Thursday, April 29, 2010

Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is a national event where local retailers give out free comic books as a way to give the medium exposure to new readers.

FCBD is a great way to test out books of all genres for all ages (I really recommend Owly for pre-readers).

If you're one of those folks I've gotten hooked on books in Texas or North Carolina, Several Austin area stores are participating, as are NC stores, and several are doing more than "just" giving away free books. Rogues Gallery in Round Rock, TX, for example is making a big event out of the day, with several industry folks in-town for signings and meet-n-greets (including "in the family" folks like Marvel writers Paul Tobin, Paul Benjamin; Artist Colleen Coover; and Carswriter Alan Porter of BOOM! Studios).

If you're intimidated with how to get started with what to read, store owners like Randy Lander (who ownsRogues Gallery) are great about suggesting books based on your TV, movie, and game preferences.

Below are the "official" free books, but several of the participants are ponying up additional free offerings of their own.

Previews available on the FCBD Website.

  • Archie's Summer Splash! #1
  • Doctor Solar/Magnus
  • Fractured Fables
  • G.I. Joe #155 ½
  • Iron Man/Thor
  • Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock
  • Shrek & The Penguins
  • The John Stanley Library
  • Toy Story
  • War of the Supermen #0
  • Sonic: The Hedgehog
  • Worlds of Aspen
  • Fearless Dawn
  • S.E. Hinton / Fame
  • Bongo: Free-For-All
  • Irredeemable #1
  • DC Kids Mega-Sampler
  • Del Rey Showcase
  • Green Hornet #1
  • Weathercraft!
  • The Overstreet Guide
  • Library of American Comics #0
  • Artifacts: First Look
  • Love and Capes #13
  • Iron Man: Supernova
  • The Tick #1
  • Oni Press Free-For-All!
  • The Sixth Gun #1
  • Radical: Bigger Books!
  • Atomic Robo
  • Freedom Formula: Speed Metal
  • The Stuff of Legend/Mortal Instruments Preview
  • Owly And Friends

Friday, April 09, 2010


There's an interesting featurette on "what's the deal with nuns in Japanese pop culture?" over on

It's got a couple of nuggets of interesting historical stuff, so it's a decent lightweight read. It is, however, a ridiculously shallow view (but hey -- it's Kotaku), and candy-coats at least one medium's portrayal of Judeo Christianity.

If you (for example) look at how Christianity is portrayed in Japanese animation (popularly, "anime"), like MD Geist and Evangelion (the latter of which mixes in Gnosticism and Kabbalism as the same thing), Macross, etc.) -- the religion is not popular. As a matter of fact, Christianity is often held up as the device from the West that literally brings about the end of the world.

That doesn't quite mesh with the Kotaku feature, which puts kind of a positive spin on Christianity's reception in Japan.

But none of that matters.

What does matter is the feature's reminder to me of the term, "Nunsploitation" -- Exploitation films about nuns, popularized in Europe in the 1970s (while the West was doing backsploitation). And then Japan was off and running with nunsploitation through the 80s and 90s.

Fascinating cultural stuff.


Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Friday and my dad-in-law

Today is Good Friday -- that day where Judeo Christians remember the day Jesus died.

Wait -- What?

So here's the deal:

For Christians, Jesus died on Friday. He rose from the dead on Sunday. So, it was in restrospect that the Friday he died was "good" -- It probably didn't feel that good at the time.

This year, it's also the first anniversary of my dad-in-law's death -- and it somehow feels right that for this first one, it's on Good Friday.

I've said before Victor Wallace Tirabassi was a "good man who made people better." I'm not so foolish as to elevate him to any version of pseudo sainthood, but he is a real-world inspiration whose example that has driven me forward as a husband, dad, and worker, in some ways as much as my own dad.

A year ago, when dad died, my oldest asked if we could make the anniversary of his death a holiday -- "Poppa Day" -- to celebrate all of the good memories.

Smart kid.

And this year, Poppa Day and Good Friday share a date.

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