The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Free comic book Day 2016

12994575_10154076413917278_331857609998247659_n13100923_1180016632042758_2414476411187575119_nYeah, the article is a little late, it’s been a busy week, but here’s my report from the front lines at Free Comic Book Day 2016.

In Cleveland, we do free comic book day in style. It’s one of the nice things about this area, there are so many comic shops around – I know that there are parts of the country where you might only have one in the entire county. Some places they’re hard to find, but just around my area… We’ve got Keith’s in Elyria, Comics Are Go in Sheffield, (my personal favourite), we also got B and L comics in Parma, as well as York comics and Northcoast nostalgia out that way. A new little place popped up in North Olmsted where I work, a charming little shop called Nine Relms. and then finally 13178934_1180016722042749_4047151339074850704_nthere is Carol and John’s. Carol and Johns is arguably the biggest comic shop in Cleveland and the most respected. They work hard to be the center of comic culture in the area throwing parties and hosting events periodically throughout the year, not the least of which of these events is the midnight release party. There are sales in the stores, the special beer with fun labels,  there is always an art show as well, with the store bringing artists am fine to do sketches and hobnob with guests. The night line generally the length of the Kamms Plaza and you will find people playing games, dressing up in costumes, and generally having fun with friends.

By the time I got there it wasn’t yet dark but the line had already formed and was inching it’s way down the plaza, stopping right around the corner. That was about as 13139227_1180015952042826_8418935247325289093_nexpected, though as the night stretched on, I did notice that the line formed more and more slowly, not achieving it’s usual prodigious lengths.

This year I decided that since I was getting in line crazy early (about 6:30) I wanted something that would kill a lot of time for the night so I pulled out my old pinhead makeup – you might remember this from back when we were doing the Hellraiser project on this blog. It’s a lengthy make up – usually clocking in at just under three hours (each pin has to be applied separately, so does each cut between the pins…that”s not just one long scar, it’s a couple dozen tiny ones)and today was no exception, but what was funny about it is that as I sat at my table with my mirror set up and my make-up on each corner I was still able to socialize and chat and hang out with people while I was doing the make up. People came around to watch as the slow transformation occurred.

pinhead

13179298_1180014818709606_4531547526354699980_nA couple of friends – Marcus and Justin slid down from way further up on the line down to hang out with me. That was a great way to start the night to have people around. Eventually my friends Jennifer and Selena also showed up there (trying to get there around seven but it was closer to quarter after). They brought the kids and Jennifer and brought her husband along with our friend Chris. Bobbie showed up with the new baby complete with a little Spiderman snuggie and we simply took over the corner of that line. Shortly before 9 o’clock, my make up was done. I did a bit extra this year, adding more pens – I’ve had to recreate the bald cap as the old one split on me.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to try and hit the magic number of 100 pins (According to Gary Tunnnicliffe, who did the makeup in most of the Hellraiser movies that’s how many there are).  I’ve never been able to quite manage it – we tapped out in the low 90s.13179165_1180016422042779_3037560319248585323_n

As we waited for the doors to open I pull out my handmade puzzle box – a new addition to the costume. Insted of using my replica, I wanted something that glowed, so I built my own. The real key here was LED light that changes colour. I regularly use things from the dollar store, and this was a knick knack that was supposed to look like a butterfly, but after I ripped the wings and reworked some of the clear parts it looked more like an amorphous spirit inside the box. It glowed eerily through the slots in the box as the evening got darker and stood out beautifully in the night air.

13138823_1180015598709528_6872298931395192395_n13179048_1180015252042896_5145488420459999081_nThe Ghostbusters showed up but let’s face it, these guys are not equipped to deal with Cenobites. I wandered up and down the lines checking out the costumes, I love what free comic book day brings out in people… We see costumes and outfits every bit as impressive as you would see at any convention.

Finally, around 11:30 the line started to form in earnest. People left the chairs and tables and began to queue up outside the entrance of the shop. I got in and grabbed my first 10 titles – it was an impressive spread this year and I managed to get all of my first choices that night. That’s a feat that seems to be getting harder and harder to accomplish as more people come out every year and the shops understandably begin to crack down on how many titles you can get (about 10 is average these days). I was also delighted to be far enough towards the front that I was one of the first 200 – and recieved a graphic novel as a result. A nice Avengers trade that I’ve never read before, I’m eager to get into this one.

ENP-1449

13178596_1180016915376063_6651369327146551229_nI rushed out so I can get back home and get some sleep – Saturday morning was going to be a long day. By the time I woke up, my wife and I are already absconded with my younger daughter taking her to dance class. Maddie shuffled into her Supergirl costume and ran up to me with a little white stuff animal she found. It was a litte dog was black earsand she asked me if we can quickly make a cape and a collar for him… That way for Supergirl could carry around Krypto. I grabbed some scissors and pins and went to work, bringing together a quickie costume for her stuff toy.we headed out, hitting Nine Relms comics first.

This is the new store and I was eager to see how the place was,  I’d only seen photos online. We got there just as the doors open and – the first customers inside. They were delighted to see some people showing up in costume (they weren’t sure it was going to happen) and ushered us over to where the free books were. I like Nine 13173686_1180016818709406_6785317738961753641_nRelms, they are friendly and they got a nice even balance to between comic books and games. There are a bunch of toys on the shelf, predominantly from the 90s – that’s not a complaint. The 90s produced some of my absolute favourite superhero lines, not the least of which is the Total Justice line. I chatted with a customer at the checkout about the Green Arrow he was buying. The Total Justice line produced figures of characters like Connor Hawke and Kyle Rayner… Characters well over looked in mainstream toys. I look longingly over the old Star Trek micro machines and Maddie pointed out a zombie versus cheerleaders card game. We ended up buying a couple of

even the cupcakes get involved in Marvel's Civil War

Even the cupcakes get involved in Marvel’s Civil War

gravity feed Heroclix from Civil War – I let Maddie select them and choose which ones we wanted done when we unwrapped them in the car we discovered she had pulled in iron man, and a redwing – a sort of ironman drone. She was estatic about this figure and claimed it  immediately!. We also spent some time on the arcade cabinet. Nine Relms has a couple of video games in the corner of the shop – Mortal Kombat  three, and Marvel versus Capcom. I’ve got MK3 on the MAME cabinet at home but Marvel vs. Capcom 2 isn’t available for MAME. Maddie is familiar with one, there are characters in 2 that she hasn’t seen. She chose a Little red Riding Hood, which was hilarious to watch as my Captain America beat the tar out of her. I did 13177605_1180016745376080_2848937747512832641_nend up winning, although it was close – and I gave Maddie the extra game. She likes this place, and I hope we’ll be back. In fact, I encourage you to try them out actually… It’s only been open a couple months, and they were having a kind of light turnout for FCBD,  at least, light when you compare it to the line stretching down to the pizza place back over Carol and John’s.

There were Supergirls everywhere. Maddie couldn’t believe how many she kept seeing. I was personally impressed with the variety of Supergirls costumes.

Not so many Wonder Woman. Interesting.

supergirls

13118988_1180016518709436_811616155834380967_nMaddie I made it through in about half an hour, grabbing more comics, some for us some for Maddie’s younger sister Lydia, and a couple for the son of my wife’s friend – we also ended up with several duplicates for Maddie’s school – some of the teachers like giving those out during reading time. Maddie had fun at the art show, we didn’t stick around to meet any of the artists themselves – that’s something that we are more prone to do a comic convention, but she looked on with awe all of the beautiful pieces.  I’m a big fan of sleepy robot, and some of the absolutely adorable little statuettes they created for this show…  I saw thier booth up at ConCoction as well. I’m going to have to buy a couple of these pieces, I’m really, really in love with them.

We finish Saturday at Comics are Go! Mike over there had been holding a Batman versus Superman heroclix set for me and he ran to the back to grab it. It’s nice to 13094280_1180060832038338_8889340699808056358_nhave friends in these places. I also grabbed the Comics Are Go book. I heard them talking about this, and really I expected more of a autobiography. What it ended up being was a very indie book full of short stories, still incredibly entertaining and cool to have gotten signed by all the people who worked on it. I think this is a great idea for a  shop and if I were running one myself we absolutely have a book about life in a comic shop… indeed, wasn’t that kind of what Violent Blue was about?

One of the artist was giving away a brilliant Batman print, this is going to look great 13177834_1180060425371712_5060566069632002533_nup next to my Shadow print from Pat Broderick.

Outside in the bargain bins, Maddie found a stack of Marvel Zombies! This absolutely made her day, whenever we go to shows that’s what she’s looking for… Marvel Zombies, maybe some Simpsons and my little pony but especially Marvel Zombies. I handed her a ten and she ran in to pay.

One of these days I’m going to get the girls out to the square for the superhero production there – the local charity, super heroes to kids in Ohio, always does spectacular show with super heroes battling villains right there live in the center of my city. I know a bunch of people who are in it, as well as the writer and it’s always a great time.

Last couple years I did free comic book day alone – well not exactly alone, I ran into friends and acquaintances everywhere I stopped, but this year it was really nice to have my little sidekick back, when we got home and it was time for bed that night – I saw Maddie reading Camp Scary and she was absolutely absorbed in it. That’s a great part about this – discovering new stuff. Hope you’re free comic book day was just as eventful.

12524161_10154132738157278_1852887926134733328_n13077025_1180016105376144_2918371920391531998_n

Lady Ant man just looks so thrilled to be there…I think it’s because Daredevil is holding an invisible can of RAID.13082754_1180016572042764_589793214882626025_n 13094237_1180018355375919_8303922077740977498_n pt13096211_1180018255375929_5074451684134042435_n

No DC Marvel rivalry here….13100923_1180016582042763_6691899235832589488_n

“Coffee. Need….Coffee….”13103317_1180018252042596_1783932537077120103_n 13116490_1180018328709255_368999343382579431_o

13138993_10209302101420711_7991677751885249475_nPinhead is obviously not amused by Deadpools sign.13227691_10154134478907278_6149064237137608712_o I tried all night to snap a photo of Cap on his bike! How did Laura Wimbels manage it?13241369_10154134474262278_7388609240170418038_n

Laura Wimbels also happened to sneak this pic of Pinhead !13118848_1180014742042947_1439074011522648100_n 13118922_1180014865376268_4534361320711325036_n 13124892_1180016555376099_2364777814120767550_n 13138823_1180015515376203_3314542839025285521_n 13138921_1180016675376087_1711966817016308447_n 13138989_1180016895376065_5680745512693413666_n 13139038_1180016798709408_8686498759575080894_n 13139087_1180015572042864_3607211054226513512_n 13139087_1180016168709471_1704877953255342267_n 13139242_1180016072042814_5033618534949459601_n 13139244_1180016505376104_3176613469418942980_n

“Say… you look familiar” (Doing the mirror gag)13139245_1180016868709401_4236233188736233745_n 13139308_1180014958709592_4949472454010261659_n 13151470_1180015358709552_8536383604832325462_n 13151550_1180015685376186_7004587196727465806_n 13151635_1180016052042816_6849832167768665023_n 13151874_1180015002042921_3365324732055549098_n 13151923_1180016685376086_2644904100755242694_n 13161712_1180018352042586_7509544398652060563_o 13164237_1180015445376210_2270908114805170504_n 13173633_1180018245375930_8719329263683763766_n 13173801_1180015048709583_3877794048181546287_n 13173857_1180014845376270_3429439529004566278_n 13173863_1180015212042900_3662952484395599336_n

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to see She-Hulk. I was trying to get Maddie or Lydia to do her for our FF!13173939_1180016348709453_1094722234917155508_n 13174141_1180015868709501_5593967692398332092_nThe fact that it’s the Lois and Clark Superman just kills me! Absolute 90’s photo! 13174167_1180016842042737_5315072980807940469_n 13177161_1180014648709623_2386428404313616665_n 13177167_1180018242042597_6325033629288623526_n 13177169_1180015625376192_5085126960030511692_n 13177253_1180016235376131_4576033346869284235_n13177410_1180016382042783_9113767562632611757_n

Seriously…where else is this acceptable social behavior?13177305_1180015142042907_197985507260056039_n

Here’s the thing, to fully appreciate that Ghostbuster costume…you have to see

13151505_1180015168709571_742637496497696926_n 13177480_1180014722042949_5936955049050203029_n 13177521_1180016218709466_4092111057054543262_n

ZomBri and Mark and the most popular photo on my facebook account…13177545_1180014592042962_1533609757635291054_n 13177546_1180015882042833_3970514720029938066_n 13177653_1180016005376154_1372953375491999916_n 13177741_1180014912042930_8541957305317335142_n 13177815_1180014765376278_3486213225899190277_n 13177823_1180015072042914_7213740073749375062_n 13177924_1180015372042884_3901966790393698099_n 13177924_1180016265376128_6496234556037598543_n 13178566_1180015972042824_1459695109717721618_n 13178702_1180015335376221_3898551999731084623_n 13178721_1180014608709627_8575470267320728065_n 13178806_1180015428709545_6661700251869191669_n 13178874_1180016328709455_4157516789386594771_n 13178936_1180018178709270_3666415912662843790_n 13179121_1180016128709475_5669602051735131123_n 13179219_1180016615376093_8482625315278896767_n

I seriously want a Hellraiser/John Constantine crossover to happen so bad…13179257_1180015318709556_2020640006385090110_n 13179271_1180015402042881_3529662205731309808_n 13179295_1180015552042866_6261086785325164444_n 13179296_1180018248709263_3203531860670752506_n 13179302_1180016195376135_130757495684956932_n 13179369_1180018348709253_7858621358742375745_n 13179369_1180018478709240_1605382410487307950_n

Great thanks to Andy Donaldson for such a stunning photo of the Sea Queen threatening Hell's favorite son...

Great thanks to Andy Donaldson for such a stunning photo of the Sea Queen threatening Hell’s favorite son…

13151482_1006648712722676_5656331719668238751_n

Winston (the cat who lives at the comic shop)just want’s this night to be over. (Andy Donaldson gets that one shot of him that I just couldn’t manage!)ENP-1479

SLEEPY ROBOTS!13179422_1180016368709451_4616462667201074502_n13133170_1180060355371719_3233441381258885610_n

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