So this past Saturday I went to Florence to hang out with people at Comics 2 Games and to meet up with Scott about Wannabez.
The day started off bad, but got better. I was up late Friday night finishing up lettering on Elite #1 and so I overslept the next morning. I had intended on getting up at 8 so I could get some things together for the day. I had books to gather up as well as a list of things I needed. I wanted to bone up on Wannabez for my meeting with Scott, and put together some thoughts on the strip I'm doing for Comic Related to discuss with the Ringtail crew who are doing it with me.
Chuck was picking me up at 10, so that would've given me plenty of time. However, I didn't wake up until 9:40! So I jumped out of bed and immediately hopped in the shower and started getting dressed. I had my jeans on when the doorbell rang. So I grabbed a t-shirt and threw it on as I ran down the stairs to answer the door, my hair wet and a mess, barefoot and still a bit damp all over from the shower. Graciously, Chuck waited for me while I finished up.
Because of that rush I forgot my notes and didn't have time to grab everything, so I just grabbed some copies of Wannabez and a notebook and headed out.
It was a pleasant ride up there, though, as I got to meet Chuck's wife, Katie for the first time, and there never seems to be a shortage of things for me and Chuck to talk about, so it was good times. I felt for Chuck and Katie as they had been without power for four days and hadn't had showers. So they were going to drop me off at the store and head to a friend's house and shower.
So we got the store (Comics 2 Games in Florence, KY) around a quarter til 12 and let me tell you, that store was awesome! The place is huge and so open. It used to be a high end bathroom fixture store, and it sets in a little strip mall with various restaurants like Dairy Queen, Subway, a Chinese place and a movie rental shop, among other things. It's got tall plane glass windows in the front and it's very well lit, but not overbearingly, so it gives it a pleasant feel.
When you first walk in on the right is a walk in glass display case that used to be a shower (for showing shower heads) with statues and busts lining the shelves, and to the right of the case is a section of other similar items. On the left is the game section where you can find games for just about every system including vintage ones like original Atari and Nintendo games, but also X-Box 360 and so forth.
Beyond that initial section the store opens up in an array of various sections. You have the huge checkout counter just beyond the game section, and across from that, if I'm remembering correctly, is the Blue Line art supplies section with it's own counter. In between them are models for customizing and novelty items like mugs and stuff, as well as the trade section. On the far side of the counter is a wall of gaming cards and such. Down from the art supply section is an identical section, but for toys and action figures. In the middle there's all the new releases and recent issues, which cover several shelves similar to how you'd find a video game rental store setup, which was pretty cool. On the back wall on the right side were shirts and posters and prints.
On the left across from the toy section is the huge gallery area, which right now is filled with the back issue boxes, but will be the site for various events and signings. It's got two huge openings with a small wall with a window in between, and a half moon structure jutting out on the ceiling.
Then in the back through the door is a whole other section of the store with two or three offices, a full bathroom with shower, a loading dock, a storage room and just extra space.
Imagine all of that with soft classical music playing in the background, and some of us actually found ourselves whispering it was so pleasant. They say it looked even bigger before all the stuff was moved in, but it still looks pretty spacious as is.
Chuck is going to be posting pictures of the place soon on Comic Related. I'll link here when he does.
They're having a grand opening party the first weekend of March, which I'll be attending. I'll also be there for Free Comic Book Day (the first one I've ever attended) in May and the sketch card event for cancer in April.
What's even cooler about the place is when you walk in you find genuinely friendly people who want to talk to you and are knowledgeable about comics and eager to help you find something or chat with you all day long. It's easy to lose hours in that place and not even realize it. That's the kind of environment I've been missing for all these years, and I'm glad to have found this place.
That said, Collectibles, Etc., my home shop for years, is a pretty decent place also, and Tony has always been cool to me. But maybe because I didn't go in there that often or wasn't into the same kind of books or whatever, I still felt a little bit like an outsider there. It was just go in, get my books, say a couple of sentences, then leave. And while I have started meeting some cool people in the area, like Chuck and RD Hall to name a couple, I still love going up to C2G for hanging out and just being amongst people with similar interests, something I haven't had in a long time.
Anyway, after I looked around a bit and said my hellos Scott showed up and the two of us began looking through the new releases for stuff to pick up. I hadn't bought comics in so long I was so behind on everything, but had limited cash to spend. I wound up picking up five books, all Dark Reign related, which ran me somewhere around $15 after discount, and I was done. I was tempted to pick up several other things, but just couldn't this trip. I don't spend much on myself, but I treated myself that day a little.
Once Chuck, Katie and Jackie (they took Jackie with them for some reason I don't recall at the moment) got back we started a series of meetings. Well, first we ate. They had ordered pizza, so everyone but me was chowing down. My stomach had been bothering me, so I didn't want to take a chance on pizza. So Jackie and I headed over to Subway (she only ate one small piece of pizza) and got six inch subs for lunck.
The first meeting, once lunch was over, was about Comics XP, which didn't really involve me or Scott. Scott and Jackie were drawing at the corner of one table, and I just kind of listened with interest half the time, and the other half admired the sketches Scott and Jackie were doing. Speaking of which, Jackie gave me some fan art for the Wannabez site that I'll put up this week.
Once that meeting was over we talked about the web comics coming to Comic Related soon, including, of course, the strip I'm doing. We didn't really discuss a lot about that particular strip per se, but moreso how they would be presented and various other things like that. Darren and I did, however, chat today online and threw back and forth some more ideas and now have a solid opening. I just have to script them up and Jackie will get to drawing them. It's going to be a fun strip, and the plan is to go live with it soon. I don't know if I can announce the date yet, so I'll keep you posted.
Finally after all that it was around 2 and Scott and I snuck off to Dairy Queen to talk Wannabez, and to grab some sweets. Scott got a Blizzard that he let melt and maybe ate three bites of. I got a caramel Moolatte, which I completely downed I'm sad to say. Then the brainstorming (or lack thereof) ensued. You'll have to read soon on the Wannabez blog what happened, but suffice it to say I couldn't remember anything and while we did get some stuff laid out, it was kind of a bust due to my lack of functioning brain cells that day.
Around 4:30 everyone was hungry again, so we hooked back up and went to a Mongolian buffet place and had some Asian cuisine. I wasn't too hungry, so I got some fruit, some rice I didn't eat, and some peanut chicken, which was absolutely delicious. We then all sat and talked about everything from Transformers to Power Rangers to I don't even remember what else. I didn't say much, but I listened and laughed.
Afterwards we headed over to Darren, Krista and Jackie's house to play some MaroKart on the Wii tournament style. I didn't fare too well, but I wasn't the worst thankfully.
So then it was a long ride home chatting with Chuck and Katie again, who we thought were going home to a dark and cold house. Fortunately their power was back on, and mine was still intact as well, so all ended nicely.
Sunday I kind of just chilled. I tried to get a little work done, but I was beat and didn't accomplish much until night time. I had intended to stay up late Sunday night and get some stuff done, but ended up falling asleep around 2 I think, which is not what I consider late.
So all in all, I had a really fun weekend. Considering the fact that I was seriously thinking about staying home to work I think it turned out really well. I needed it. I hadn't been out of the house hardly at all for a couple of weeks and needed to get away and just have some fun, and that I did.