I never thought that I would volunteer to spend all day at a comic book store. When you are married to one comic book fan, and are the mother of another, it happens. I think I heard our dog Chowder say that his favorite superhero is Ace the Bathound, although Krypto is a close second.
September 22nd was Day 83. I spent the day at the Comic Bug.
Saturday is a good day for any comic book store. If it's Comic Bug, you'll often find a game of HeroClix. On some Saturdays, there will be a Comic Book Creators' session.
The Comic Bug is a place in Redondo Beach where everybody knows our names. As you might imagine, we know well the owners Mike and Jun, and the HeroClix game master Daniel. Many in Long Beach will know Mike Wellman who, together with comic book artist and Emmy- award-winning animation artist Rafael Navarro, has delivered sessions at the free annual Lowell Elementary School's Authors and Illustrators night.
A month ago, I gladly deferred to my husband the task of taking my son to the Comic Bug, where he participates in a regular game of HeroClix. It's a small community of folks who love the game enough to take their parents (and children) to the store on game Saturdays. Today, I volunteered to go. There's something for all of our family at the Comic Bug.
I've mentioned HeroClix before. It's a strategic game with huge advantages for those who know their superheroes and have longevity in the game. It's a board game with delicately molded superhero characters as pieces. Each character has powers that are used in battles. If you know about the superheroes, there's a better chance that you will remember the powers that your team members have. In comic stories over time the superheroes have taken on different personalities, and for each personality there is an opportunity for a variation on the design and characteristics of that particular HeroClix. It's not just comic characters. Hellboy, Halo, Lord of the Rings are also represented in HeroClix.
Daniel describes it as "chess with super powers." If you like chess, you'll probably like HeroClix. One of the players is a high-school student who's been to CalTech. The buzz in the car going home today is that he also works at a large hi-tech company... something to do with rockets.
Comic Book Creators Meeting
On some Saturdays, shortly after the game of HeroClix ends, the Comic Book Creators meeting begins. The meeting is led by Mike Wellman, for the aspiring writers and artists who visit the store. Mike shares his experiences and knowledge with the meeting members. They are working on their next comic anthology. Each writer and artist works on a story that is reviewed, discussed, reworked. They have been meeting for some time.
Today they met lettering artist Richard Starkings of ComiCraft. If you've read a few comics, you've probably seen his work. Lettering for many of your favorite comic books use fonts developed by ComiCraft. Richard Starkings pioneered the application of digital lettering to comics, and won an Eisner award for Best Publication Design for a book called Marvels. Richard Starkings is the writer/creator of Elephant Men.
A Space to Work
For those who know me, I haven't read comics for a while. I have come to value the medium as a creative forum and for its ability to engage at all age levels.
I've discovered that if I take a single project with me to the store, I will be able to focus on just that project. When I'm at home, all my projects call to me, and focus is difficult. True, I occupy a sizeable space when I bring out all my toys, but Mike and Jun are extremely accommodating! For the past two weeks, I've been taking my LEGO with me. Wherever you go, you'll find LEGO fans and this is no different. I've enjoyed conversations with college students and six-year-olds. Some folks just want to run their hands through the bricks. I enjoy these little, random interactions.
Life gave me a lemon so I'm Making Lemonade. I'm taking the opportunity of this unplanned time off to share stories of community and of the many artists and creators in this wonderful city that I love. Come with me on my 100-day odyssey of art and creativity in Long Beach. I call it The Community Lemonade Game.
Want more lemonade? Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 4 (2) Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25 Day 26 Day 27 Day 28 Day 29 Day 30 Day 31 Day 32 Day 33 Day 34 Day 35 Day 36 Day 37 Day 38 Day 39 Day 40 Day 41 Day 42Day 43 Day 44 Day 45 Day 46 Day 47 Day 48 Day 49 Day 50 Day 51 Day 52 Day 53 Day 54 Day 55 Days 56 & 57 Day 58 Day 59 Day 60 Day 61 Day 62 Day 63 Day 64 Day 65 Day 66 Day 67 Days 68 & 69 Day 70 Day 71 Day 72 Day 73 Day 74 Day 75 Day 76 Day 77 Day 78 Day 79Day 80Day 81 Day 82
If you would like to contact me, please email me at email@example.com
Trish Tsoiasue writes about creative and maker topics for Belmont Shore Patch and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin Blog. She is currently playing The Community Lemonade Game.