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Free Comic Book Day 2015

May 18, 2015

I started at Forbidden Planet, since it’s right near the bus line I have to take nearly anywhere, and they tend to give out a lot. Everyone stood in line and received a packet, which was alphabetized and seemed to contain everything that the store had gotten in, except maybe some all-ages comics:

54. FCBD 2015: Valiant 25th Anniversary Special (2015) nn
55. Terrible Lizard (2014) #1
56. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2011) FCBD
57. Teen Titans Go!/Scooby-Doo! Team-Up FCBD Special Edition (2015) #1
58. Drawn & Quarterly FCBD 2015: SuperMutant Magic Academy/Step Aside Pops Combo (2015) nn
59. Free Comic Book Day 2015 (Secret Wars) (2015) #1
60. Sonic and Mega Man Worlds Unite: Free Comic Book Day Edition (2015) #1
61. Hip Hop Family Tree Three-in-One: Featuring Cosplayers (2015) nn
62. Free Comic Book Day 2015 (2015) nn
63. Doctor Who: Free Comic Book Day (2015) #1
64. Divergence FCBD (2015) #1
65. Free Comic Book Day: Dark Circle (2015) #1
66. Bongo Comics Free-For-All (2006) FCBD 2015
67. Bob’s Burgers (2014) nn
68. Free Comic Book Day 2015 (Avengers) (2015) #1
69. Free Comic Book Day 2015: All Ages (2015) nn
70. Kodansha Comics Sampler FCBD 2015 Edition (2015) nn

I next went to Mysterious Time Machine. I had been in the previous day, and had bought all the following, most at a discount (I believe I spent $23):

71. Howard the Duck (2015) #2
72. Trinity of Sin (2014) #3
73. Trinity of Sin (2014) #2
74. Justice League Dark: Futures End (2014) #1
75. Trinity of Sin: The Phantom Stranger: Futures End (2014) #1
76. From Beyond the Unknown (1969) #17
77. From Beyond the Unknown (1969) #15
78. House of Secrets (1956) #94

Roger, who wasn’t going to be there because he loves the Kentucky Derby, which is on the same day, said that he’d save the “good stuff” for the regular customers. I guess I don’t count, because they had a small selection, of which we were allowed to take two. I took these:

52. Transformers Robots In Disguise Free Comic Book Day (2015) #0
53. Savage Dragon Legacy FCBD (2015) #1

Next I went to JHU Comic books, which typically has both a good selection and some of the more indie-oriented titles, but a limit of five. They also had a “buy two, get one free” sale, and I took advantage, spending $12 in addition to my free comic books:

43. Howard the Duck (2015) #1
44. Back Issue (2003) #78
45. Hellblazer (1988) #108
46. Comic Shop News (1987) FCBD Special 2015
47. Comic Shop News (1987) 2015 Spring Preview
48. Mercury Heat Debut FCBD (2015) nn
49. The Motorcycle Samurai FCBD (2015) One-Shot
50. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure/Yu-Gi-Oh! FCBD (2015) nn
51. Steampunk Goldilocks (2014) #1
1. Chakra The Invincible Free Comic Book Day Special (2013) nn

I next went to Joe Koch Collectables. Joe wasn’t there, but Peter and the Jamaican guy who hates Brian Michael Bendis and doesn’t care about Star Trek (although Peter was making fun of him for watching Guardians of the Galaxy, which sounded to him like an insipid comedy–“I’d rather see Donald Duck than Rocket Raccoon”) were. I had $20 in store credit, and was able to get all these for $12. They weren’t participating in Free Comic Book Day (they are the warehouse for Forbidden Planet), but did have some free comic books, most in terrible condition. They let us take up to five. I didn’t take Morbius: the Living Vampire #28, because I thought it was absent from my want list, meaning it was already in my collection, but maybe I would have been disappointed if I had: the copy I got of Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #22, which was not on my wish list, seemed OK, but the backing board in the middle was glued to the facing page. I’m not sure if it was a story page because I discovered the problem after I took it but before attempting to read it, and didn’t look too carefully, but I think it was.

3. Animal Man (2011) #26
4. Animal Man (2011) #23
5. Animal Man (2011) #22
6. Animal Man (2011) Annual 02
7. Animal Man (1988) #57
8. Animal Man (1988) #54
9. Bigfoot: A North American Legend (2007) OGN SC
10. Secret Six (2008) #32
11. Secret Six (2008) #31
12. Secret Six (2008) #30
13. Secret Six (2008) #28
14. Secret Six (2008) #16
15. Secret Six (2008) #13
16. Secret Six (2008) #11
17. Blue Beetle (2006) #36
18. Blue Beetle (2006) #24
19. Blue Beetle (2006) #19
20. Booster Gold (2007) #3
21. Booster Gold (2007) #2
22. The Demon (1990) #56
23. The Demon (1990) #44
24. The Demon (1990) #43
25. The Demon (1990) #37
26. The Demon (1990) #34
27. The Demon (1990) Annual 01
28. Anarky (1997) #1
29. Guardians of Metropolis (1994) #3
30. Guardians of Metropolis (1994) #2
31. Guardians of Metropolis (1994) #1
32. Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins (1992) #3
33. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme (1988) #22
34. Demon: Driven Out (2003) #3
35. Demon: Driven Out (2003) #2
36. Doom Patrol (2001) #2
37. Doom Patrol (2001) #1
38. Blue Beetle (1986) #21
39. Millennium (1988) #7
40. Superman (1939) #667
41. My Name is Bruce (2008) One-Shot
42. Teen Titans (1996) #18

Following this, I went to Galaxy Comics, but since they had nothing left except Divergence, I went to Desert Island, which always has unique indie comics for Free Comic Book Day, such as Dan Quayl (Sparkplug Comic Books, Gazeta Comics, Teenage Dinosaur, and Revival House Press, 2011), and Barrio Mothers (Sparkplug Comics, 2014). They had only the following left, from Chicago:

2. Handout Comics (2012) #4

I also picked up issues 19-21 of Smoke Signal, an in-house publication in folio newspaper format, but Comic Book Database removed them (they do list the series) because I didn’t have them with me and didn’t include enough information when I submitted the data to the site for it to be considered acceptable, and no warning that I saw.

At this point, I was getting hungry, since I had not had lunch, and dinner was over at the shelter. The L line was not in service between Brooklyn and Manhattan, so I took a shuttle bus through Williamsburg to the FMJZ line at Marcy Avenue. Normally, I would have gotten off at Delancey/Essex and walked back, but my legs were in pretty severe pain from all the waiting (only at the Joe Koch warehouse did I have a chance to sit down other than on the train and bus), and something inside kept telling me, even though I couldn’t get there directly via the L line to go to Dairy Queen, even though I had no specific craving for any particular food item (the last time I had had the fish sandwich, I felt sick the next day and the morning of the following (the day of the shoot for the Hopes & Fears article, but perhaps it was the food at St. Francis Xavier soup kitchen I had had for lunch). The first train that arrived at Marcy was the M, so I decided to ride it all the way to 14th Street and go to Dairy Queen, where I did order the fish sandwich, since I don’t eat red meat if I’m paying for it, or if there is a vegetarian option (the only soup kitchens I know that do this are Xavier (although Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day weekends, they don’t always in favor of hot dogs and hamburgers) and All Souls–the shelter certainly doesn’t do this). I was really concerned that I was spending too much money. After all, when I got my pay from my temp jobs, I had ordered these from, for a total of about $50:

79. The Sandman: The Dream Hunters (1999) OGN SC
80. Flex Mentallo (1996) TPB
81. Jack Kirby’s Fourth World (2007) Omnibus HC vol. 01

I then spent even more money on dessert–a large cotton candy Blizzard. I lingered for a while before I ordered it, and while I was waiting, a guy a table over started talking to his two friends about how ridiculous homelessness is in New York City, since you can walk by so many buildings where there is a storefront with boarded-up housing above it. He then started telling his friends that he had visited a family shelter in Jamaica, Queens, and how disgusting it was. He found it dehumanizing that they make you go through airport-level security just to get in the building, and that the facility itself was filthy and far below code. He’s lucky he never visited a singles shelter. At Picture the Homeless two weeks later, we discussed a couple of articles in which Mayor De Blasio visited a family shelter in Queens (although not in Jamaica), and the photos, both in the same room, looked beatific compared to what one finds in singles shelters, but since homeless children tug at the heartstrings more than homeless adults, singles are left in filth beyond most people’s imagining. I broke with my normal introverted inclinations and told the three of them about the article I had just written for Hopes & Fears. He didn’t seem too interested, but the couple at the table to the right of me was.

I told them how I had come to New York as a graduate student and entered the emergency room two weeks later with diagnoses of long-term unchecked conditions, my attempt to retrain as a web designer through the city being too inadequate to lead anywhere, the circumstances under which Amit Kumar had let me go, and how I had been in the shelter system for three years as of May 25, which has no ability to help someone who can’t do physical labor for the duration of a shift, and the slavery of the Work Experience Program. I also told him about my interview with Coffee with the Homeless and how Justyna’s initial version of the article had criticized me for not taking the blame for my homelessness until I objected and cited the example of Rochester, where homelessness exploded as a result of Kodak’s appropriation by Instagram and if she would tell them to blame themselves, which she did not answer, and Rochester’s abuse of people to abuse animals with its annual reindeer run, which Nikita Price and Marcus Moore reported back when they were invited to visit as representatives of Picture the Homeless (Nikita is currently homeless even though he is paid staff at Picture the Homeless). Arden had spent some time in Indiana as well, which is how he became familiar with Dairy Queen, and we could reminisce about how Blizzards used to be available with Nerds candy and they used Hydrox instead of Oreo. His name was Arden McWilliams, and he gave me his card, in addition to writing down my blog URL and info about my Hopes & Fears article (he also subsequently gave me permission to use his name). The woman accompanying him told me that the firm where she worked was about to hire a large number of new copy editors, and asked me if I would be interested in applying. I said that I was. Two days later, Arden received links and a copy of my unabridged resume to see if he could help me with it. As he was leaving, he told me that he was so impressed with how I was able to articulate my story that he wanted to give me all the cash that he had with him, $68, more than covering my meal and all I had spent in the Free Comic Book Day sales and the day before. I accepted it happily, remembering that Reverend Paul Tenaglia’s advice that refusing money or a gift that you want is rejecting God’s good. Every Unity minister I’ve heard for any duration has said the same thing. My godparents, also from a Unity church, were annoyed when my mother made me return the money that they had given me when she got so angry that she kicked me out of the house and I saw the horrible Good News Men’s [Conversion-to-American-Baptist-Church] Shelter in Indianapolis after she took me back in, saying she didn’t understand Unity after all those years, either in her treatment of me or in demanding that I reject the money. The money Arden gave me, except for the ones, went into my savings account, so it hasn’t even been touched.

In spite of the physical pain of standing in line for so long without my cane to lean on, this was easily a reverse on any negative vibes I had had about Free Comic Book Day since Kumar firing me on that day in 2012, not only the first and only time he had ever wanted me to work on a Saturday, but also having failed to tell me so in advance. I haven’t heard back from Arden about my resume yet, and his companion would have to get my contact information from him about the copy editing jobs, but he told me he did plan to read it carefully so that he could be of the utmost help.

  1. I still think it is a mistake to use your unabridged resume… You have to tailor things… Many intro jobs only WANT one page with the experience relevant to their position… You can gloss over the other time… Hey if I worked 15 days as a temp medical editor between Feb and October, I would say that I worked as a med editor from bleepin Feb to October…. so sue me….

  2. I used the unabridged resume because he didn’t know what kind of job he could get me.

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