Tag Archives: comic shop

Diamond’s Gem Award Winners Announced

Diamond Comic Distributors proudly announces the winners of the 2014 Diamond Gem Awards, selected by comic book specialty retailers and recognized within the comic book industry as the pinnacle of sales achievement for comic book artists, writers, publishers, and industry executives who work in one of America’s most unique art forms. Continue reading Diamond’s Gem Award Winners Announced

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Preview: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 and Launch Party Announced

Marvel Welcomes You to Level 8
For The S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Launch Party!

 

Your Local Comic Shop is Your Place to Be on New Year’s Eve!

End the calendar year with a bang this New Year’s Eve as high-tech weapons, high-stakes missions and high-octane adventure come to a comic shop near you with S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – the debut issue of one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year! In addition to being among the first to purchase and read this exciting first issue, fans will also be able to receive special items exclusive to these launch parties. Continue reading Preview: S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 and Launch Party Announced

Free Comic Book Day 2015 Officially Announced

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS SATURDAY MAY 2, 2015

 

The biggest event in the comic book industry, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD), is taking place on Saturday May 2nd, at participating comic book specialty shops across the U.S., Canada, and worldwide! 2015 FCBDmarks the fourteenth FCBD celebration and is expected to be bigger and better due to an increase in fan and retailer participation, allowing new and devoted comic book and pop-culture fans the chance to discover new comics for free while also exploring what other treasures their local comic shop has to offer. Continue reading Free Comic Book Day 2015 Officially Announced

So, You Want to Start Reading Comics? A Beginner’s Guide

Although I’ve always been under this impression (and I was wrong for quite a few years), mainly because of blockbuster Hollywood motion pictures, comic books are cool! Despite this fact, however, and the fact that July 2014 was the best month ever for comic book sales, I know there are still plenty of folks out there who would just love to get into the hobby of reading comic books, but for some reason or another they are either turned off by some stereotypical misconception associated with the hobby, or simply aren’t sure how to get into something with such a robust and storied history. Well, let not your heart be troubled, wannabe comic book readers, because I’m here to clear up all of your negative misconceptions, and give you some tips on the best way to get your comic book on.

Continue reading So, You Want to Start Reading Comics? A Beginner’s Guide

Cold Water Challenge: ACCEPTED

You’ve seen the videos on Facebook. You’ve seen the shivering lumps of humanity left in the aftermath. You may have been coerced to take the plunge yourself by a “friend” looking to make a fool out of you in the name of charity. It’s the Cold Water Challenge, and Outright Geekery, unfortunately, is not immune to the phenomenon.

What Is It?

How The Cold Water Challenge began is a mystery. I’m sure the origin of it is out there somewhere on the internet, but I’m way too lazy to look that stuff up, so it’s still a mystery to me. But it’s all pretty simple.

1. Have Someone Pour Cold Water on You

2. Record the Whole Thing

3. Post the Video

4. Challenge Someone Else to Do the Same Thing

5. Donate Some Money to a Charity or Something

Now, I’m really not sure why we just don’t simply donate some money to a charity (if that IS the ultimate goal) but, what the hell? Who am I to argue with society?

What Had Happened Was…

So, why do I bring this up, you ask? Well, first, I can’t hear you, the website doesn’t work like that. But I being this up for the very obvious reason that we were challenged by our great “friends” over at Four Letter Nerd after they took on this frigid torture themselves. It all seems kind of horrible and maybe even a bit dangerous.

But it’s all for charity, and we got a good one! We’ll be throwing our donation toward the Literacy Council of Sumner County, a nonprofit learning center.

Join the Fun

Some of the Outright Geekery crew will be taking on the challenge at Comix City Too! on Tuesday July 15th at 2PM. If you want to see us get soaked and frozen in person, come out and join us, and maybe throw a few bucks towards a good cause.

FCBD and Outright Geekery Jeopardy

Poster3 - WebA few week ago we promised something big would be coming, and it’s finally here! We’ve been promoting the event quite a bit on our Facebook Page, but I had to throw something up here, our real home.

In cooperation with our favorite local comic book shop in the whole wide world Comix City Too!, and to coincide with the Free Comic Book Day festivities, Outright Geekery is hosting a series of Geek Jeopardy games throughout the entire day. We have a ton of great categories that span all sorts of geek genres from TV, Movies, Video Games, and more, and, although our professionalism and quality may vary from expectations, it’s going to be a blast! Winners get store credit, and we’ll have prizes for the runners-up and door prizes that you can win just for showing up!

So, if you can make it to the Nashville area, love free comics, and want a chance to win some great prizes, come out and see us.

A Big Old Thanks to the Competition

Last Thursday night members of the Outright Geekery Crew set off on an adventure none of us had ever before undertaken. An adventure fraught with suspense, wit, cunning, and a little bit of danger. For last evening, we played Avengers Trivia!

Avengers Trivia PosterTo celebrate the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, comic book and pop culture website Four Letter Nerd and local comic book shop Comic Collector Live – The Store hosted a game of Marvel Movie Trivia at the local Brixx Pizza. Now, I could use this article to brag about how the Outright Geekery Team dominated all the rounds, including the Expert Comic Book Trivia Round, but we here at OG are in no way sore winners. And anyways, we would have felt like winners even if we hadn’t gotten a single question correct.

“Competition.” It’s a word that often brings a sense of negativity along with it. “Dog eat dog”, “win at all costs” sorts of feelings. But, 4LNin more ways than one, it’s competition that made this night of trivia so much fun, win or lose. As many long-time readers of Outright Geekery know, we ourselves are a comic book and pop culture website that happens to have an affiliation with a local comic book shop, just like Four Letter Nerd. Despite these similarities and the competitiveness that one may think would accompany such a scenario, our hosts weren’t only gracious and welcoming, but seemed legitimately excited for us to be there. While this wasn’t really a surprise to me at all since I’ve known some of the guys at 4LN for awhile now, it’s something I felt was worth sharing, especially in a world that seems too cutthroat too often.

Trivia Night
Image Courtesy of 4LN

The other aspect of “competition” at 4LN’s Avenger’s Trivia was the other teams that played with us, and our hats go off to some really passionate and knowledgeable Marvel Movie fans. A special thanks to the teams Young Justice (great players) and Nick Fury’s Bowling Commandos (not a typo, and an awesome name). It was a great atmosphere, a whole lot of fun, and the competition was fierce and made for one hell of a game. The local Brixx Pizza wasn’t too shabby either, and if you live in or around the Nashville, TN area check them out in Hendersonville at the Streets of Indian Lake. Great people, great pizza.

“Competition” casts a negative light far too often in our society. It doesn’t have to mean going for the jugular, kill or be killed, or any of the other barbaric terms that are so needlessly applied to something that is far better and more worthwhile. It’s about belonging, and getting together with people. Total strangers sharing a passion that has the uncanny ability of creating new friends, and that’s exactly how the Outright Geekery Crew felt leaving that game Thursday Night. We’d made a whole lot more friends!

Again, we’d like to thank 4LN, CCL – The Store, Brixx Pizza and everyone that came out and made it a great night!

Tales from the Hold-Box: Comics on a Budget

Median Comic Book Cover Prices
Click to Enbiggen

There used to be a time when a comic reader could walk into a comic book shop with 20 bucks and walk out with enough reading to suffice his appetite for graphic literature the entire week. While the ‘90’s don’t feel that long ago, this chart is a startling reminder of how much the price of a comic has jumped over the years. Some may argue that the price is relatively reasonable given the quality of storytelling, artwork, and the product itself in today’s market as compared to then, but that isn’t an argument I care to have. As long as someone is selling comics I’m going to be buying as many as I can. And that’s what I do want to discuss: Getting the most mileage out of you comic dollar.

If you’re a wealthy collector with no limit to what you can spend on your hobby of choice stop reading right now, because this article isn’t for you. Maybe if you get bored from reading all those comics and counting all that money you can come back and give this post a browse, but, if you’re like me, you have to live on some sort of budget, and that means making some tough choices at comic shelves. I’ve developed some methods to help you get a stranglehold on your comics instead of the other way around.

Take an Inventory

If you’re not using some sort of system to track the books you are buying you should start. It’s not only a great tool to identify exactly what you are buying, but it’s just cool to keep track of your collection. There are several pay websites and applications available for this purpose, but I use ComicBookDB.com, have never had an issue with the site, and it’s free to use. They also let you create some great ComicBookDB Logospreadsheets that delve deeper into your collection, and that’s the kind of info you need. Now you can track and see exactly how many books you are buying every month, see which books you are buying, and, more importantly, see the cover prices of all of these purchased comics listed all in one place. This a great way to see where your current comic book dollars are going, and you may just be a little shocked at how many books you are buying every month; I know I was! Now that you have an idea of what you’re spending every month, you need to make some decisions.

Set-up a Budget and Stick to It!

I am firm believer in having in place a detailed household budget for each and every dollar coming in and going out of my household, the same way a business would. It’s an Budgetimportant tool in controlling your money, instead of your money controlling you. Likewise, if you don’t have control of your comic books, your comic books will have control over you. Pick a number and stick to it.

Deciding on that number, however, is a difficult proposition. After you’ve created your list of monthly comics to pull, you have to either take the list as it is, applying the sum total of all the cover prices to your monthly comic budget, or, and the more likely scenario for the comic fanboy with limited funds, you have to trim some of the fat. It’s never easy to drop a comic book from your pull-list, but it’s often necessary to keep your hold-box from overflowing. The key is discipline and constant vigilance.

Stay Informed; Stay Critical; Be Proactive

Comics are constantly changing. Even if a writer stays on a book for years, that book is going to go through a lot of artists and usually an equal amount of story arcs that signify outright-geekery profile-largethe beginning and end of a “chapter” of a title’s run. These are great opportunities to jump on new books or jump off stale ones, but you need to know when these things are happening to take advantage. Many websites, including this one, run news, preview, and review articles highlighting what’s going on and what will be going on within the pages of comic books from all publishers. Staying abreast of this news is the best way to find out what you want to buy before seeing it on comic shelves. The last thing you want to do is go to your shop and see something interesting that you weren’t expecting. It can throw the whole budget off, defeating the entire purpose.

Critic
Be a Critic!

Read your comics like a critic. If you don’t like a book you are reading you should stop buying it, and replace it with something better. There are simply way too many good books on the shelves, and not enough dollars in wallets, to continue to read something that is subpar. The question then becomes: How long do you stick with a title before you deem it bad? Some books require an issue or two or even three to really buildup, so it’s a tough call. My rule of thumb is usually “By issue #4, or 3 straight,” meaning if a book that starts at a #1 hasn’t convinced me by issue #4 I leave it on the shelf, and if any title isn’t entertaining for 3 straight issues I let it go and replace it with something else.  There’s way too many fish in that ocean to live with something stinky, but it can be a chore.

Once you realize a book is not worth picking up any longer you have to stick by that choice. Drop the book from any pull-list you have and immediately replace it with something else. Doing so assures the book doesn’t accidentally end up in your box and become a temptation, while the addition of a new book to your list helps keep hope alive that something fresh, new, and interesting is on the way. You can’t look back, and you cannot surrender. Doing so may undermine the entire endeavor of keeping quality books in your stack, and making sure that wallet isn’t so flat. There are, however, ways to stretch that allowance a bit; adding some needed leeway to the budget.

Make Friends with Your Comic Shop Owner

Comic Shop
Know your shop; Love your shop

Most comic shops are local, small businesses, and all of those shops have owners. Most of those owners work the shops they own, meaning comic book buyers find themselves in a unique position to get to know the middleman; the sole individual between the comic book reader and the comic book distributor. Additionally, just about every comic book shop has what is known as a hold-box; sort of like your very own P.O. Box at the comic book shop. Every week, the shop owner pulls the books from your list and puts them in your hold-box before setting the books out on the shelf. This not only makes it easier for regular customers to buy their books, but it helps owners better judge just how many books they should buy, a huge benefit for a small-business owner in an industry residing in such a deep retail niche. This grants so much of a benefit to shop owners that they often offer a discount on books purchased by customers who have hold boxes, although they usually have a monthly or weekly minimum purchase. But this is actually a great thing for the comic book reader on a budget, for two reasons.

Comic Book Guy
Know your shop owner; Love your shop owner

It assures you will be given a pull-list, meaning someone else is getting your books for you. You don’t even have to approach the shelves in most shops; you only get what you asked for, and the temptation of browsing is severely reduced. The other perk to having a hold box is, and this works only if you get to know your shop owner, you don’t have to buy all the books in your box every single week. I’ve been known to keep over 80 bucks worth of comics in my hold box just waiting for that birthday or Christmas Season windfall, and most comic shop owners don’t really mind. Again, communication is always the key, and if you let your shop owner know that, even though it may take a few months, there’s a sale in that hold box just waiting to happen. And anyways, the alternative is those books sit on shelves with only a slim chance of being bought, with their likely destination being the bargain bin. No matter how long they sit in that box, they sell at full price, and comic shop owners would be silly to not let a good customer slide for a few months. Of course, there’s no surefire way to get your hands on EVERY book that hits, and that’s okay too.

Don’t Be Afraid to Miss Out

You can make all the lists you want, be as decisive as humanly possible, budget like a No To FOMOWall Street accountant, and do everything else the right way, but you’re still going to miss a Preview, skip a book you’d otherwise not want to skip, or simply not take that chance with a book that looks promising. I missed out on Swamp Thing, Animal Man, All-New X-Men, Hawkeye, and scores of other great books just because I made a choice, and that’s alright. On the other hand, I ducked just as many bad books because, likewise, I just didn’t have the room on my pull-list, I made a decision, and I stuck with it. It’s a wonderful two-way street because I can just go back and pick up missed issues or buy the collected editions when those occasional windfalls or gift requests come along.

Doing anything on a budget is tough, and when you throw a passionate hobby with ever increasing costs in the mix, well, it’s almost too much to bear. It takes certain level of personal understanding and no small degree of effort to assure that you can continue to get the most out of your comic reading without breaking the bank. You have to identify the kind of comic reader you are, set a dollar amount on your weekly purchases, inform yourself on what’s hitting shelves, and critique each and every page of each and every comic you read. Yes, I know that sounds like a whole lot of work, and it can be, but it’s all part of getting the most bang for your comic buck. The work is totally worth the effort, however, if the payoff means reading more, better comics despite needing to stay on a rigid budget.

Touches of Awesome: Official Star Trek Enterprise-D Model

Since I originally saw Star Trek’s Official Starship Collection line of scale models solicited in a Previews months and months ago, I was very interested. I’ve been a Trek-geek as long as I can remember, and these diecast/ABS composite replicas showed a ton of promise. I was able to get my hands on the first ship in the fleet, the Enterprise-D, and here’s the skinny.

Quality

Enterprise-D Model 1
Raised windows add texture; spot on paint on the windows; great job on stenciling that unforgettable designation (Click to enlarge)

There’s a whole lot of attention to detail going on in this replica. Down to the very last window and hull plate, the highlight painting and textures are spot on. Detail paint is just as beautiful and exact, with perfect stenciling on the saucer section and warp nacelles, and great color choice and matching on the main deflector dish and pin-striping. The ship has some decent weight to it, too, and it feels like a quality piece when you hold it in you hand. The ship slips very nicely in its supplied stand, and although the base itself seems quite stable, the support stand that the ship actually slips into and affixes to the base is a much lower quality plastic. While I’m fairly certain it’ll keep the inertial dampeners within standard operating level, a higher quality support stand would have be nice. Each model is labeled on the stand’s bottom, as you’d expect, but is also numbered, which was a very nice touch on this particular piece.

Packaging

Enterprise-D Model 2
Perfect color matching on the main deflector dish; great attention to detail on the underside of the saucer section. (Click to Enlarge)

The packaging was adequate but not noteworthy. The standard Mylar bag contained a cardboard and plastic box which safely secured the ship and the two-part stand, but it doesn’t do the replica justice. If I hadn’t been able to get my hands on my store’s display piece I would have never even picked it up from a shelf for a second look. The real appeal of this model is its sheer attention to detail, and that just cannot be fully understood through even a couple of layers of clear plastic. This collection also comes with a collectible magazine highlighting the ship the replica is modeling, and while it’s a great accompaniment, they rarely make it through shipping at retail, or the mail for that matter, completely intact, and my copy had more than its share of creases and wrinkles. Although it may not be the selling point of the entire piece, it’s definitely part of the overall appeal, and I wish Eaglemoss Collections, the distributors of the Starship Collection, would take more care in their magazine packaging. It’s almost as if the magazine is just a way to get eyes on the product, but, with so many choices at the comic shop, it fails in that capacity as well.

Price

Enterprise-D Model 3
Pin-striping, Starfleet insignia, plastic nacelle accents, paint on the impulse engines, shuttle-bay textures and accents. Brilliantly done! (Click to Enlarge)

Each ship in this collection is priced at about 20 bucks, and if you buy this model, or any other from this collection, from a comic shop or similar retailer you’re going to pay about that. If you subscribe to the collection, however, two Starships per month will be shipped to you at $20 a piece, but this Enterprise-D will only cost you 5 bucks! That’s a great deal no matter which way you decide to buy, but with ships like the Enterprise-E, U.S.S. Excelsior, U.S.S. ReliantAkira Class Starship, and so many others, including ships from just about every race you can think of from the Cardassians to the Romulans, it’s one hell of an investment to go the subscription route. Membership DOES have its privileges, though, and subscribers will get the future version of the Enterprise-D after shipment 10, and a Borg Cube after shipment 16. That is a lot of ships, though, and any local comic shop worth it’s weight should be able to order these ship by ship, but that future D may be a tough find for diehard collectors. Either way, this Enterprise-D is a steal at 20 bucks, and would make a fine addition to any Trek-geek’s collection, without breaking the bank.

The Verdict

Enterprise-D Model 4
Besides that loose fit for the stand in its base, this is an otherwise perfect model. (Click to Enlarge)

Star Trek The Official Starships Collection: Enterprise-D is beautiful replica that truly captures the essence of The Next Generation’s starring Starship, and it does so in a pint-sized, and pint-priced, size. It’s level of quality makes it appealing to even the most diehard collector of everything or anything Trek, but the affordable price-point makes this a really attainable collectible for anyone. I really wish the packaging was a bit sturdier so the magazine got here in better shape, and it could do a much better job of actually selling the product, but I guess that’s what reviewers like me are for: To tell you how cool it is!

If you’re simply a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation this is a great showpiece to let everyone know about your passion, or as just a great remembrance of that timeless sci-fi series. If you’re a fan AND a collector there’s simply no excuse for you not to have this recognizable Starfleet flagship in your personal collection. And, if you’re, like me, a Trek mega-fan, and love your Birds of Prey just as much as your U.S.S. Defiant, a full on subscription may be necessary, and getting this quality Enterprise-D replica for only 5 bucks is a great perk. If the quality of the rest of the fleet is consistent with that of this offering, it’s going to be worth the $40 a month.