Great News and Graphic Content

We’ll get to an upcoming nerd event in a second, but first I wanted to share something.  I posted a little while back about Spider Robinson’s daughter Terri Luanna and her fight against cancer.  Last week Spider took the time to drop by the site and pass on some great news:

Since you were kind enough to mention my daughter Terri da Silva’s breast cancer here, I wanted you to be among the first to hear the good news we got today. After her first round of chemo, her oncologist reports that all the metastases, the tumours in her lymph nodes and leg bones, ARE GONE, and that the original tumours in her breast have all shrunk by at least 50%, and the largest one shrank by more than 75%. She is still, and will always be, a Stage 4 cancer patient…but for the moment, she has kicked cancer’s ass. She will not, after all, need mastectomy or radiation, just a lifetime of very careful chemo. She and her husband attribute all this change (which stunned her doctors) to her positive attitude and lifestyle: to saying “Yes” rather than “No” as you say above. See her splendid blog for details. Thank you very much for helping to bring attention to Terri and her blog: I’m quite sure it helped. And thanks to all who took a moment to throw Terri a prayer or a few bucks for her huge medical bills.
Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased. Please share my joy!

I am truly happy to share this joy!  I’ll add my meagre thanks to anyone reading this blog that took the time to donate or send good wishes.  You guys and dolls are the best!

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On that happy note, let’s look at the one and only nerd event on my radar.  Despite the weather’s attempt to force snow on us, it is way too beautiful out there to miss out on this….

Graphic Content: Ghost World

 The latest and greatest in the Graphic Content series at The Metro!  Starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson, Ghost World is one of the most highly regarded comic book movies ever made.  Screening is this Tuesday, April 17th at 9pm.  Looking at the Metro site this looks to be the last film in the current series, so I’ll be keen to see what the next series holds for us.  Update: There is a Graphic Content for both May and June, and then they take a break, starting the second series in September.  In the meantime, come check out a great movie with great people!

…and that’s it for now.  If there is a nerdy event happening that you aren’t telling me about, shame on you!  Let me know so I can let other folks know.  In general, if you are a comic book nerd you should keep your eyes open for Free Comic Book Day, coming up on May 5 (yes, the day after The Avengers opens).  I know for sure that Wizard’s Comics & Collectibles and Happy Harbor have events planned for FCBD, and I suspect other comic shops might as well.  So nose around…

That’s it for now.  Join me tomorrow for a bit of geek fitness wisdom.  Because spring is a good time to work on that “Dorito spread”…


A Love Reborn

Those of you that follow my activities with stalker-like verve (all of you, right?) will know that I recently took on a part-time job at a Friendly Local Comic Shop (rhymes with lizard, uh, blomics).  They needed a till-monkey and I am a damn dirty till-APE, so it was a match made in dork heaven.  It gives me an opportunity to walk among my people, and slows my inevitable slide into Gollum-hood.

What I wasn’t quite expecting was how much it would reinvigorate my love of comics.  I’ve enjoyed comics since I was a kid, of course, though my ardour for collecting them was checked when my family’s house burned down.  The fire destroyed a great many things, but of course the tragedy to me at age eight was the loss of my comics.  I loved those books, not just because they were cool and fun to read, but because reading them brought back memories of family vacations and lazy summers.

So while I’ve kept reading comics on a semi-regular basis, they haven’t been a passion.  But two things have changed that.  The first, of course, is just working at the comic shop and my increased exposure to comic readers.  It is the nature of the shop that people will come in with questions about comics.  And since it is in my nature to provide answers, I have begun reading and studying comics more in the last few months than I had in probably the last year.  I’m not pushing things too hard with regards the studying; I don’t want this to feel like a job after all.  But I am paying attention to artist and writer names these days, which is something that never interested me before (all my comic loving friends just burst into tears).

The second thing that brought about my renewed passion for comics is my boss, Brandon (you may know him as @soupytoasterson on the Twitters).  Brandon so obviously loves everything about comics it is hard not to get a contact high.  More than that, he loves selling people comics; I’ve seen him get giddy because he managed to find a good fit between comic/reader, or turned a non-reader into a reader.  His love of turning people onto comics equals my love of turning people onto gaming, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch him to glean any tips or secret methods.  The thing is, there really isn’t any secret: enthusiasm is contagious and Brandon is Patient X.  We’ve really only known each other a few months, but if Brandon suggests a comic to me, I will read it.  And I will likely keep reading it.

So there it is, thanks to Brandon and Wizard’s Comics my passion for sequential art stories (or as we call them in the biz, comics) has been restored.  I’m now having to work a careful balancing act between picking out the new titles I want to start collecting, and which old titles I want to re-explore.  But even sorting that out is fun, and not for nothing but I have some decent advisers to help.

Also, if you love comics and you want to listen to other people who love comics, I cannot recommend enough the podcasts Scotch and Comics, hosted by my pal Devin (@Doctor_Teeth); and Podcast! The Comics, hosted by the aforementioned Brandon and his hetero-lifepartner James (@Leask).  Both are a lot of fun, both are available through iTunes and you won’t be sorry you gave them a listen.

I’ll post a little later about what comics I’m raving about these days.  In the meantime, why not drop me a line in the comments below and let me know what comics you’re reading?