Saturday, May 05, 2012

Incoming Books: Free Comic Book Day!

Today was that great geek holiday, the fabled Free Comic Book Day, celebrated at the launch of a tedious superhero movie in early summer for the last decade. Not being one to miss free stuff, I took my two sons -- after a busy morning that included three separate trips out of the house for me: solo to get bagels, eventually joined by The Wife to watch an early baseball game in which Thing 2 played, and then en famile for lunch at Chipotle, since The Wife was craving guacamole [1] -- off to Joker's Child, a nice shop in the wilds of New Jersey.

The boys and I foraged in the shop briefly, and then they grabbed their free comics -- they each got one of the two packets offered there, and I haven't looked at what they got -- as I paid for a few things for myself:

(Parenthetically, this is of course the purpose of FCBD: to get people in the door and then separate them from their money. Since I don't get into a really good comics shop regularly anymore -- and Joker's Child is OK, but I wouldn't classify it as "really good" -- it is an opportunity to get at least a few of the things I'm looking for.)

Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery, the 1996 Grant Morrison-Frank Quitely miniseries that finally resolved whatever issued it had with Charles Atlas and emerged in book form. (I had been hoping to see it so it would join my Morrison Doom Patrol books, but -- he said with a hollow laugh -- those were lost, along with every other graphic novel I owned, in last year's flood.)

Cinderella: Fables Are Forever, collecting a miniseries about a secondary Fables character, by Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus. (And thus I do my tiny, tiny bit to show DC that they were stupid and short-sighted by cutting Roberson free, though it doesn't actually do anything to correct his larger point, I'm afraid.)

And Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest and Other Stories, by Mike Mignola and a host of others, yet another piece of the aparrently un-endable Hellboy uber-tale.

(Joker's Child is the kind of comics shop, very typical in These United States, where Vertigo, Dark Horse, and a couple of Image titles count for "alternative" -- I didn't see any D&Q or Fantagraphics books there, and only a tiny manga section. (I probably should have gone to MOCCA last weekend, but I'm a grown man with a busy job and teenage sons -- I don't have the time I once did to waste on just shopping for comics.))

As an added bonus, while we were in bucolic Fair Lawn, I saw a sign for a book sale at a local church (St. Ann's, if I remember correctly). It wasn't nearly as close as I thought it would be, but eventually I found it, and went in to grab about a half-dozen books for Thing 2 (who is still on a YA fantasy tear), including the next "Percy Jackson" book, plus these two things for myself:

Den of Thieves, the classic tale of Wall Street greed and illegality (in the old '80s style) by James B. Stewart. Since I work in business publishing these days -- and it's looking more and more like I'll never get out of it -- I keep thinking that I should read more of the classic of my field, and get a better handle on what these financial people actually do. (But, of course, the books I do gravitate towards are the ones that emphasize what sociopathic vermin Wall Streeters are, since that reinforces my prejudices.)

And The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a French novel by Muriel Barbery that was all the rage as few years back. My old shelves (pre-flood) were in large part a record of worthy books that I thought I'd get to read someday, and this is probably another step in rebuilding that tribute to hope over experience.

[1] Appropriately, since it's also Cinco de Mayo, though we'd forgotten about the date at that point.

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