Cheer me up and win a prize.

A couple of items:

Everyone who sent me a mix CD will be getting one back from me very shortly in the mail. My CD burner has been very useless lately, but I managed to get enough CDs burned off finally. Thanks again to everyone who sent me a CD.

And now...A NEW CONTEST!

As you may know, I recently started grad school. I haven't been in school for over five years, nor have I really branched out in terms of my social circles. Going to business school has reminded me of something that rarely occurs to me: most people don't read comics. At all.

It is the minority of the population that has an opinion on Kyle Rayner as Parallax. Or that knows who either of those people are. Or who knows what a Green Lantern is. Did you know that there are literally millions of people who aren't counting down to anything? Who are completely unaware that the Hulk has declared war on all humanity? Who did not choose a side in the Civil War? Who have not pondered, even for a second, what they would do with One More Day?

Entering a new social group has been a jarring reminder that I am a weirdo. An outcast. A, dare I say, Outsider. If I were to ask any one of my classmates how awesome it's going to be when Winter Soldier confronts Iron Man, they would have no idea what I was talking about. And would probably take my lunch money.

If there were one person in my class who did read comics, I would have an instant friend. I know such things have happened to other people. It's a nice community that we are all a part of.

So, I would like to hear some stories. Tell me about times where you were able to connect with someone because of comic books. We're all shameless about our love of comics on the internet, but sometimes in real life it's harder to talk about. Some people will just never understand.

Perhaps your story involves:

- wearing a comic-related shirt or button or some such thing and a stranger notices and strikes up a conversation;
- ...maybe it led to romance?
- a group situation where you don't know anyone and a mutual love of comics is discovered;
- a time where a love of comics saved your life (man, that would be great)

Or something like that. I just basically want warm, fuzzy stories about how great it is to be part of the comic book community.

And, of course, there are prizes. Once again generously donated by Calum Johnston at Strange Adventures. Anyone who posts a story, either in the comments or on their own blog with a link in the comments, will be entered. I will draw five names at the end of, say, two weeks, and they will win one of the following exciting prizes:

1. Daredevil #82 Steve McNiven variant cover signed by Steve McNiven
2. The Sandman #50 signed by Neil Gaiman

3. One of three copies of Nexus #99 signed by Steve Rude

So there you go. Tell me a nice story, because I am feeling lonely and awkward.