Monday, May 09, 2005

Free Comic Book Day

Bored with Leicester's shops I decided to take a day-trip to Nottingham on Saturday, but in true Leicester: The Most Dangerous Driving on Earth fashion and to fulfill the need for the typical obligatory "nearly had a car accident on Saturday post" as I tried to pull out of my parking spot some wifie came whizzing past at about 20 mph and nearly took my wing mirror off. Once again I'd made the mistake of looking in my mirror, taking a brief second to decide what to do, and then do the manouever. This wifie took a good few seconds to break, reversed back and looked at me, decided I'd made a face at her and thought she'd chastise me for making faces, not signalling (oddly enough I hadn't because the road was empty when I'd checked) and generally being a bad egg.

I went off to Nottingham feeling somewhat restless due to this incident and wasn't cheered up much when a group of Neds decided to overtake me in the slow lane, doing a mere 100 mph with their rap music blazing out at a ridiculous volume that somehow was louder than my own CD player. Such people seem to be everywhere in Leicester and Nottingham, riding around aimlessly in cars. But despite this I made it with no more mishaps and spent about 30 minutes looking for the local roleplaying shop only to discover it nests on the 1st floor of a Gamestation shop.

I relieved them of all their 1st Edition books of my new craze, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay and then discovered the wonders of Free Comic Book Day. So what's that then?

This is basically a day when comic book publishers release a number of er... free comics to promote their new and existing titles. Typically this is Issue 0, which cleverly comes before Issue 1 but isn't necessary to read Issue 1. The comic book shop puts these on a table and you help yourself to what you're interested in (or if you're like me, take everything).

Now this is my first such day as in Scotland it turns out most comic shop owners I know turn "Free Comic Book Day" into "Mildly Less Expensive Comic Book Day". For example I was talking to a guy about Conan Issue 0 last year, which I'd bought in a comic store in Edinburgh for 25p only to be told by this guy it was supposed to be a free comic.

The Black Hole in Dundee is a similar offender - in fact unsurprisingly the world's worst and most expensive comic store doesn't even run a Free Comic Day. It wouldn't surprise me if they ordered the stuff in and put a price tag on it. Mind you I've never forgiven the owner for telling me to leave when I picked up a Spiderman issue, got too involved in reading it and read a whole 3 pages of it.

Some of the free comics were very good. A Samurai story called Ronin Hood (very apt for Nottingham), a free Spiderman comic, a free Batman comic and some miscellanious crap for jobbing comic book artists seeking publishers.

On Sunday I made my first trip to Leicester's overpriced Odeon to see Kingdom of Heaven. Not bad - historically inaccurate, with all the Christians either being eviiilll or more or less agnostic, whilst the Muslims are portrayed as pretty moderate. Normally this can sink a blockbuster (imagine Braveheart with good Englishmen in it), with Druids being a good example of how a balanced portrayal of both sides can wreck a film.

Basically the overall message of the picture is that fanatacism is bad as it just leads to pointless deaths, but for the most part the only fanatics we see in the film are the Knights Templar, with the Muslims being displayed as moderate. This film seems to follow the worrying tradition in Hollywood now of making Christians fair game for making into evil-doers and whatnot, but negative portrayals Jews, Muslims etc. are all no-nos mainly because they write the scripts or have better representation respectively. :)

2 comments:

Doctor Sordid said...

Ah, the Black Hole! The shop which drove me into the arms of mail-order. Awful, awful shop!

Naturally, I was working, so I missed the joys of FCBD. Bah.

Did you visit Page 45 - the "grown-up" comic shop - while in Nottingham?

Stuart Kerrigan said...

No I didn't - I visited one RPing shop exactly. I shall dutifully investigate for you next time I'm there. :)

I've been shopping at the BH for years - though admittedly hadn't bought a comic from there in about 2-3 years since I discovered every other shop had better prices, better service, better reading facilities and was generally better.