WordPress.com Magic Elves Offer Colorful Second Opinion of My 2012

Important part first: Happy New Year’s to one and all!

Here’s hoping 2013 will be Best Year Ever for all of you, whether you’re planning to expand on your 2012 achievements and victories, secretly wishing for a complete do-over, or were born within the past hour and have no basis for comparison.

Since most readers are either partying or recovering (depending on how soon this is being read), I’ve allowed myself to relax a little more than usual tonight, spending more time with family than with keyboard. It’s my understanding that correcting this imbalance at least three or four days per year is strongly recommended by most of my relatives, biased though they are. That meant less time for writing and more for board games, but in my mind it’s an exchange more than fair, even though my wife and son refused to let me unleash our Scrabble set and trounce them both just once.

In lieu of an overlong piece about New Year’s resolutions (expect something along those lines tomorrow, because of worldwide mandatory blogging bylaws), the following Very Special Report is provided as a treat for my fellow blog stat junkies, or for fans of cute animated fireworks.

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My 2012 in Pictures: a Montage of Montages Past and Future

From a purely photographic perspective, our family found 2012 far from boring, to say the least. It wasn’t without its share of trials, tears, and terrors, but it’s my fervent hope that the memories of those invigorating events caught on camera should outlast the emotional scars of the uglier incidents for years to come.

Some of the following subjects are from photo parades previously shared here on MCC. Some are from events that occurred prior to MCC’s inception on April 28, 2012. Some of these are sneak previews of photo parades that have been held in reserve until the conclusion of the 2012 Road Trip series, which is not represented in this gallery since it has its very own de facto home page.

That being said: the lighter side of 2012 from my limited vantage point appeared as follows. Continue reading

Midlife Crisis Crossover 2012 in Review, Assuming the Next Thirteen Days are a Complete Write-Off

Midlife Crisis Crossover was launched April 28, 2012, as a creative attempt to do something different with my spare time, my ostensible talents, and four decades of accumulated monumental mistakes and mental minutiae. Though it wasn’t my first blog, it was my first time attempting a blog without an immediate support system or preexisting audience. The MCC experience has been eight curious months of dedication, persistence, failures, sleep deprivation, loneliness, stubbornness, prayer, and occasional wild luck. Over the course of the first 240 posts I’ve discovered new peers, made new friends, learned new things about myself and HTML, improved 2% at photography, and remembered one or two stylistic rules I’d forgotten since college, with several more still repressed and yet to be rediscovered.

Empty Obama Chair, Clint Eastwood's arch-enemy

The infamous empty chair, a.k.a. “Obamachair”

The WordPress.com Weekly Writing Challenge has encouraged us to look back at our year and remember where we’ve been. Even before I began assembling my MCC year-end lists, I already knew which post would top most of them: “The Day an Empty Chair Ruled the Internet” was the watershed event that drew the most Likes, Comments, and Shares (and nearly the most traffic) of anything else I’ve written this year, arguably even in my full thirteen years of Internet participation, thanks in large part to its “Freshly Pressed” status that saw it spotlighted for all WordPress users to see over Labor Day weekend.

For its outstanding achievement of Attracting an Audience, “Empty Chair” is the first and only entry in the MCC Hall of Fame, even though it was about political events and my incredulous disdain for same. If we set it aside in a class by itself, my memories of 2012 look like so:

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Metropolis Superman Celebration 2012 Photo Gallery

My wife and I attended our fourth Superman Celebration in scenic Metropolis this weekend, about which I previously wrote. Photos were taken, weather was outstanding, fun was had by all. The results of that fun were as follows:

This year’s special guests: Smallville‘s John Glover and Cassidy Freeman! The usually sinister Lionel Luthor was one of the many best things about the first seven seasons, while the ambiguously antagonistic Tess Mercer was a delight in the other three.

Their Q&A was informative, hilarious, and only frequently naughty. Highlights:

* Tess Mercer was Lionel’s only known illegitimate daughter, compared to a plethora of illegitimate sons that came and went, none possessed of her staying power. (Says Glover, “Things would…disappear a lot.”)

* Unless Tess was being thrown through something large and breakable, Freeman did her own stunts.

* Freeman was still touched that a fan earlier in the day had brought her a hand-crocheted necklace. Glover displayed overt signs of jealousy. It was proposed that a knitting event be added to the Celebration for Glover’s benefit and possible participation (Joked Freeman, “He loves knitting.”)

* Freeman now costars in A&E’s new hit series Longmire, which I find weird because I have family under that name.

* Glover recently finished a Broadway run on Death of a Salesman alongside Phillip Seymour Hoffman and rising superstar Andrew Garfield.

* Glover was all about candor. In the episode where Lionel and Clark swap bodies because, Tom Welling nailed Glover’s Lionel tics, but Glover himself struggled to imitate Clark because “He doesn’t really do anything.” In discussing Lionel’s weird relationship with Lex, Glover drolly described his motivation for subjecting his son to repeated torture and malfeasance as “tests to strengthen his character…which is why I gave him shock treatments.” Questions about the Lionel of Earth-2 who appeared in season 10 revealed Glover’s acting motivation in playing an alt-version of his now-dead character: “Confusion.”

* Before Christopher Reeve’s guest appearances on Smallville, Glover had previously worked with him pre-Superman on stage in the 1970s in Williamstown.

* Glover’s favorite scene in Gremlins 2: the New Batch was him stuffing a gremlin into a paper shredder.

* Glover praised his Scrooged costar Bill Murray as “generous”, and plugged the upcoming film Hyde Park on Hudson, in which Murray will play FDR. Also appearing in the film is a good friend of Glover’s named Elizabeth Wilson, age 91.

The dastardly duo weren’t the only actors on hand. Behold an encore presentation of Gerard Christopher, gentleman and star of The New Adventures of Superboy. Of that show’s two different stars, my wife insists he was the superior Superboy.

Legendary comics artist George Perez had the longest line of any Artists Alley guest, and understandably so. Also on hand were official models of DC Comics’ New 52 costume reboots. You could tell they were present in some official capacity because they were the only New 52 designs visible anywhere in town. Perez revealed that Power Girl’s model, Heather Kelley, was the honorable namesake for a character in his recent Superman run.

The other Artists Alley guest of note: Terry Beatty, who with longtime collaborator Max Allan Collins co-created the hard-boiled detective Ms. Tree and DC’s own one-time Iowan vigilante Wild Dog. He was gracious in autographing my copy of Wild Dog #1 (yes, I’m a fan), and I was happy to pick up a copy of their most recent work, the Road to Perdition sequel Return to Perdition.

How cool is the Superman Celebration? Here’s a sentence I could never utter in my life till now:

The mayor cooked me breakfast.

Before he was elected mayor of Metropolis, Billy McDaniel was the owner of local restaurant Bill’s BBQ for thirty years. Saturday morning he put his culinary skills to work as part of a fundraiser on behalf of the Massac Theater, the only screen in town, which has been closed for several years. Locals were working hard to collect donations to restore it and hopefully reopen in time for the premiere of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel in 2013. McDaniel’s mad, brilliant contribution was to show up Saturday morning at 6 a.m. and serve breakfast sandwiches and drinks to those of us waiting in line for autograph tickets. Let it be stated for the record that His Honor’s personally grilled sandwiches didn’t skimp on either the sausage or the awesomeness. This, for me, sets a new standard for hours-long convention lines that Wizard World and ReedPOP would do well to imitate.

About the Massac Theatre: this is its current state. Hence the fundraiser. Last known donation details can be found here.

The Superman statue is no longer the only three-dimensional art in town. This was our first chance to see the new Lois Lane statue at the corner of 8th and Market, a loving tribute to Adventures of Superman costar Noel Neill, a gues of multiple Celebrations who recently picked up stakes and moved to Metropolis to enjoy retirement among friends and fans alike.

On the side of the Superman Museum is a mural saluting five generations of Superman actors: Kirk Alyn, Brandon Routh, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, and George Reeves. Time will tell if Henry Cavill’s performance in Man of Steel will inspire the town to slosh buckets of turpentine on one of them so he can be inserted into the lineup.

Also next to the museum: Kryptonian soft drinks that explode with flavor.

If only other towns were this candid about their mysterious store closings, so many unsightly rumors would never be born.

Brainiac represents for the villains. Curiously, I didn’t spot a single Lex Luthor anywhere.

Right to left: Supergirl, Mary Marvel of the classic SHAZAM! Family, and the Golden Age Green Lantern, presented with zero interest in sociopolitical commentary.

The Justice Society of America was out in full force, courtesy of Stargirl, Dr. Fate, and Black Canary.

JSA part 2: Hawkman, Hawkwoman, and recent addition Cyclone, with special guests Isis and Hawkman’s old partner the Atom.

JSA part 3: Wildcat! Complete with boxing gloves.

Live reenactment of “Flash of Two Worlds” with Jay Garrick and Barry Allen minus the falling girder.

The best Classic X-Men gathering I’ve ever seen in person. I like that li’l Beast is even barefoot. I approve of the accuracy. If only a grandparent could’ve tagged along as Professor X, but navigating the streets with two wheeled vehicles might’ve proved too difficult an imposition.

Mrs. and Mrs. Green Hornet and Kato. If only their DVD rights weren’t in limbo like some other famous 1960s super-hero TV shows we could mention.

Classic Robin, variant Superman I can’t place, and mystery costume that’s driven me nuts. I know I’ve seen it before, but I’m totally drawing a blank. This is why old age sucks.

Magog, one of the more recent DC characters on hand. If you haven’t already read Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come, don’t ask me to explain him to you. Let’s just confirm he’s with DC and not a true harbinger of endtimes.

Miss Captain America with Wonder Woman boots. Improvisation is acceptable.

One of the few costumes from neither Marvel nor DC was Neo from The Matrix, bullet-time pose and all. When the temperatures rose in the afternoon, he shifted gears and switched to a more traditional Jedi outfit. I don’t blame him.

Neo also posed with Dark Clark.

My favorite costume of the day: Otis himself, straight outta Otisburg.

In closing, please enjoy these bonus photos of the Luthor father/daughter team, who conspired to make this one of the liveliest Celebrations yet.

500 Festival Parade Second Encore: Smurfs in Surplus

I don’t understand why, but now that Houghmania is on the wane for the moment, I’m finding that, out of all the other Indy 500 Festival Parade photos out there, apparently shots of Mega Papa Smurf — even this many days after the fact — are inexplicably in higher demand than some celebrity nude pics. In many ways that’s a good thing.

More fodder, then, for those who believe love is blue and blue is love:

Alternate fuller shot of Papa Smurf rounding the corner from Washington Street onto Meridian. Street signs about loading and unloading zones are useless against him.

Papa Smurf so close you can see his seams, right before he destroys all who oppose him.

Beneath him, his merry oppressed Smurflings do his every bidding or risk his stompy wrath.

To a lesser extent, Smurfette and Clumsy were also in the parade, but refused to exit their mushroom love hovel and say hi. They had either a bad case of stage fright or a terrible secret to hide.

500 Festival Parade Encore: the Hough/Menounos Reunion, Take Two

Since I don’t watch reality shows anymore, I’d never heard of Dancing with the Stars‘ Derek Hough before he appeared in the celebrity lineup of this year’s Indy 500 Festival Parade. Based on response to my previous entry, I’m beginning to realize I’m alone in my ignorance. I appreciate being schooled on this, and truly have much to learn about The Hough.

As a thank-you and a gracious acknowledgment to his legion of fans, please enjoy this bonus parade photo of him, which includes a much better view of fellow passenger and Extra correspondent Maria Menounos.

Derek Hough and Maria Menounos!

WikiPedia tells me they were once partners on DWTS. If we’d known this were a highly anticipated reunion of sorts, my wife and I would’ve tried much harder and snapped a dozen more shots. I regret this is the last of our Hough/Menounos photo material, though I’m tempted to find ways to insert gratuitous mentions of him into future entries to prolong the magic.

Indy 500 Festival Parade 2012 Photo Gallery

My wife and I aren’t sports fans, but in 2011 we decided to try the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade for our first time together. Each year on the Saturday before the world-famous Indy 500, our city holds a parade downtown with corporate-character floats, scintillating displays, marching bands, celebrities of varying levels of fame, all 33 qualifying Indy 500 drivers, members of the family that owns and/or operates the race, and bellicose street preachers.

Last year’s experience was such a fun date that we agreed an encore was in order. Ninety-degree weather was far from comfy, but we persevered. The following is a fraction of the pics we snapped.

The parade’s Grand Marshal: Australia’s own Olivia Newton-John! She was too far away to take questions and recriminations about Xanadu.

Co-star of "Grease" and "Twist of Fate"

’80s sensation Rick Springfield! The trailer speakers blared “Jessie’s Girl”, the only song of his that our local radio stations remember. As always, they sadden me.

Rick Springfield!

’80s semi-sensation Eddie Money reprises one of his classic hits, “Two Tickets to Parade”. With him is One Tree Hill‘s Jana Kramer, though for some reason all promotional materials avoided mentioning that show in favor of her plans to release her first country music album later this year. All kinds of odd choices in that sentence.

Eddie Money!

Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana and certified Wild One.

Mitch Daniels, Wild One

TV’s Guy Fieri, of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It was thanks to his recommendation several years ago that we had the pleasure of trying West Virginia’s Hillbilly Hot Dogs, and we’ll never, ever forget the experience.

TV foodie passes by a Jimmy John's without stopping.

Gladys Knight, well-known Pip-wrangler and midnight train passenger.

Still hearing it through the grapevine after all these years.

Florence Henderson is one of two celebrity staples guaranteed to appear at every Indy 500. The other, Jim Nabors, has bowed out this year. I wish him speedy recovery from whatever ruined a good run for him.

TV's Florence Henderson!

Derek Hough from Dancing with Stars and Maria Menounos from Extra. When their car moved forward to Monument Circle, they got out and had one of their walk-along security men snap their pic together in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Tourism isn’t just for us little people.

Nobody tell them I don't watch either show.

Captain Keith Colburn from TV’s Deadliest Catch. Alongside him but off-camera is a guy from A&E’s Storage Wars. Missed him by that much.

Deadliest Catch, Friendliest Waver

Miss Piggy, strung along by her obedient Kermitlings.

Dread the power of her giant-sized karate-chop!

Papa Smurf, living large after the success of his feature film debut, striding around atop forced Smurf labor.

Words of wisdom, boots of DEATH.

The Cat in the Hat and his goldfish arch-nemesis declare a temporary truce for the occasion.

Now containing 0% Mike Myers.

The Confucius Institute sponsored this golden dragon float as our new front line of defense against Godzilla.

The golden dragon says, "RAAAAAR."

Giant monster bookworm says read or be squashed. Look for him in his upcoming Syfy Original Movie, Giant Bookworm vs. Golden Dragon.

Giant Bookworm!

The Fred Hill Briefcase Drill Team. Even in those classy suits, they looked a lot less dehydrated and suffering than some of the high school musicians in the parade.

White Light, White Collars

THE Mario Andretti. I haven’t watched or listened to an entire Indy 500 race since college, but even I know and respect that name.

Mario Andretti!

Indy driver Takuma Sato. He finished 33rd out of 33 cars in 2011, but his was one of the two best driver photos we took.

Just wait till 2012!

Marco Andretti, youngest racer in America’s favorite racing family. Take THAT, Speed Racer and Racer-X.

Most Photogenic of Show

Special bonus for longtime readers: I’m please to report at least three food trucks were out and about, making the most of the weekend.

The Edwards Drive-In Dashboard Diner wins Best Truck Art.

The Edwards Drive-In Dashboard Diner.

The Chuck Wagon Deli wins Best Truck I Haven’t Tried Yet. This is the first time I’ve seen them downtown. I would’ve given them a shot if we hadn’t had such a decent breakfast this morning.

The Chuck Wagon Deli.

Der Pretzel Wagen wins Best Sugary Treat. Their cinnamon sugar pretzel was a delightful relief after the parade ended and I needed extra energy for the walk back to the car.

Der Pretzel Wagen.

When most people think “Indiana parade”, I imagine this is what comes to mind first: racecars and farmers. Just add a large basketball and a guy taking a nap, and it would be a true salute to Hoosier stereotypes.

Three Little Pigs.

I trust one or more of the other twenty-one images help balance the scales, so let us never speak of this throwback again.

For wallpaper fans, large-scale versions of these pics are on display in my PhotoBucket album. We have plenty more photos not uploaded, if the public demands outtakes of the Dennis the Menace float, a traditional Chinese dragon, non-character floats sponsored by Big Energy, Indy 500 Princesses, obscured 500 drivers, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s wife’s hat, a stagecoach, the Hulman family, sweltering marching bands, or clowns. I was afraid to photograph any street preachers, so I can’t help you there.

Superman Celebration 2012 to Feature Superboy, Tess Mercer, Satan

At the southern tip of Illinois and across the Ohio River from Paducah, the small town of Metropolis devotes the second weekend of every June to their world-famous Superman Celebration. More than just a carnival acknowledging their local heritage and history, the Celebration invites tourists from all walks to come join in their festivities. Their Main Street’s center of attention is the also-world-famous Superman Museum, dedicated to their greatest fictional resident, the recently rebooted Superman. Also major draws: the special guests from various Superman movies, TV shows, and other related Super-works who drop by for autographs and Q&As.

This coming June 8th and 9th, my wife and I will be attending our fourth Celebration after previous enjoyable experiences in 2001, 2006, and 2008. The 300-mile drive from Indianapolis to Metropolis against 65-MPH speed limits is not quite my favorite road trip, and we’re not a fan of their casino in any way, but when the Celebration aligns with our schedule, we consider it a weekend well spent.

This year’s guest list as of this writing, subject to change without notice, includes:

John Glover! Normal people know him best as the great and powerful Lionel Luthor, but my favorite Glover role remains that of the Devil himself on the short-lived Fox horror series Brimstone. Peter Horton was necessarily glum and stoic as a resurrected widower charged with returning escaped souls to damnation, while Glover stole all the fun as the sly, charming, yet no less fiendish Prince of Darkness who called the shots and had all the best lines. In addition to voicing the Riddler on Batman: the Animated Series, Glover also earned extra Lionel practice when he played a less-than-commendable one-percenter with a fancy high-rise in the overlooked epic Gremlins 2: the New Batch, recently released on Blu-ray. Glover, more than anyone else, is why my wife and I are pinning this year’s Celebration on our calendar.

Cassidy Freeman! The ambiguously antagonistic Tess Mercer was one of the highlights of Smallville‘s later seasons, much of which we avoided. In those few latter-day episodes I did catch, Freeman was a welcome addition who never disappointed.

Gerard Christopher! I never watched The Adventures of Superboy, but my wife seems eager to meet him, so I’ll assume she did. I bought the first several issues of DC’s accompanying comic series because of spiffy Kevin Maguire covers, but that’s as far as my attention went.

George Perez! I met this legendary comics artist at Wizard World Chicago 1999, but it’ll be great to see what he’s up to these days up close, even if it’s part of DC’s New 52.

Terry Beatty! Co-creator/co-owner of the ’80s hard-boiled detective comic Ms. Tree, and co-creator of DC’s own Iowa vigilante Wild Dog. The costume looks odd today, but I still have my copies and fond memories of the original Wild Dog miniseries and his serial in Action Comics Weekly.

And more! The “Artists and Writers” section on the official site has a couple of names and will surely expand in the weeks ahead. For your small-town festival entertainment, scheduled at various points are strong-man displays, bicycle stunts performed by locals, and a Southern gospel quartet. Of paramount importance is the wonder of deep-fried carnival food, steeped in rich, creamery butter. (Fun trivia: the Superman Celebration is where I first met sweet potato fries. I remember a time when those weren’t a common steakhouse side dish.)

If you prefer to stick to convention-shaped events, your options are a Saturday fan film contest, a dance party, and a Sunday costume contest. Usually I’m a sucker for costume contests (and for posting photo parades online after the fact), but Sunday won’t be doable for us. Dances are no-go as a general rule. As for the fan films…we’ll check our exhaustion levels and plan from there.

I highly recommend keeping tabs on the official Superman Celebration site or their official Facebook page for updates, calamities, and hints about their autograph procedures, which aren’t as simple as “Show up, line up, walk up, win!” In fact, I’ll need to go review those myself…

Tomorrow’s Publishers Mine Yesterday’s Concepts for Today’s Freebies (FCBD, Part 3 of 3)

Thus the trilogy concludes:

Donald Duck Family Comics (Fantagraphics) — After previous stints with Gladstone, Hamilton, and BOOM!, Disney relocates their American reprint license once more. Fortunately Fantagraphics knows a thing or two about quality reprints. The FCBD trial offer is a satisfying dose of Carl Barks’ classic Duck stories for the next generation. Funnier than Archie, more inventive than Harvey Comics, frequently smarter than the super-heroes of their time — Barks’ works deserve perpetual reintroduction to every incoming class of freshman comics fans.

Green Lantern/Young Justice Super Sampler/Superman Family Adventures Flipbook (DC Comics) — Art Baltazar and Franco, the minds behind Tiny Titans, open Side A with a done-in-one Hal Jordan tale that’s a basic fight scene with an oooooold foe name Myrwhydden, who’s like Mr Mxyzptlk minus pranks. At least it’s a complete story, unlike the other two shorts: a five-page Young Justice excerpt pitting them against burglars who can’t hit a target point-blank with a semiautomatic; and a five-page excerpt from a Baltazar/Franco Clark/Lois/Jimmy story for kids. The Young Justice show is in a bad time slot for me, and I’ve no interest in the new GL cartoon (viewed superficially from outside, it seems to turn the Lantern factions into squabbling space gangs), but I appreciate what they’re doing in the comics versions for wee would-be readers.

The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel (Yen Press) — Manga about a stupid girl who follows the orders of complete strangers and can’t believe it when they bring her a world of hurt. She finds surprise accompaniment in a fellow captive who’s fortunately a homicide detective. Also, she can shape-shift into another girl. Walking into this blindly, I lost out on any nuance and was disappointed in the naive protagonist. If you know the names Cassandra Clare or The Mortal Instruments, some or all of this may mean much more to you.

Worlds of Aspen 2012 (Aspen) — The lead feature, Homecoming, is about a teenage boy whose life changes when a naked space blonde appears in his shower, aliens smash up his school, and his best friends receive super-powers that leave them deformed but happy. He’s the perfect Mary Sue for the book’s intended audience. Also enclosed are promo pinups of breasts and characters from other series, as well as a preview of a genuinely promising new series called Idolized with surprising emotional heft to its superhero-reality-show premise. Despite the decompressed storytelling, it may be worth monitoring.

The New 52 #1 (DC Comics) — A vivid sampler of appealing, professional artwork from several upcoming titles. Then I went back and read all the word balloons, and now I’m bewildered, lost, and not the least bit curious about what happens in any of them except China Mieville’s Dial H, the first issue of which I already picked up last Wednesday. The thrust of the book seems to be heroes pounding on heroes, not terribly dissimilar from Marvel’s own Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event of 2012, which I’m equally not reading. If you like Justice League pinups in which they attack each other instead of any bad guys, here some are. Personally, I lament a comic universe where every hero’s Rogues Gallery is simply a list of all the other heroes.

Intrinsic #1 (Arcana Comics) — Chapter one of the company’s major summer crossover event that will feature prominently in over two dozen different Arcana series, costar potentially hundreds of Arcana characters past and present, and change many an Arcana life forever. And I don’t recognize a single one of them, except possibly one series called Scrooge and Santa that may or may not be what its name implies. This reminds me of the comics I created in junior high that starred lots of my own super-creations, who had adventures cloned from my favorite comics. Each of my many characters meant something to me, but it’s hard to imagine anyone outside my own head appreciating them, their crude artwork, or their derivative nature.

Zombie Kid (Antarctic Press) — A send-up of Diary of A Wimpy Kid whose title tells you everything else you need to know. All the jokes should write themselves. Alas, if only they had, perhaps I might have finished reading this.

Select highlights from the companies whose offerings I failed to pick up:

Marvel’s selections. I procrastinated them at our first two stops, then forgot all about them at the third stop, which was nearly out of everything and put on their game face by restocking their freebie table with leftovers from previous FCBDs. If anyone needs a copy of 2010’s Shrek FCBD comic, I know a place that will hook you up.

The Valiant relaunch. I assumed (wrongly? No idea) that the contents were identical to the Valiant 2012 Sampler that I previously picked up from their C2E2 booth. X-O Manowar writer Robert Venditti cheerfully autographed my copy before I could figure out who he was.

The free Mouse Guard hardcover. How was I supposed to know that all those stacks of 48-page hardcovers were free? Seriously, though? Who gives away hardcovers? They can’t possibly be generous and shrewd, so I can only assume they’re mad.

Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley. I’d normally brake for Crockett Johnson (better known to normal folks as creator of the original, delightful Harold and the Purple Crayon books), especially under the Fantagraphics name, but I shamed myself by somehow not grabbing this at my first stop. Sure enough, the other two stores hadn’t bothered to order it. My loss.

Barry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs. Aliens Written by Grant Morrison. Um. Er. I see. For now, pass.

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