Saturday, November 17, 2007

Signings at Comic Book Ink

In addition to being a music nut, I am (as some of you I'm sure know by now) an absolute comic book fiend. The kind of fan who not only has favorite characters but favorite writers, favorite artists, and an intimate knowledge of the inner workings thereof. And, among other things, a "regular" store... the kind where all the staff knows me, and I have a folder behind the counter where there hold stuff for me when I can't get in the day of release.

That store is Comic Book Ink. Proprietor John Munn (also known about town as an actor and director at any and all local theatres) has worked damn hard over the last five years to make his shop THE place to go in Tacoma for comics. He's been among the five or six most highly lauded shops in the nation, nominated for the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing award three years running (for those who don't know, the "Eisners" are the Oscars of the comic book world... high praise indeed for him).

Among the great aspects of the shop (and they are many) is John's continued commitment to bringing in great signing events. For me it's always fun, in whatever creative medium, to meet the creators themselves. Be they writer, artist, musician, or whatever, the chance to talk to someone who has crafted something that is a part of my life can often prove quite fascinating.

I ramble on about this because CBI has two signing events coming up in rapid succession that have me really excited, the first is tomorrow, featuring Eric Powell. Eric is best known in comic circles as the creator of The Goon. Now, I haven't read the Goon, but these two sentences from the Wikipedia entry are enough to put me in line tomorrow to buy, get signed, read, and hopefully love:

The Goon (and his sidekick Franky) often get tied up in other machinations, often in relation to the evil zombie gangs under the command of the Nameless Zombie Priest.

The series has a distinctly paranormal slant, with the average story concerning ghosts, ghouls, skunk-apes with an unnatural hunger for pie, extra-dimensional aliens, and mad scientists.

Evil zombie gangs and skunk-apes with an unnatural hunger for pie? It's a born winner. Powell signs Saturday (that's today!) 1 PM - 4 PM. You'll certainly find me there.

Next Friday, though... that's when the big guns come out. Brian Michael Bendis is best known as the writer of... Marvel Comics. And that's only slightly embroidering upon the truth. One of the most prolific and talented writers in recent memory, Bendis has basically been one of the chief architects of the path of Marvel comics for the past five years or so. He's helped make Daredevil a badass again, turned the Avengers from a mediocre joke of a book into not one but TWO flagship titles for the company, helmed the modern-day re-imagining Ultimate Spider-Man from day 1 (over a hundred issues later it shows no signs of dying) and kept at least some time to remain one of the best crime writers in comics, as the writer behind one of my favorite series ever, Powers.

Bendis has done two signings at CBI so far (both at the old store). But this one is different. This time he is (at his own suggestion) participating in an hour-long Q&A with the fans before the signing. This all happens next Friday, November 23 (Q&A 5-6, signing 6 onward).

Both events promise to be a lot of fun, if prior experience is any indication. I highly recommend you all come out and give it a look. If you like comics, you'll enjoy these guys. I can't speak for Powell but Bendis is genuinely one of the nicest and most entertaining guys I've ever had the fortune to meet. And if you don't know much about comics... maybe you'll learn something new. Find a new interest, a new branch of literature you never really thought about.

Anyway, that's enough ranting for one morning. Come out! Meet some people! Have some fun! We're all in this nerd thing together...


ensie said...

Did you attend the Bendis signing on the day after Thanksgiving? Frinklin and I couldn't make it, but we are at Comic Book Ink weekly to pick up our folders. Had no idea you were a comic book geek too!

izenmania said...

Sure you did! I'm the guy you were jealous of because I went to ComicCon in San Diego this year, remember? We discussed it on opening night of the Red Hot.

I'm a MASSIVE comic geek. I've got... 16 collected paper back volumes of Bendis stuff (out of about 130 volumes overall). In addition to a few monthlies that I get in my folder. I did end up going out there. It was a lot of fun... Bendis is an extraordinarily nice guy (as I learned the first time he signed at CBI a few years back), and so the Q&A was quite entertaining.

I've actually known John since before he owned a comic shop, back from my days doing TLT stage crew work.

ensie said...

OK, maybe I did know that, I just have a terrible memory! I know exactly who you are, I just don't remember having that conversation with you!

I can't even tell you how many collected volumes of comicbookery I have. It's too many to count at this point. I just glanced up at my bookshelves as I typed that and cringed!

Bendis is great, but I'm all about Kirkman. The man is awesome. Give me some Invincible, some Walking Dead, and throw in a little Battle Pope, and I am a happy, happy girl.

Maybe I had no idea that you were involved in theater? My husband just finished doing The Hollow, which John directed at the Lakewood Playhouse a couple of months ago, and did another play with John in 2006.

My memory is the WORST!

izenmania said...

You may not have known I did theatre. I volunteered doing mostly lighting stuff from 1998 until fairly recently (though it did drift off the last couple years as I got busy with school and work).

It appears that you and I have a lot more to talk about than we knew :). There are two series that I get the new paperback of in my folder every time they come out: Bendis's Powers and Kirkman's Invincible. I get the trades because I didn't start reading them until it was too late to get in on the single issue front, but I'm alright with that. But Invincible is one of the finest pure superhero books out there. (If you got John's e-mail from back when Kirkman signed, you can spot the back of my head and Jack Skellington-shirted torso standing in a couple photos).