Welcome readers, first off I gotta say, moving sucks. I majorly underestimated how time consuming and exhausting it can be. Moving ate into my writing, reading, and anything not involving carrying heavy objects time. Needless to say, it’s been a busy couple weeks so keeping with the theme of my last column I’m just going to riff (or rant) on some things that have been going on lately, regardless of whether it’s just something I thought about or significant comic related things currently happening. Let’s get to it, Obsession Perception #13 begins now.
In the time since my last article, Free Comic Book Day passed. For those unfamiliar, FCBD is a comics industry created holiday that takes place on the first Saturday of May, in which local comic shops give away free copies of comics specifically created for the event. Comic shops everywhere have taken FCBD to the next level, often times having big sales, special guest creators signing and doing sketches, cosplay contests, and other various means of celebration. This “holiday” is not only to show appreciation to those of us who have pull list, and buy comics year round, it is to generate new readers and fans, and generally expand the community. It’s a great opportunity for parents to be able to do something with their kids and that doesn’t cost money and helps get kids into not only comics, but reading in general. My local shop (Yancy Street Comics, New Port Richey, FL) always participates in a huge way, they partake in all of the aforementioned festivities and this year was no different.
Unfortunately, it being on a Saturday I had to keep my visit brief due to the 12 hour work day ahead of me. It was truly a sight to behold, the massive turnout of fans of all ages, artist, and some comic-con level cosplayers was awesome. My comics budget has been severely reduced due to my move but I still was able to pick up the first 2 Hellboy trades (by recommendation from The Comic Shoot podcast here on All-Comic) for 50% off. I grabbed a few of the 60+ FCBD free comics and then hung out for a bit to watch the madness. It was packed wall to wall with smiling faces searching for a great deal, getting an epic sketch from one of many artists, and looking on at various costumed hero imitators. I feel like few other groups of people are as inviting as the comic community with asking for as little in return. Spreading the seed of fandom through giving away comics is awesome. So if you haven’t gone before, definitely mark your calendars for next May and get out to an event near you.
Aside from Free Comic Book Day, I was able to carve out a couple of hours of time to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I will be the first to admit that I was weary going into it. I’ll preface this by saying I actually really loved the first ASM film, I think the casting of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker was great and his chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey is far beyond that of the films predecessors. My weariness going in was spawned from the absolutely absurd amount or promotional trailers, commercials, and, relentless marketing that at times, made me wonder if there was much if a point to actually watching the movie or if I had gotten the gist in 30-60 second intervals. I also was a bit apprehensive about the amount of villains and rumors of other villains to come being too much for one film. So having had my doubts going in, I left the theater pleased. ASM 2 attempts to do a LOT to varying degrees of success, there are some pacing issues for sure. The movie felt like it was more transitional and setting up for future movies as opposed to trying to be a great standalone Spider-Man epic.
These issues, albeit valid do not diminish the film enough to make it a feeble effort. The parts that worked, really worked. Garfield and Stone’s on-screen chemistry reaches great heights, really working to make you feel invested in the stakes and showing director Marc Webb’s strong points from his romantic dramedy background. Dane Dehaan’s portrayal of Harry Osborne and later as the Green Goblin was outstanding, tapping and extending upon his demented persona first shown in Chronicle. Electro, played by Jamie Foxx was a visually appealing villain but was more of a force of nature that didn’t have much of a connection to Spider-Man that made him feel like the yin to Spidey’s yang the way the best comic villains tend to. This series of movies succeeds in a way that the previous Sam Raimi trilogy didn’t do as well, the fighting choreography is on point and the “web slinging” looks phenomenal. Spider-Man swings through NYC like you’d picture in the pages of the comics and when he fights Electro (or Green Goblin for that matter) he moves like a Spider, really selling the point that he is a dude with the powers of one. It may be the fact that Spider-Man is my favorite super hero of all time that makes me biased, but even though it’s not without its flaws I can’t help but really enjoy seeing him brought to life. I’m comfortable saying if you don’t go in expecting it to be Captain America: The Winter Soldier then you will be pleasantly surprised.
Aside from all that, I’m settling into the new house and going to get on track with my reading and writing schedule. In the process of moving, I’ve decided that long boxes full of bagged and boarded comics are great to be able to dig through at your leisure, but are absolutely awful to move from and lug down stairs into a truck and into a new house, so that coupled with my affinity for how graphic novels and trade paperbacks look on a book shelf have got me considering seriously cutting back on my pull list in favor of trade waiting and possibly going digital, we’ll see. My love for Wednesday trips to the comic shop and the obsessive need to be able to read comics when they come out to be able to talk about them have kept me from completely switching but, I find trades easier to sit and read in big chunks and easier to tote back and forth 1 or 2 at a time to read at work or wherever I may be. The part of me that buys single issue comics with hopes of having something of value later on is getting smaller and smaller, every day and collect first and foremost to read. I have a few comics of value but it doesn’t matter because I don’t intend on getting rid of my comics. We’ll see how it goes, for now it’s not totally broken, so why fix it right?
What were your experiences at Free Comic Book Day like? How did you all like The Amazing Spider-Man 2? How do you collect and read comics? I always enjoy hearing all or your takes on the things I write about so feel free to rattle off a few in the comments below. As usual, thank you for reading and come back to www.all-comic.com for all your comic needs. I’ll see you next Friday!