On our annual road trips I usually hold off on my weekly comics fix until after we return home. It’s a selfish impulse I’m fine with deferring for the sake of family quality time, because a few of my least favorite travel memories involve shops in other states. It doesn’t help that some cities we’ve visited simply had no decent comic shops near any of the points of interest on our to-do list. Between the late-’90s Heroes World debacle and the late-’00s recession, America has several thousand fewer comic shops than it used to when I was a kid. (Examples of both extremes: when we took Manhattan in 2011, you can bet I swung us by Midtown Comics’ two-story location in the city with the mostest. On the other hand, our 2015 journey to New Orleans found exactly zero shops in the French Quarter or in the CBD/downtown district to the south.)
But this wasn’t our usual trip. With Anne’s business matters keeping her preoccupied and frazzled, I was free to plan my one-man sightseeing as I saw fit, to drive wherever I wanted to drive, to indulge in whatever flights of fancy came to mind without any companions to bore. So when I woke up on Day Four, a Wednesday as it so happened, I had two major events coded as Priority One, and one of them was a very special out-of-town New Comic Day.