Saturday, October 29, 2005


Yesterday and today are pretty much free days for Michelle and me, with Voodoo on Sunday. The only thing we have to do today is head down to AutoZone Park to check in for the booth.

Yesterday we ate breakfast, then went to a nearby mall and did a bit of shopping. It was kind of weird because we visited the Journeys shoe store there and I remember sending packages to that place when I worked for the Journeys on the Westbank. We also went to American Eagle, where I bought a long-sleeved shirt, the only one I could find that didn't have the American Eagle logo on it.

After we made it back to the hotel room and I made some phone calls, my Memphis Voodoo contact pointed us towards Shangri La, a great record store in Memphis. They had so many records it would've taken weeks to go through everything. They also had a few used comics, so I went through those. I bought the trade of Frank Miller's RONIN for $3.99, some older Howard Chaykin First graphic novels called Time Squared for $2.99 each and Tim Truman's TIME BEAVERS for $2.99.

From Shangri La we went to this place called River Records, and they had a TON of records and comics but had no real rhyme or reason behind their filing system. Most of their stuff was scattered about. They had a few old people behind the counter debating who the best vocalist ever is while a Paul Simon song played on the radio. "I think Paul Simon is the best vocalist ever," said one man. Without missing a beat, the other said, "Elvis." The one man said, "No, I think Paul Sim..." "ELVIS," the other man said. "Paul Simon wrote his own songs," the one man said. "ELVIS," the other man replied. And on and on they went. Two old guys arguing about Elvis in Memphis. Who'd've figured.

After River Records we stopped at Comics and Collectibles, the most maddening comic shop I've ever been in. I'd stopped there before, when we were still evacuated here, and was completely annoyed by their filing system and display tactics. It shows you how much I love comics, I guess, that I'd purposely go through aggravation to get what I want. Their new comics are all laid out on shelves, but they're not alphabetical. Sometimes, indy comics are in one place while some other indy comics are in another. They have all Superman comics in the "S" section, along with all the Spider-Man comics, which sort of makes sense, except they just ignor the big A in ACTION COMICS or AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Then you can't tell if the direction books flow is left to right or up and down. It seems to change every few rows. Standing in front of these racks, I decided it wasn't worth my time and remembered why I said to myself that I wouldn't give those guys any more money to support their stupidity, so I left without buying anything.

We then went to Wal-Mart to buy some water and toothpaste for the hotel room, at dinner at Outback (I know, why not go to a "Memphis" restaurant? We were tired and in Southaven, Mississippi, so we ate what was around), then went back to the hotel room, where we watched TV and went to bed around 10. Exciting night, huh? Today will be more poppy, I promise.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Over the past couple of days I've gotten two more packages from the great people over at Comic Geek Speak. Both are amazing in their own ways.

The first box, from Sean Whelan of Menton, Ohio, included this:

INVINCIBLE is one of my favorite comics, and Robert Kirkman is one of my favorite writers, so this is a great trade to have back.

When I got home today I had a fairly sizeable box waiting for me from Dennis Pu of Austin, Texas. Dennis, I'm going to buy you a beer or three when I'm in Austin for STAPLE! in March. Dennis' box had some great stuff, including a run of early '90s AMAZING SPIDER-MANs:

That run of ASM is kind of cheesy, I know, but I love it. I remember having a subscription through the mail for a few of those. Man, they bring back memories. Dennis must know my tastes pretty well, because I also have an odd love for '70s and 'early '80s Marvel comics. Something about the old, unpretentious style of those comics makes me nostalgic, even though I was born in '78. My dad gave me a bunch of older comics when I was a kid, so maybe that's where it comes from. Anyway, Dennis included some '70s and '80s issues of AVENGERS and DAREDEVIL:

Then the killer came. I CGS people know I'm a Spider-Man freak, but I didn't tell them one of my dreams was to one day fill out a run of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, even if it was through beat up and nearly worthless copies of the early issues. I nearly freaked when I saw these were included in the box:

Yeah, that's ASM #s 39, 41 and 42. Those are probably earlier issues than I had even in my old collection. I absolutely LOVE old comics, and I'd buy dozens and dozens of beat up comics from quarter bins at conventions or wherever I could find them. These are classics, man. Dennis wasn't done, though. He included some apparel as well:

A Justice League denim shirt. It's getting cooler here, Dennis, so I'll be sure to wear it soon.

Again, I can't thank the guys at Comic Geek Speak enough. Their listeners have really given me something to smile about lately. Between getting the magazine back up and running and these awesome gifts, I have to say I have some moments where I'm feeling pretty good about things.

The new issue of AG is not only done, it's back from the printer. I have to say I'm happy with the quality of the printing, these Print All guys really knocked it out, and the next day, too! Some of our spreads look better than they did even at our old printer. I like the larger format better than I thought I would, too.

Our cover story is about the status of New Orleans venues, which ones are open, which ones are closing, etc... We've got features on local one man band King Louie and the artwork of New Orleans' go-to gig poster creators Vance Kelly and Allen Jaeger. I'm glad to say that we managed to include our regular array of departments, including movie reviews, comics (Too Much Coffee Man, the K Chronicles, and locals Qomix and Writhe and Shine), comic reviews (by The Fourth Rail's Randy Lander), and album reviews.

20 pages that came together in under a week. And we're the first entertainment magazine from N.O. to see print since the hurricane. Now it's time to drive to Memphis for Voodoo (we'll have a booth with copies of this issue and t-shirts, so if you're at the festival on Sunday stop on by) and start thinking about whatever it is we're going to do for our December issue.

I have the hi-res version of the mag available for download here. It's around 37MB, I think, so be patient with the download, please.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


The new issue of AG is officially finished. I expected it to be done this morning, but it never works out that way. Too many little things and too many people late with their ads (it must be nice to be a huge publication like Gambit, who can essentially penalize businesses who don't get their ads in on time; me, I'm inclined to wait for it, not only because it's money we wouldn't get otherwise but because I know how it is to run late). I essentially woke up this morning at 8:30, got a cup of coffee and sat at my makeshift desk. That's where I stayed until Monday Night Football kicked off at 8 p.m. After a few rounds of design and grammar edits over the phone with Noah, I exported the press .pdf and now it waits until morning to be sent to the printer.

I'd say it feels great to get it finished, but I'll feel much more relieved when the printer's got it in their hands and it's printed and ready for pick up. It does feel pretty good, though.

In other news, I had the best sleep last night, maybe the best I've had since the hurricane. Michelle says it's because I'm back at work, and she's probably right. As stressful as it can be putting together an issue, it was probably more stressful not being able to publish, if that makes any sense. It's good to be back in the swing of things.

Now the focus moves to getting ready for Voodoo, and, of course, the December issue.
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