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On Father’s Day I drove the kids out to the Albany Comic Con. I’d heard for years that it was a good show but had never been, always assuming that Albany was too far a drive for a "little" show. My wife was working so we packed the car with a cooler and our assorted books and off we went. Now as far as Father’s Day, or any day that the kids try to give me gifts, my expectations are low. It’s not that I require store bought gifts, so much as after years of experience I’ve learned that they’re not quite experienced enough to put any "real" thought into what they’re either making or giving to me. I didn’t even care. They were better than mostly good for the entire trip, without bickering and arguing too much, and I had a good day. That alone was a wonderful Father’s Day gift. The guest list was interesting enough that I had four goals set for myself and successfully accomplished all of them easily. The kids had their own independent goals and met those as well.
I’m told 1,200 people came through the door last year and that could have been the case this year as the show expanded into two rooms. The fans were also sparse enough that there was no trouble at all moving around the floor, and that included a large percentage of people with strollers, right down to a 4-week-old. In fact, the only complaint I had about the show at all was the apparent lack of courtesy, or con knowledge, the fans displayed. Yes, there were a number of people there with boxes of books for a creator to sign, and that can become tedious when I’m far enough back that I can’t comfortably engage in conversation. In this case, there was no conversation at all, as an artist, or in this case a writer, politely signed 200 or more books. More frustrating to me, and I was amazed at the level of patience these guests showed, I saw books handed over for signatures still in bags and boards. At one point, and I forget who I said it to, I commented that I would have just signed the book right on the plastic and handed it back with a smile. Instead, the guests that I witnessed just took the books and carefully removed them so that they could sign the books, and then handed them back. I guess that’s really no complaint at all when I say how accommodating a guest was for a happy fan.
I have to finish though with my Father’s Day gift. At the end of the day, on our way out the door, my 13-year-old daughter, Danielle, handed me a single page card. She had asked Mark McKenna to draw Spider-man for me and then walked around the room and had it signed. Not just signed, but inscribed with thoughts and well wishes. I almost cried right there on the floor when she gave it to me. That was a very cool gift!
Here are some items shipping this week that might be a cool gift (if only for ourselves)…
DC Comics is expanding its New 52 line with Batman Superman #1, $3.99, written by Greg Pak and featuring art by Jae Lee. Here you can experience the first meeting between these two iconic characters in the New 52.
Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake #2, $2.99, is very exciting to me. #1 was so off the hook good that I really hope this issue keeps the feeling and momentum going.
IDW has another Artist Edition with the John Byrne Fantastic Four Artist Edition HC, check for price. More than six stories are collected, including the very first issue written, penciled, and inked by John Byrne, plus a cover gallery and additional extras.
Marvel has got itself a good looking “X-week” with Wolverine #5, $3.99, by Paul Cornell and Alan Davis. This is the first issue of “Drowning Logan” and it’s been a spectacular book so far.
X-Men #2, $3.99, by Brian Wood and Olivier Coipel brings back one of the X-Men’s scariest villains and I have no idea who he is or what his history is, but issue one was stellar in every way.
Valiant Entertainment concludes the “Planet Death” story line with X-O Manowar #14, $3.99, written by Robert Venditti with art by Cary Nord and it’s got not one thing to do with the Harbinger Wars but I can’t wait to see how this ends and I’m very excited for the teasers we’ve been given about what’s still coming.
There are plenty more that are not listed. For a more complete list, feel free to visit your local comic store or favorite site. If you’re interested in more of what I think, follow me on Twitter at Mycomicstore001 or like my Facebook page.
Michael R. Murray is a full time Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service who is pretty bent that the way his schedule is working out, he won’t be able to see Man of Steel in the theater.