I had the best comic-book-geek weekend. First I went to "StapleCon", a convention here in central Texas for independent comic book publishers, where I met some outstanding talents working to make their dreams come true. It was as inspirational as it was costly, since of course I couldn't resist buying one of everything. Plus, I got a lead on a new gig just in case this UGO thing doesn't work out:
I also got a book signed by Mike Baron, which was pretty cool. But that wasn't the end of my comic-buying adventure, my friends, oh no! For I still had money in my account, and there's nothing more dangerous than a geek with disposable income. So after the convention, my friend and I headed to Half Price Books to trade in a huge stack of old sci-fi novels that had been gathering dust. I put my box on the counter, and spied from the corner of my eye a gigantic stack of comics being bagged by one of the Book Dudes.
"Excuse me," I said politely, "but can those be purchased now or do I need to wait until you've processed them all?"
"You can look through the bagged ones, they're in lots of ten for a dollar," he said.
"A dollar apiece?" I replied, thinking that wasn't a bad price, since on the top of one stack was a Number 1 issue of "Cadillacs and Dinosaurs", one of my all time favorite comics.
"No, a dollar for the whole stack of ten," he corrected me.
Blink. Hang on, ten for a dollar that's ... no, wait, don't tell me ... "Hey Dave," I finally said to my math-major friend, "how much is that apiece?"
Voice heavy with despair for the future of our math-illiterate nation, he said "That'd be ten cents apiece, Einstein."
My eyes goggled at the large stack already bagged, and the even larger stack still waiting to be processed. "I'll take 'em all!" I heard myself say.
"Even the ones I haven't done yet?" the Book Dude said. At my nod, his face beamed. "You're my new favorite customer!"
And so, awash in the glow of geek gone wild, I returned triumphantly to my home with this enormous box of comic books:
The "Bone" and "Concrete" collections didn't come with it, those were separate. But still, that's a big stack! Unfortunately my wife wasn't quite as impressed with my geeky haul as I was. "Didn't we just sell a ton of books to make more shelf space?" she asked shrewdly.
Instantly my brain went into husband overdrive. Superman can have his super-speed and ice-breath, I'll take quick thinking any day of the week. It's the one indispensable survival tool for any married man. "Yes, but these ... aaaahh .... these are for ... um ... work! Yes, work, that's it!"
"You mean the same way it's for work when you stare at good looking women, so you can 'draw the human form better'?"
So as you can see, I had a problem. A gigantic, enormous, profound, disturbingly massive stack of comic books that I need to figure out some sort of work-related use for. And so, starting tomorrow, I will be introducing a new feature here on the HeroMachine Blog -- Mashup Mondays. Each week I will take one panel from each of the ten books in the randomly collected bags. I will try to assemble those panels into an order that almost seems like a story. It may suck, it may be funny, it may accidentally unlock the secrets of the multiverse, I don't know. But it will definitely make it seem like those books are, in fact, needed for work, which is all this husband is really looking for at this point.