Road Trip Origins, Part 2 of 2: Our First Wizard World Chicago

Wizard World Chicago 1999!

July 17, 1999, a day that shall live on in the hearts and minds of at least two geeks.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year since 1999 Anne and I have taken a road trip to a different part of the United States and seen attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. Every tradition begins somewhere. As longtime friends and readers might expect, ours began with a convention.

Enter Wizard World Chicago 1999. It was probably the largest comic con within 500 miles of home. We figured if we could handle a 2½-hour excursion southeast to Kings Island, then we could handle driving three or four hours northwest to Chicago.

Thus did two twentysomething best friends embark on their first real road trip, arrive at their destination in the Chicagoland town of Rosemont, and walk into the largest geek convention they’d ever seen in their lives.

Right this way for our grainy 35mm photo gallery and a big batch of exhumed memories!

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Comics Update: My Current Lineup and 2016 Pros & Cons

Comics 2016!

Eight comics a week times 52 weeks, plus a few extras from conventions and Free Comic Book Day…

Comics collecting has been my primary geek interest since age 6, but I have a tough time writing about it with any regularity. My criteria can seem weird and unfair to other fans who don’t share them. I like discussing them if asked, which is rare, but I loathe debating them. It doesn’t help that I skip most crossovers and tend to gravitate toward titles with smaller audiences, which means whenever companies need to save a buck, my favorites are usually the first ones culled. I doubt many comics readers follow MCC anyway, so it’s the perfect place to talk about comics all to myself. Whee.

Anyway: time again for another set of lists with comics in them!

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My 2016 in Books and Graphic Novels, Part 2 of 2

Best books of 2016!

My ten personal favorites from the pile of 38, but not the only good ones in there.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Time again for the annual entry in which I remind myself how much I like reading things besides monthly comics, magazines, and tweets by self-promoters who pretended to care about anything I wrote exactly once each. Despite the lack of MCC entries about my reading matter, I’m always working on at least two books at a time in my ever-diminishing reading time. I refrain from full-on book reviews because nine times out of ten I’m finishing a given work decades after the rest of the world is already done and moved on from it. I don’t always care about site traffic, but when I do, it usually means leaving some extended thoughts and opinions unwritten due to irrelevance.

Presented over this entry and the next is my full list of books, graphic novels, and trade collections that I finished reading in 2016, mostly but not entirely in order of completion. As I whittle down the never-ending stack I’ve been stockpiling for literal decades, my long-term hope before I turn 70 is to get to the point where my reading list is more than, say, 40% new releases every year. That’s a lofty goal, but I can dream.

New for this year: I expanded the list to a full capsule summary apiece, because logophilia. I’ve divided the list into a two-part miniseries to post on back-to-back evenings (like they used to do with the ’66 Batman TV show) in order to ease up on the word count for busier readers.

Once more: onward!

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My 2016 in Books and Graphic Novels, Part 1 of 2

books 2016!

All 38 books on my list in order by size. For an explanation of the conscious lack of e-books in my literary diet, please enjoy this MCC treatise from 2013.

Time again for the annual entry in which I remind myself how much I like reading things besides monthly comics, magazines, and tweets by self-promoters who pretended to care about anything I wrote exactly once each. Despite the lack of MCC entries about my reading matter, I’m always working on at least two books at a time in my ever-diminishing reading time. I refrain from full-on book reviews because nine times out of ten I’m finishing a given work decades after the rest of the world is already done and moved on from it. I don’t always care about site traffic, but when I do, it usually means leaving some extended thoughts and opinions unwritten due to non-timeliness.

Presented over this entry and the next is my full list of books, graphic novels, and trade collections that I finished reading in 2016, mostly but not entirely in order of completion. As I whittle down the never-ending stack I’ve been stockpiling for literal decades, my long-term hope before I turn 70 is to get to the point where my reading list is more than, say, 40% new releases every year. That’s a lofty goal, but I can dream.

New for this year: I expanded the list to a full capsule summary apiece, because logophilia. I’ve divided the list into a two-part miniseries to post on back-to-back evenings (like they used to do with the ’66 Batman TV show) in order to ease up on the word count for busier readers. Onward!

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The Very First Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is nigh again! Time for gratitude toward those wonderful people who endure us, another round of overeating, more complaints about What the First Thanksgiving Was Really Like in Case You Haven’t Heard That One Before, and both budgets and self-control thrown out the window for the sake of the longest Friday of the year.

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2016 NYC Trip Photos #23: Times Square for Old Times’ Sake

NY Gifts!

Manhattan nighttime even makes mere souvenir shopping look cooler.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Every year from 1999 to 2015 my wife Anne and I took a road trip to a different part of the United States and visited attractions, wonders, and events we didn’t have back home in Indianapolis. With my son’s senior year in college imminent and next summer likely to be one of major upheaval for him (Lord willing), the summer of 2016 seemed like a good time to get the old trio back together again for one last family vacation before he heads off into adulthood and forgets we’re still here. In honor of one of our all-time favorite vacations to date, we scheduled our long-awaited return to New York City…

After our Wicked matinee and dinner, my wife and son were wiped out and done sightseeing for Day Five. I had a bit of energy left and one more errand I wanted to run. Anne was a little uneasy letting me go traipsing alone through the streets of New York City, but I promised I wouldn’t be out all night. My destination was an easy half-mile walk, and gave me an excuse for one last stroll through the electric scenery of Times Square.

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