Free Comic Book Day.
Both joined together this year for me in bittersweet ways, full of mourning, love, rebirth, and friendships.
To start my tale, we flip back a few years ago, and somehow, someway, I found on the interwebs a wonderful podcast called Comic Geek Speak. This amazing group of lifelong friends and geeks had, at this point in time, put out hundreds of episodes and Jamie D. was a regular contributor.
Jamie D. possessed thousands of comics, with his prime obsession being Captain America and the Avengers. He would strongly voice his opinions on everything from violence in comics, how to get more readers, his hatred of DMZ, and championing of his favourite Geek fandoms. All topped off with the joy of hearing Jamie D. getting calls on air from Drunk Cap. You will have to hear those segments to believe them.
Now Comic Geek Speak has come to Canada for FanExpo a few times over the years, and when they came I had the pleasure on meeting all of them. Jamie D. ventured up to Toronto on their second (??) trip, and I finally had the pleasure of shaking the hand of a truly wonderful man. We talked, I gave him a Star Trek book, and he signed my CGS shirt. And it was during that conversation with Jamie D., I met @StrawberryFinn and @OS_Blogger.
When Jamie D. and Comic Geek Speak came back to Canuckland this past FanExpo, I went by their with @StrawberryFinn and her boyfriend, all to offer greetings and salutations. Not only did he remember her, but struck up a conversation about how she was doing these last two years. It was typical Jamie D., a friendly smile and a warm conversation.
Because of Jamie D. and the CGS I have met tons and tons of Geeks, both in the real world and online, waaaaay too many to list here. CGS helped foster the fan community in this GTA region, with more and more Geeks becoming a part of my life thanks to their efforts.
During the last few years we all knew Jamie D. had been battling cancer, was blessed with a remission, and was hit with cancer again. He worked and lived and played and Geeked and was friends with everyone all that time. Unfortunately, a week and a bit ago, Jamie D. ended up in the hospital because of the cancer and the updates were not good.
And on Friday, May 2nd, 2014, the day before Free Comic Book Day, we lost Jamie D. to the great Geek Heaven in the sky.
Googliebear was wonderful with the hugs and support, and then pushed and prodded and shoved me to finally finalize my own Free Comic Book Day plans, knowing how important it was to me, to honour Mr. Jamie D., and because of the coolness FCBD could hold this particular year.
For awhile now, plans had been in motion to drag @Rebeccahh95, a wonderful smart young Geek whom I wrote about here, to her first Free Comic Book Day. Not only did I know she would thoroughly enjoy it, but the karma balance felt right since the esteemed @Rebeccahh95 and the esteemed Jamie D. share a birthday, albeit decades apart.
So this Free Comic Book Day, the annual event held the first Saturday of May where publishers put out all sorts of freebies for comic shops to give away amidst all sorts of festivities, we trucked downtown and waited. Because @StrawberryFinn was yet to arrive. And what started as two became three. A shorter wait brought us to four with @AinslieKeith coming onto the scene. And every step of the way, I took selfies galore.
A quick jaunt through a very crowded Silver Snail gleaned us our first haul, and a fast realization that my use of the term “oh my glob” was incorrect to say the least.
After the Snail, we trekked over to the Pickle Barrel for a Geek talk filled with Captain America 2 discussion, Wonder Woman conversation, and University babble – this one by the ladies, and many more topics slamming by. @AinslieKeith had to leave when we finished up, but suggested we hit Labyrinth.
So we did. Several subway stops later – and the wrong one to boot – we got off the transit system and ended up walking in the rain to our second comic shop. A quick roundabout of the Labyrinth netted us more free stuff, and promptly led to a trip right across the road to BMV Books, where some more freebies ended up in our clutches.
At this point, after a bit of begging and me almost saying “oh my glob”, I convinced the dynamic duo to go to my regular stomping grounds of Excalibur Comics. Using my points card, the two each scored a graphic novel for free, and @Rebeccahh95 got her very first comics box.
At this point, late late in the afternoon, after swearing the day before she would do only one comic store at best, I reminded @Rebeccahh95 that her first Free Comic Book Day actually entailed four stores.
Methinks all involved had a wonderful, great, amazing, incredible, sensationally, and fantastic time.
Jamie D. would have loved our adventures. And knowing it was the first Free Comic Book Day for his Geek brethren @Rebeccahh95, and his friend and artist @StrawberryFinn, would have made it even more special.
Next year, the epicness shall be more epic. Free Comic Book Day 2015. Already being planned.
…is currently reading all the wonderful comics I got at Free Comic Book Day!