Podcast - Episode 91: Free Comic Book Day Previews

Sorry this is late, guys. I was having trouble with the Squarespace login page yesterday and I was also too busy to deal with it.

So this week we run down some of the titles that will be available at Free Comic Book Day this Saturday. You can see them all here.

Also this week we discussed the Eisner Award nominees, which you can see here.

And here is that little 1978 documentary The World of Comic Books:

This week we introduced Rating the Super Hunks as a podcast segment. I think it worked ok. I'll let you decide. I think I should probably write out a blog post for each one, just for posterity. Please send us your requests for future hunk ratings!

See you next week! Read Secret Empire #1!!! It's so good!!!!

Podcast - Episode 44: CIVIL WAR!!!!!! (with J.Bone)


We are joined once again by our pal J.Bone to discuss the movie that we've all been, um, looking forward to, Captain America: Civil War (or, as I like to call it BUCKY! BUCKY! BUCKY! BUCKY!).

Look, I'm not even going to write that much this week. Because this episode is LONG. We joke at the beginning about going two hours, but guess what? We completely did. Longer, even!

I cut as much as I can, and the rest, I am sure you'll agree, is solid gold.

Here's the thing though, guys. I got so caught up talking about the actual plot of this movie that I forgot to mention how scorching hot Winter Soldier is in it. And so did J! Like, what was this episode even for?!

So here are some things I forgot to mention in this episode:

  1. Bucky is crazy hot;
  2. Like, so hot;
  3. Like, I could not CUSTOM BUILD a hotter man;
  4. He's so beefy and scruffy and those eyes are so sad but also so smouldering;
  5. I wish he had been shirtless;
  6. What a god damn waste of a jacked Sebastian Stan. I mean, come ON!;
  7. Not for, like, the whole movie, but maybe just an extended shower scene?;
  8. The tank top was nice;
  9. He looked good in white;
  10. I love him and I am in love with him.

So yeah. That's important.

Hey, here's a supercut of that Late Late Show episode clip where Sebastian Stan flirts hard with Sharon Stone until she flirts back with him. Then he turns into a giggling mess. It's VERY CUTE!

I wish that video wasn't edited so heavily. You can probably find that whole episode online somewhere. I would recommend. Zach Woods is very funny. At the end of the episode Sebastian turns to him and says "we should be friends!"

Anyway, enjoy the episode. We had fun recording it. I shouldn't speak for everyone. I had fun recording it, even though it went way past my bedtime.

Now let's start the countdown to the next Avengers movie! 2018! YEAH!!!!

Podcast - Episode 43: Free Comic Book Day/Civil War Countdown

HAPPY CIVIL WAR WEEK EVERYONE (in North America)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Holy smokes. Are you excited? I'm excited! I haven't been able to sleep, guys. I am not exaggerating. My whole life has been leading to this movie! I can feel it!

In fact, I made a top ten list of Civil War press tour moments. Here are some reference images and links:

(in no particular order)

1. Spider incident

On stage at a Q&A session in Beijing, Chris Evans noticed a red spider on Sebastian Stan's thigh (because he was staring at Sebastian Stan's thighs). Clearly not a fan of spiders, he pointed it out, making a nervous joke about how Sebastian is about to be turned into Spider-Man. Sebastian calmly picks up the spider, like some sort of witch, and gently places it on the arm of his chair. It skitters away. Chris never stops looking for it on the ground.

2. Stray hair incident

I am not making this one up, guys. This happened. On stage during a Q&A in London, Chris Evans just casually reached over and pulled a stray hair off of Sebastian Stan's face. He then tossed it on the ground and said "friendship!" To me, saying "friendship" very loudly after doing something like that in front of a giant audience sounds a lot like covering something up, but ok.

3. Mackie & Stan's "hatred" of Tom Holland

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan had a running joke in interviews that Tom Holland is a complete asshole. That is a great joke. In general, Mackie and Stan were great together on this press tour.

4. Mark Hamill and Sebastian Stan

Mark Hamill and "lookalike" Sebastian Stan finally met at the London premier and it was so cute!


A photo posted by @imsebastianstan on

5. Elizabeth Olsen shutting down dumb questions

It's not easy being one of two ladies on a press tour for a movie with 5,000 men. This is the year 2016, and Elizabeth Olsen and Emily Van Camp are still being asked if the men had to watch their swearing around them. Seriously. At least these ladies are badass and shut this shit down. And Sebastian's reaction to the dumb question is the best.

6. Exhausted or maybe hung over Chris Evans forcing himself to endure a round of "fun" questions

Look, it's hard to feel sorry for these hot millionaires who play pretend for a living, but I almost cried for Chris watching this interview. But I will never not laugh at how desperately he is trying to cool off that tiny coffee.

7. Chris Evans hugging RDJ

Sniff. I have something in my eye.

8. Sebastian Stan hugging Chris Evans

A fan in Singapore asked them about Bucky and Steve being best friends, so Sebastian "proved it" by walking right over to Chris and giving him a big ol' "brotherly" hug. I honestly don't know which of them I am more jealous of.

9. Sebastian Stan holding hands with Winter Soldier statue


Apparently he was talking to "him" too. Telling him everything would be alright. Come on, Sebastian. I'm just barely keeping myself together over here.

10. Chris Evans saving Sebastian Stan's life when a woman trips in their vicinity

Guys. I can't. Come on.

Alright. that wraps that up. 

Well, here's a bonus gif:


Phew. That was a lot of work.

If you want to read Dave and my thoughts on the first two Captain America movies in detail, you can check out the posts we did about them last year:

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Make sure you visit your local comic book shop this Saturday for Free Comic Book Day! And buy something, too! And be nice. Don't be greedy. And don't be an asshole. 

Thanks for listening! Follow us on Instagram! Rate us on iTunes! Leave us a comment! 


Free Comic Book Day 2009 Post-Mortem


Free Comic Book Day 2009 has come and gone, and once again, the event was a raging success. At Strange Adventures (more specifically, at St. David’s Church Hall around the corner—the event outgrew the store some years back), we gave away in the neighbourhood of 20,000 comics. Actually, we ran out shortly after 1 PM, which is definitely the earliest that’s ever happened. Cal and a small army of volunteers gave away the freebies, while Rachelle, Tiina, and myselft ran the store, and we were swamped as well—it seems that when people are given a bunch of free comics, they usually supplement them with comics and graphic novels that they have to pay for. This is a good arrangement for everybody. Anyway, here are some random observations about this year’s FCBD, in no particular order:

1. FCBD usually happens the day after a major comic book movie is released, and it’s usually the hot topic of discussion. This is a lot more fun when the movie is, say, Iron Man. When it’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there is a lot of shrugging and saying things like “I dunno, it was better than X-Men 3”. That right there, my friends, is faint praise indeed.

2.    People are a lot more receptive to trying new comics out on FCBD, and not just the free ones. For instance, we sold a ton of random comics off the kids’ rack, lots of copies of recent buzz books (like Vertigo’s creepy new Unknown Soldier series, and tons of Green Lantern related stuff), and a whole lotta trade paperbacks and hardcovers. One guy even bought all four Absolute Sandman collections, after admitting that he’d never read any of it! That is a dude with no fear of commitment.

3.    Funniest/Most Ridiculous Quote of the Day, delivered by some random gothy-looking kid: “Frank Miller’s comics are okay, but I prefer his movies.” Say what now?

4.    When little kids show up in super-hero costumes for FCBD, it is not only adorable as all get out, but it makes all the hard work involved totally worthwhile.

5.    When I have a few drinks in me, as I did at the FCBD after-party at the Seahorse (thanks again, Cal!), do not, I repeat, do NOT get me talking about how cool the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents are. If you do, you’d better get comfortable—you’re gonna be there awhile, trying to decipher my slurry ramblings.



Until next year…

Free Comic Book Day Previews

I went to a screening of Conan the Barbarian instead of reading the comics I bought this week. My reviews will be up tomorrow.

In the meantime I got my husband to read this year's Free Comic Book Day comics and write little reviews for some of them. Free Comic Book Day is, of course, this Saturday. I hope these reviews get you excited for what's going to be available this year. FREE!

So here's what Matt thought:

Comics Festival - This is a delightful and varied collection which made me hungry (food seemed to be a recurring theme) and made me laugh a lot. Is this the first printed appearance of Kate Beaton's comics? Please give her more awards.

[Rachelle's note: Comics Festival is an annual FCBD collection of Canadian cartoonists! This one features fantastic comics by LBW faves like Faith Erin Hicks and Steve Rolston!].

Archie - This issue seems like a pretty solid concept, where the Riverdale gang appears in various historical or fairytale themed stories. Two of the fantasies seem to pair up Betty and Archie in marriage, but the finale brings us back to the classic situation (Veronica and Betty implausibly fighting over him). The Archie gang are still just as corny as ever, which is strangely comforting. 

[Rachelle's note: the Archie gang was never corny].

G.I. Joe - I never really got into this macho nonsense and gear fetish when I was 13, so it's not winning me over in my thirties either. The Transformers comic was slightly better, but boring. Just an extended fight scene in bright colours.

[Rachelle's note: agreed].

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Now we're talking! It's a genuine treat to re-encounter this group in it's original, undiluted form. Way more emphasis on martial arts than the pizza and skateboards that would eventually flavour the kid version of this franchise. The humans look kind of weird and creepy in this drawing style, but the Turtles look super cool! I can actually see this encouraging me to pick up some more of this classic tale.

[Rachelle's note: this is a reprint of the first issue of TMNT. And it is a lot of comic for zero money!]

Alien/Predator - I was kind of into the Aliens half of this comic. It seemed a clever setup, and very sci-fi / historical. Then I got to Predator and the comic was all 'BLAM!' 'BLAM!' 'SHKOW!' 'SHAKOOM!' and I got kind of grossed out and felt like I wasn't really macho enough to read it. Not my cup of tea.

[Rachelle's note: Matt is not very macho].

Free Comic Book Day (Dark Horse) The Star Wars Clone Wars is pretty harmless kid's stuff. I think these characters maybe look better in a comic than in CGI but I gather the kids today enjoy those movies too. Usagi Yojimbo was a fun introductory tale - I read a little of this comic in the nineties, though over someone's shoulders on a bus! I may seek some more of this out (again with the anthropomorphic animals!) Emily The Strange was a little weird - it's like someone's T-shirt started talking at me. Bean town was actually intriguing - it's almost like Marc Bell went commercial and made a trippy cartoon for kids. Indiana Jones was cute!

[Rachelle's note: I love that Matt's idea of reading a comic "a little" is reading it over someone's shoulder on a bus].

Wolverine - This was pretty fun, and heavy on the Canadian content. The premise is Wolverine's first official mission, discovering that a small New Brunswick town has been converted to some kind of robotic metallic compound. Lots of one liners, and the way the robotic creatures communicated was well done.

[Rachelle's note: New Brunswick is thick with robots].

Thanks Matt! Go to your local shops on Saturday, everyone! And if you live in Halifax, come to Strange Adventures!!!

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE: Interview with Calum Johnston!

It's almost that time again! The comic bookiest day of the year! FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

In Halifax, we do it up right. It's a real comicpalooza, and it's all orchestrated by Calum Johnston.

Cal has owned and operated Strange Adventures in Halifax for thirteen years, and he's run the earth 2 version of Strange Adventures in Fredericton for fifteen. He's well known as the godfather of the Halifax comics scene, encouraging local artists, organizing community events, and breaking fingers when he needs to. I think he forced Darwyn Cooke to move to Nova Scotia at gunpoint. Strange Adventures is a household name in Halifax, and all over Canada, and Halifax is just a comicy city, thanks to Cal. It's actually pretty rare that I have to have that "Wha? People still buy comic books?" conversation. A big part of that is Strange Adventures' amazing and elaborate Free Comic Book Day event.

Cal is a busy dude, but he made time to tell LBW readers all about it.

When did Strange Adventures start participating in Free Comic Book Day?

Starting with the very first one about 8 years ago. It was thought up by Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics in California while he was at an ice cream parlour that was giving out free kiddie cones so folks could try new flavours. (Thanks, Joe!)

What usually goes down, and what can folks expect for this year?

Comic book madness, that's what happens!

We divide the comics, about 20,000 of them, into three age groups: appropriate for all-ages, teens, and mature. Then we cover tables with the comics and open the doors and let folks in. Each person is given a Free Comic Book Day bag and they can fill it up with dozens of comics. Not only are many of the official FCBD comics available, we also give out comics from our backstock, from collections bought over the past year and from comics donated by some of our customers.

Volunteers are on hand to keep the tables full, answer any questions, and some dress up in super-hero costumes to add to the festive feel. Magician Mister J performs for a few hours, entertaining people with his magic and making balloon animals for kids. Several cartoonists give up their Saturday to give kids sketches of their favourite characters.

Why do you feel Free Comic Book Day is important?

The event puts comics in the hands of people. That's the most important part, in my mind. The more people who are exposed to the wonderful world of comics, the more readers comics will have, and the more the merrier. I have great faith in what I sell and I believe that there is a comic book for everyone, they just need to find it. Free Comic Book Day helps give them a chance to sample what comics have to offer.

Do you think Free Comic Book Day reflects changes happening in the comic industry?

Perhaps it is a sign that the industry as a whole has woken up and is working on maintaining and improving the overall health and profile of the industry.   It certainly reflects one good change in the comics world. The event is made possible through great co-operation between printers, publishers, creators, distributors and retailers. Still, more needs to be done to make FCBD perfect and I hope we can work towards that goal.

How can people—retailers and average folks—get involved?

On May 2nd, visit your local comic book store and bring a friend. Bring someone who hasn't read comics in years or ever! Check out the freecomicbookday.com website, print off some of the info and post it at your local school, library, or workplace. Retailers should already be finalizing their plans; sending out press releases, arranging advertising,  passing out fliers with info on FCBD.

You seem like an exceptionally great guy who gives a lot back to his community. Is this a cover-up so no one suspects all the bodies in your basement?

Completely a cover-up to mask my night job as an international jewel thief.

I don't think I'm an exceptionally great guy. I'm a very lucky guy who gets to share his love of comics with many people every day. I play matchmaker, striving to introduce someone to a comic they will enjoy.  You make a match, and you open a new world of fantastic stories for them. There's good days and bad days in any business, and at the end of my worst day - I can always remember connecting someone with a  book they love.

I am a very lucky guy who has the best job in the world.