Thursday, July 14, 2011

10 things not to do on GRATIS COMIC TAG

Somebody told me recently that my posts are way too long and that I cover too many topics in one post. It´s something that I have given some thought lately and I even had the idea - if only for a moment - to give Gene Colan his own post.

On the other side I want to keep the blog as authentic as possible so I´m probably not going to change past postings. If there is something I feel I have to add to the legend Gene Colan - something substantial that´s also of interest for other people - I´ll do a new post on it. Maybe a WORLD´S GREATEST COMIC ARTISTS post or a WORLD´S GREATEST COMICS post. For the time being I´m concentrating on the new stuff.

Okay, what does this mean for this post ? I just finished reading THE BULLETPROOF COFFIN and despite the fact that I can´t wait to cover one of the best comics I´ve read this year ( to tell the truth one of the best comics I´ve read in the last 5 years ) it´s about time to start covering the GRATIS COMIC TAG 2011. I knew right from the start that I wouldn´t be able to cover it all in one posting so it´s not that much of a tretch to turn it into a series, covering 2 or 3 titles in one post. On the other side I don´t like to start series that I can´t finish as the CLASSICOS DC - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD posts.

For this post though I´m not writing about any individual titles in particular but rather I´m going to report how my free comic day went. This might be boring to a few but I have already hinted at it in a few posts so I have to do it. I can´t leave my readers hanging.

So even if this post won´t go into any details about the comics I´m trying to get all the negative things out of the way so that I can concentrate on the comics in the next posts. And there are a few negative things about GRATIS COMIC TAG that have nothing to do with the bad experience I had.

So the first thing I need to mention is that of the 14 or 15 free comics I have seen and read so far none of them have the dealer´s stamp with the shop´s address. I know Germany is almost entirely a collectors market when comics are concerned - but really, people. Can´t you at least forget the " mint condition " thing with comics you are giving away for FREE to promote your shop and comics in general ? Please ? It´s still unbelievable enough that german comicshops really went along with the idea of giving away free comics but can´t we be a bit professional about it ?

Okay, end of first rant since I should really start telling you about the experience I had with GRATIS COMIC TAG and where it all went to hell.

Now I have to add that I´m not entirely sure WHY I had such a bad GRATIS COMIC TAG this time around. Was it the sleep deprivation because I couldn´t get much sleep the night before ? Was it the high expectations I had from reading last year´s reports about GRATIS COMIC TAG ? Was it the physical exhaustion from trying to find the new location of the Sammlerecke and failing miserably ? Or a combination of all of the above ? Fact is it was not a good thing. But let´s start at the beginning.

Last year I didn´t go to GRATIS COMIC TAG even if you consider that, being an event rather than a location you really can´t go TO the GRATIS COMIC TAG even if you tried. It´s a wonder that german comic dealers were willing to participate in something that centers around the idea of giving away comics for free in the first place although I think the fact that such an idea proved to be successful in Amerika might have helped.

The FANTASY STRONGHOLD in Ludwigsburg did not participate as the costs for ordering the whole package was too much for them. I had given my regular comicshop the list of titles I was interested in and when I went there a few weeks later all the titles were waiting in my bag for me. I even managed to get a few more comics on subsequent visits. Which was a good thing since I managed to give a handful of them to some comic muggels I knew.

So the first year I took the whole thing real easy, no stress, no sweat. Although reading some of the reports about other people´s adventures on GRATIS COMIC TAG I wondered if it wouldn´t have been exciting to join the party.

You know, hanging around different comic stores, meeting other comic readers ( maybe even some of the manga babes that were rumored to frequent comicshops nowadays ) and chewing the fat about all things comics.

I think a lot of people enjoy that, which is one of the reasons why people love to go to conventions. So this year I read a few of the articles on last year´s big event about all the signings and sketchings and parties in general and I decided to participate. Some people went to different comicshops on the same day and although I knew for a fact that FANTASY STRONGHOLD in Ludwigsburg wasn´t going to take part I knew that my comicshop was and that last year WORLD OF COMICS participated.

WORLD OF COMICS was located in the back of one of the KARSTADT branch stores and although they had to close a few shops after almost going bankrupt the stores in Stuttgart were still open. And on my way to the Sammlerecke in Esslingen I had to pass Stuttgart anyway so it was no detour to visit WORLD OF COMICS on the way back. It´s not a shop I frequent very often because they only have german comics but in this case that was exactly what I was looking for.

So like I said, I didn´t get much sleep because lately I couldn´t go to bed early and I had to get up early if I wanted to go to both stores at the same day. In Germany opening hours have been extended in the last year´s but on Saturday some shops still closed pretty early. So I set my alarm clock, got up feeling half dead, grabbed my bag ( which I had prepared the day before in prescience that I would neither have the time nor the necessary wits to do it right before leaving ) and was on my way to hardship and disappointment.

I think the subway ride to my first stop - the Sammlerecke in Esslingen - was uneventful and if not I´m surpressing it. When I arrived there were some people in the shop but not more than usual. A bit busy but within regular customer numbers. I had expected some special event or something but no such luck. The clerks were a bit busy so there was no opportunity to have my usual chat with the guys I normally met on my visits. As anticipated all the books I had put on my list were waiting for me but apart from that there was not much stuff from my pull list that was new.

My last visit wasn´t that long ago so I had cleared out most of the interesting new stuff. But with my tight budget for comics there are always some comics left I can pick up and I think more than 7 back issues of TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE. Since I´m more a fan of the bigbreasted Raven Hex character ( I know, all women in the book are bigbreasted but Raven just got a few extra inches ) than the main character Tarot I tend to get the issues with her first and all the others later.

I also pick the issues that have more of Tarot before the ones centering about the other boys and girls so I don´t read them in chronological order.

Which might be a problem for some of Today´s readers who panic if they miss one issue. As I have grown up reading comics out of sequential order where in some cases I got to read the end of a story before the beginning or having to wait years until finding out how a praticular story continued that´s no problem at all. It also might have something to do with the fact that in the first reading I pay more attention to the pictures.

Anyway, I picked up my free comics, some leftovers from my comicbag ( which I´m pretty sure included more than one issue of TAROT ) and was just about to leave when one of the clerks told me that they were doing a pre - opening of the new shop. The building in which the Sammlerecke had been was going to be torn down so they had to move to a new location and they decided to integrate it with GRATIS COMIC TAG. And I would get another set of free comics if I went there.

Now before putting the blame on anyone I have to say that I have a really awful sense of direction even worse than Lorenor Zorro in One Piece.

Really, really bad. Which is one of the reasons why I shouldn´t have a drivers license at all. So it´s probably my own fault that my day went downhill from there when I thought : Hey, let´s pay the new shop a visit, how difficult can it be when I know what street it´s on ?

Bad idea. Because no matter how confident I was when I left the comicshop five minutes later I wasn´t even sure if I remembered the name of the street. Knowing my bad sense of direction and my bad memory you might think I would write it down and get directions - at least. Well, isn´t it strange how the people who are most prone to get lost have unwaivering faith in their capability to find the right way ? I´m not sure how long I searched for the shop ( wasn´t the name of the street something that had to do with cars or machines ? ) but it felt like hours. Finally I a bus staion so I could at least get to the subway station in Esslingen.

There I caught my first break when I discovered that there is a BURGER KING right at the train station. I´m probably going to gain a few pounds now that I have a chance to go there on my way to the new comicshop and on the way back. But on that day I was just glad I could get something to eat and drink. Now I could have cut my losses then and there. I got to get the free comics I had reserved, I didn´t find the new comicshop but all in all I was still in pretty good shape. I could have just gone home and leave it at that. But sometimes I´m my own worst enemy.

That´s the only explanation I have that I decided to make another trek to WORLD OF COMICS to get one or two more free comics. And maybe there was some kind of comic event taking place. Little did I know that things were not going to improve. But more on that in my next post.

So what do you think about my new short posts ? Although, to tell the truth, this post has become longer than I expected. And to think that this and the next post were supposed to be the introduction the my post on GRATIS COMIC TAG that was going to cover all. Now, I wanted to include the link to my first post on GRATIS COMIC TAG 2011 includes all the information as well as some of the feedback from last year.

Today´s video is from the Terminal Entertainment comicshop in Frankfurt and has some impressions from GRATIS COMIC TAG 2011.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! my brother and me LOVE the way you go from A to B then to C with a stop off at B again. Seriously, rather than seriously edited:"I went to the convention. I bought ---- and saw -----" the whole how you got there, events leading up to the day and so on -its a good read!!!!
Keep on doing what you are doing!!!!

SUBZERO said...

Well, at least somebody likes my " boomerang " kind of writing style. Heh.

Maybe I´m just used to this kind of storytelling from decades of underlying subplots. Something like the GREAT DARKNESS SAGA where Darkseid appears and then the Legion travels to the past and have their adventure and at the end - bang - there´s Darkseid again and you completely forgot about him.

We´ll see how long this lasts.