Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hickory Comic-Con - Fall 2007

I must admit I had some concerns when we moved from a larger metropolitan area (Raleigh NC) to a smaller one (Hickory NC) back in 2005. It was involving a change in jobs and a change in living locations (both of which I had had for 17 1/2 years prior). To help ease into the transition, one of the first things I did was find a new comic book shop to insure a transition for my weekly purchasing habits (a reader has to have his priorities!). I was in luck that there was a shop in town (rather than having to drive a ways - like the hour into Charlotte - to find new books). Time Tunnel Comics was a very welcoming place, with a staff and manager eager to have my business. The transition to the new shop was seamless; they began pulling my subscription books the first week I moved to town.

Another great surprise was finding that the shop was very active in coordinating local comic book conventions. They sponser the Hickory Comic-Con at the local convention center twice a year - in the spring and in the fall. Usually my son would go with me to the shows - mostly so he can hunt for Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic: the Gathering cards and to play in the tournaments that are held. However, he had a thing with the scouts this weekend so I was going to be flying solo for the Fall show which was held yesterday. That worked out okay, though, because then I was able to focus on checking out things I'm interested in (like browsing back issue boxes, etc.). I paid my $2 admission and headed inside.

I have to admit that my primary motivation for hitting the show this go-round was due to one of the guests in particular - Roy Thomas. Roy is known for his many years working at Marvel as both a writer and an editor during the 60's and 70's. In the 80's, he switched over to DC Comics and wrote a number of books I enjoyed as well. A lot of the younger comic book readers might not know of his work or appreciate his contribution to the industry, but I was very excited to have a chance to meet him. I even brought my copy of Comic Book Super-Stars, a book put out by the Comic Buyers' Guide publisher back in the 90's, in hopes to get Roy's autograph.

I got to the show about 45 minutes after it started, and I didn't have to wait tool long for Roy to arrive. In the meantime I checked out various tables and dealers. Once I saw Roy was free, having finished talking to someone else, I introduced myself and we talked a bit. I thanked him for all the enjoyment I have gotten out of his work at both DC and Marvel. He revealed to me that, despite what Stan Lee might say to him, that his favorite book he wrote of all time was All-Star Squadron for DC. He said Conan the Barbarian would be a close second.

He also said he really doesn't read many new comics today. He gets his complimentary copies from DC every month. He pulls things like the Archives and Showcase Presents titles, and gets the kids books to give to local children, but he mostly doesn't read the rest. His wife Dannette won't let him throw them out though so he just ships them off to a storage facility he has.

In the end, we had a very nice talk about comics in general. I also got his autograph which was a very nice momento of our time talking together.

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