Halloween Comics 2013

On Halloween, we give out comic books, and it goes over very well. Kids love picking them, parents love having them get something to read. We get a lot of happy faces here each year – and by a lot, I mean in the range of 100-200. “But comics are like $3-$4 each!” I hear you cry. “How can you possibly afford that.

Here’s our trick: we give out special Halloween minicomics that the publishers produce. Cost about twenty cents apiece, in the range of a mini candy bar. But if you want these, you really have to order them right about now. Few if any stores offer these for retail sale; they are really meant more for stores to give out to trick-or-treaters than for folks at home, so stores order them at the same time that they order the comics they’re going to be selling in October. If you go to your local comic shop now, they should be able to order them for you (they’re in the August “Previews” catalog, tell them that.) Or if you don’t have a handy shop that you trust, you can order them online. Here are the links for ordering them through Westfield Comics. Each title comes in a bundle of 20 copies, which lists for $4.99 (although Westfield charges $3.99… but then you’ll have to pay shipping.)

The titles include some famous characters that people will know from the TV and films, some things that have a running success in comics, and some new comics titles just being launched. As much as I would generally push comics-original titles, for Halloween I prefer to go with the known names, as it makes it easier for the kids to recognize the titles and get excited about it. Unfortunately, the two big superhero publishers don’t offer minicomics, so there’s no Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, or Iron Man in the mix. The comics are “mini” in all dimensions, with smaller covers and fewer pages than a standard US comic. In some cases in the past, the “minicomic” proved to be an incomplete tale from a full comic book, which is disappointing.

This year’s titles:

If you want everything, you can save a bit of money by ordering The Mega Bundle (that’s 20 copies apiece of the 11 books listed above).

Westfield has an extra shipping charge of $5.25 to ship the week that these come out (October 9), to be sure to have them on hand for Halloween. I am not sure that paying this is necessary if you’re only ordering the Halloween comics; I think it may be meant for people who are ordering other things as well, in which case Westfield will want to hold your books until your entire order is in… but my thinks on such things are often wrong.

My current plan is to order two packets each of Ben 10, My Little Pony, and Sesame Street, one packet apiece of Archie’s Pals&Gals, Super Dinosaur, Adventure Time, and Itty Bitty Hellboy… but I may switch that about a bit over teh next couple days.

Published in: on July 29, 2013 at 3:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Acting my age

Tried out for a play… not because I expect to get a role, mainly because I like auditions. The show is Noises Off, a fine show (and the movie adaptation of it is quite good), but one without a lot of cast options. If you read through the character descriptions, because of the varying age of the characters, there’s really only one possible role for each actor. For me, it was Lloyd, director of the play-within-the-play (Michael Caine in the movie). The part is not a bad fit for me; the character is loud and frustrated, which are two things within my repertoire. I delivered a reasonable-for-an-audition performance (I think), but there was one other guy tonight who gave at least as good, and this was the third night of auditions, so this was not going to be my role.

But during the last set of readings, they were swapping people in willy-nilly, and for a while swapped me in on a character that I had not applied for: Selsdon, an actor. The character had five lines in the part I read through…. and for four of them, I got laughs. At times large laughs, coming from the director and his assistants. And things hadn’t been getting laughs in this crowd, particularly not Selsdon lines.

So why does this weird me out? Because the Selsdon character is supposed to be two to three decades older than I am. I really didn’t think that I’m ready to pass for decrepit. (In the movie, it was played by 70 year old Denholm Elliott, in his last film.)

Published in: on July 17, 2013 at 6:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Orson Scott Card’s logic

Orson Scott Card is facing down the call for boycott of the Ender’s Game film by releasing a statement basically saying that his side has now lost the war over same-sex marriage in the United States, and thus that his stance is moot. This overlooks several major things:

  1. He remains on the board of the National Organization For Marriage, a group founded, in their own words “in response to the growing need for an organized opposition to same-sex marriage”. Following the recent Supreme Court rulings, the group has taken the stance that the battle is very far from over (they are calling for a Constitutional amendment), and that people should continue sending them money so that they can continue battling.
  2. That his organization continues their campaign to boycott General Mills, maintaining a boycott website and linking to it from their main website, over the company’s “public opposition to the Minnesota Marriage Amendment”… an amendment that failed over half a year ago, and is thus genuinely moot.
  3. Lest you think that that is just a case of them not thinking to end the boycott, remember that in 2010, Card’s group ran a revenge campaign against three Iowa Supreme Court justices who had found state constitutional protection for same-sex marriage, getting all three judges ousted despite the fact that the ruling had already taken place.
  4. That the opposition to Card is not over just same-sex marriage, but over his anti-gay activism in general, such as his call for homosexual activity to be criminalized.

Just some things to think about when considering whether you are supporting a war against homosexuals by going to see his movie about a war against “buggers”.

(Please note that I am not actually calling for the boycott. I believe that simply having litmus taste for writers over their beliefs will serve to stagnate the creative field; I am quite capable of enjoying creative work from people with whom I have strong political differences. However, Mr. Card pushes beyond merely having opinions to being a key man involved in the battles, being on the board of an organization that may be losing, but has done very real damage along the way, so he enters a more problematic realm for me. But the goal of this post is not to encourage boycott, but to address the fundamental dishonesty of Card’s statement.)

Published in: on July 9, 2013 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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