest of Phase 2 was so, so good and this movie actually exceeded those expectations. I laughed, I teared up, I gasped and several of us even clapped at moments. I don’t want to spoil anything but everybody turned in good performances, even the characters with the smallest amount of screen time. Please, if you like these movies even an iota, do yourself a favor and check this one out.

Now I’ve got plenty of read and plenty to think about before I see Avengers 2 probably about ten more times. It was a good day.


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