Reading: Free Comic Book Day!

Every year, your local participating comic shop hosts Free Comic Book Day!  That’s right, you can go to your local comic book shop and get free comics.

The New Orleans area has some great comic book stores three which we frequent often.  Our comic shop is BSI Comics in Metairie.  However, we highly recommend More Fun Comics and Crescent City Comics as we often shop there when we are in that area.  Heroes Corner in Metairie is also fantastic.  Kenner also has a great shop across from Wal-Mart whose name escapes me at the moment.

Each comic book store has their own little party.  BSI will have author Blake Petit and actor Jason Carter from Babylon 5.  Crescent City will be having a sidewalk party including a lemonade stand since it’s also lemonade stand day.  The 501st usually appears at more than one shop. A quick facebook or google search will let you know what your local store is planning.

Remember, though, that the old adage of nothing is actually for free.  Your comic book shop  has to pay for those comics.  The point of Free Comic Book Day is to get bodies in the stores.  If people enter the store, then they might be inspired to buy something. So PLEASE buy something if you go.  Comic book stores often have great trade paperbacks (I highly recommend Vision or Darth Vader), toys, and other collectibles.  Pick a comic and start a pull folder in which the shop pulls comics for you and stores them for when you can make it.  The only thing about a pull folder is that the store is placing their trust in you that you will pick up your comics on a very regular basis. If not, they are losing money.

Free Comic Book Day is for readers.  Not for just comic readers.  There is some great literature being produced in the medium, so don’t let the medium stop you.  As a teacher, I can not recommend comics enough for young kids and for children who don’t like reading.  Also, don’t be discouraged by the Simpsons comic book shop persona.  We visit comic book stores in every town we visit, and we are always welcomed and given recommendations.  The stores I’ve listed above all are run by wonderful people who love talking to comics with expert collectors and novices alike.  In most cases, I think they like the novices more because (a) they are potential new customers and (b) they are possible new people to talk comics with!

So go get some free comics and pay for some as well!

See you at the comic shop!

 

 

 

Star Wars-ing: Quick Thursday Recap

  • The 40th-anniversary panel was amazing according to friends who camped out. The fact that Harrison Ford and John Williams were there put it over the top.  We can’t wait to stream it.
  • The STEM/STEAM Star Wars panel was one of the best panels I went to about education at a con. They discussed how sci-fi led them to science.  Holly Griffith, an engineer at NASA, stated she owed her career to Princess Leia.
  • Denis Lawson is not someone that does a lot of cons.  However, he was one of the nicest and most personable people we have seen at a con and his line was always long.
  • Temuera Morrison was ecstatic to sign our picture of the character he voiced in Moana, Chief Tui.
  • Billy Dee Williams is still the coolest person on the planet.
  • We got everything we wanted at the Celebration store!!!
  • We bought Thrawn with the exclusive convention cover and got the exclusive pin. Can’t wait to read it.
  • The line to get in was ridicuslous.  They knew the number of tickets that were sold and that still planned poorly.  However, they did realize that it was not very smooth, and they announced tonight at close that there are expanding their entrance points.
  • The photo-op location is in a weird spot in the corner.  Not sure why, but that was a bad decision. Even if it is smoothly run, it’s still not a good location.

Even though the last two were “even better ifs,” the first day was a pure success for us. We had goals and we did most of them.  We did have to split up become some lines took more time, but we had great expereinces with each person we met.

Of course, we will do a full written recap and review next week as well as podcast covering everything.

Collecting: Record Raid in New Orleans

Record Raid New Orleans is New Orleans biggest and best record show!  If you are an experienced record collector or you just bought your first turntable, this event is for you.

Record Raid will be held on January 21 from 11-5 at People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). There will be 40 tables of records being sold by 26 vendors. If you want to ensure you get the good stuff, you can pay $5 for early entry at 10 am.  At 11am, entry is free!

While the main reason for going is records, there will be a DJ spinning the entire time. You can come just check out some records, listen to some great music, and make new friends.

If you are planning on buying make sure you bring cash.  Some vendors use square, but not all. Also, you might want to bring your own bag as records can get quite heavy.  We always say we aren’t going to spend much money, and we always end up bring home a much larger haul than planned.

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Issues 1-12

Star Wars is the main title of Marvel’s new Star Wars Comic line.  This comic is officially canon and takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

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The story focuses on the three main characters of Luke, Leia, and Han. Luke has been told he is a Jedi, but there is no one to train him on how to become a Jedi.  Luke is on a hero’s journey and this shows him truly struggling with his new found but unfocused powers.  Like Empire, he quickly separates himself from the other two main characters to find himself (which isn’t as hokey as it sounds).

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Star Wars-ing: Darth Vader Issues 1-12

Darth Vader in A New Hope was a perfect as a villain that you could have.  With no origin story developed yet, he was an absolute evil being.  He has no issue with blowing up a planet.  He kills a man who we identify, along with Luke, as a father figure. And, most terrifying, he survives.  We have no idea when Empire starts that the movies are not about Luke at all.  They are about Lord Vader and his story. He isn’t an absolute evil character, but a terribly flawed individual who bears the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders.  It was a brilliant storytelling conceit, even though the stories themselves in the prequels were fumbled. Even The Force Awakens has the shadow of his presence. As a character, Vader has few peers.

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It had to be intimidating for comic writer Kieron Gillen to pick a story about Vader.  The Darth Vader comics, which started in February 2015 and end in the next month, takes place between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.  Vader is a weird place.  He is assigned the blame for the Death Star blowing up.  Being a sith, he doesn’t have many peers but now he doesn’t even have a master finding disfavor with his master.  Vader in this storyline is making sure that he alone is the Emperor’s only right hand.  He enlists Aprha an archeologist of weapons and weaponized droid. She reactivates Triple-Zero and BT-1.  These droids are the negative image of C3PO and R2-D2. Triple-Zero is a protocol droid who relishes torturing others and BT-1 is R2 if he was a serial killer.

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Gillen’s Vader is man who has his back up against the wall making him a most dangerous man. Vader is desperate but calculating.  He knows his enemies and trusts no one.  However, there is still some of Anakin there.  Well, dark side Anakin as when he takes out a colony of Tuscan Raiders. He also is harboring a secret.  Darth Vader is meant to be read at the same time as Star Wars (I would go with Comic Book Herald’s reading order for all the Star Wars titles if you have access to them…this story does stand on its own as well). In one episode that takes place in Star Wars, he comes across Luke Skywalker and has a hunch that the two are really close.  He doesn’t tell the Emperor. So not only is he in disfavor he is harboring a secret from the one person who happens to be afraid of.  To make matters worse, this set, which is placed in one collection, ends with Vader landing on a hostile planet…alone.

Gillen’s Vader is a terrifying character but one whose motivations we understand. He is a solitary figure who is being cut off from the one person who has any kind of connection with. He is dangerous.  The supporting cast is fantastic as well.  Triple-Zero is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in all of Star Wars. He is C3PO if he was programmed by Patrick Bateman. Aprha is a person searching for a father figure, and even though she knows that Vader can never truly fill that role, she wants to please him. Of course, it’s partially out of fear, but it is also because she wants to make him proud of her. The highlights of issues 1-12 are when we see what Vader is thinking.  Gillen scripts flashbacks at perfect parts of the story.

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This is where artist Salvador Larroca comes in and pushes Darth Vader to one of the best comics I have read so far. There are moments when the panel focuses on Vader’s face.  I swear you can see Vader’s mask emote.  I’m not sure how he does it, but I’m not the only one who has thought so.  Ms. Nola Nerd Couple and I had conversations about it and it ended up in the letters section of the comic as well.  Drawing Darth Vader is no easy task considering that a large section of the cast is droids or Vader.  Yet, Lorroca does it beautifully.

I’ve reviewed two Star Wars titles now.  Both are fantastic.  Can they keep it up?  Next week, I’ll review Star Wars, the main comics title.

Star Wars-ing: Princess Leia

When I first read Princess Leia, I thought it was a light story that was ok. In fact, I wasn’t even going to review it. Then for some reason, I couldn’t shake the story. I kept thinking about it. So I gave it a reread. It’s not light at all. In fact, I think its one of the best comics I’ve read in some time.

Mark Waid wrote the story with Terry Dodson doing the pencils and Rachel Dodson inking the series. Jordie Bellaire colored the run.

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The story picks up where Episode IV ends. We are at the medal ceremony and our heroes are parting ways. However, every one treats Leia as she should be grieving. She should; her planet was blown to bits in front of her. Because of interplanetary travel, there are surviving Alderaanians. This becomes the mission of Leia in this 5 issue run.

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Star Wars-ing: Meeting Taylor Gray of Star Wars Rebels

Here at Nola Nerd Couple Headquarters, Star Wars makes up a large part of our lives.  We have made trips to the West and East coast because of Star Wars.  We collect everything Star Wars from figurines to calendars to games to clothes. We are keeping up with new Star Wars canon by reading the Marvel Comics. Cristina was a big fan of Clone Wars (which I have not seen) and started watching Star Wars Rebels as soon as it came out. Star Wars Rebels takes place about five years before the events of Episode IV. I did not plan on watching Star Wars Rebels, often doing something else while Cristina watched.  It was hard to not pay attention.  It has great stories that match the talent level of its cast which includes Freddie Prince, Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Jason Isaacs, Dee Bradley Baker, and David Oyelowo. However, it was the character of Ezra Bridger voiced by Taylor Gray that really drew me in. 

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Ezra Bridger of Star Wars Rebels

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