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Free Comic Book Day 2017… One Month Later

Free Comic Book Day 2017 presented an opportunity for curious comic book fans to dip their feet in the fresh waters of titles offered for free from major comic book publishers. One month later, DC Comics expanded on the annual event occurring every first Saturday in May. Last Saturday was Wonder Woman Day. This event, which supported Warner Bros.’s Wonder Woman released last Thursday, offered another set of free comic books. DC Comics made Wonder Woman Rebirth #1 available free of charge on hopes of gaining new readers on the title who were influenced to read WW comics following their viewing of Wonder Woman this past weekend.


Villar working on recent orders in A Comic Shop in Orlando, FL. (PHOTO/Matt de Simone)

Brian Villar, a local retailer at A Comic Shop in Orlando, Florida witnessed both FCBD and Wonder Woman Day firsthand. “I think with Free Comic Book Day, there’s an influx of new readers with the new movies comics out,” Villar explains, “It’s one of those entry level things. I think these [free comic book] events say, ‘Hey, if you like this movie, come read the start where [these characters] come from.’

A Comic Shop is located at 114 South Semoran Boulevard in Winter Park. For more information on their events and promotions visit their Facebook page.

Boys Will Be Boys With Enough Comic Books and Toys

The relationship between comic books and toys is like that of peanut butter and jelly. For the unfortunate souls who may suffer from a peanut allergy: take two enjoyable concepts, and then add some honey wheat bread. Both novelties are equally enjoyable and share an eternal link in pop culture continuity.

The life of a comic book shop owner relies on the success comic books and toys respectively obtain with the current consumer market. Just about comic book shop sells them both. The first “action figures” were no doubt inspired by comic books. The movies and television shows inspired the original space explorers and Army Rangers with the “Kung-Fu Grip.” However, without the comic books printed long before a television lived inside every household, there wouldn’t be a Star Trek or G.I. Joe toy in existence. (They would be called something else.)

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Mike Phillips, co-owner of Acme Superstone in Longwood, FL, sets up a display of Superman toys. (PHOTO/Matt de Simone)

Central Florida acts as the hub of numerous comic book shops. In Longwood, one of the more impressive “superstores” welcomes visitors from all over the world. The Acme Superstore advertises that it houses 1,000,000 items. Between the store’s impressive comic book collection and the aisles and aisles of glass display cases protecting action figures and accessories from the past 50 years. The display cases are a sight to see.

Mike Phillips, co-owner of Acme Superstore, takes the responsibility of making sure the displays are unique. There is a case displaying a snapshot of Masters of the Universe characters battling in front Castle Greyskull and Snake Mountain. The scene depicts nearly all of the “Heroic Warriors” and “Evil Warriors.” A few aisles over a glass case shows off the store’s collection of Batman: Black & White statues, a popular series of many comic book toy and memorabilia collectors. Barbie lives another row down. Acme Superstore has it all.

“It’s about the customers,” Phillips says, “You want everything to look good. You want everything to look nice.” Visitors notice the care Phillips puts into building aisles of memories. They often make their appreciation known to the Acme staff. Despite the store’s location being about a 30-minute drive from Downtown Orlando, any vacationer or Central Floridian who invests in comic books and toys should stop by Acme and give Mike Phillips a shout. His work, as well the rest of the Acme staff, provide a nostalgic emporium that brings smiles to faces every day.

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The United States vs. The International Invaders of Comic Book Conventions!

3f-vqcj7Two weeks ago, the City of Seattle hosted its annual Emerald City ComicCon (ECCC) at the Washington State Convention Center to the delight of comic book fans in the Pacific Northwest and the event’s international attendees. Comic book conventions are places where the imagination can run wild. At conventions, comic-art—even in the form of costumes—is inescapable. Cosplayers dress up in attire dawned by iconic heroes and villains. They join other comic-clad patrons for the similar goal of taking part in the commerce, often debating with their friends over comics and toys, cruising around the floor while people-watching, and meeting their favorite comic book creators. Writers, artists, editors, and more await patient people who wait for the chance to land a five minute “thank you” and a possible autograph or photo opportunity.

Tom Taylor is one creator who wasn’t amongst the creative community at ECCC in 2017. Originally scheduled to attend, Taylor canceled his appearance days before the convention due to his feelings on the state of immigration in America. In particular, President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on the safety of the country’s “interior.” Taylor, a native of Melbourne, Australia, fears that—due to these new “enhancements” of the safety of America—he’s not “safe” or “welcome in this country.” Currently, Taylor is the scribe of comic book titles for both Marvel and DC Comics—a rarity for writers in 2017’s comic book industry. Marvel’s All-New Wolverine and DC’s Injustice: Gods Among Us—both penned by Taylor—are top-selling titles. Taylor continues to make a tremendous impact on the comic book landscape. Unfortunately, his fans missed out on the experience of meeting the talented writer at the ECCC ’17 events.

ed-murrayTaylor joins a few other creators who are taking similar a stance against the President’s Executive Order. However, Taylor may not have looked deeper into the City of Seattle—namely King County. The Mayor of Seattle, Ed Murray, recently challenged the authority of Washington, D.C.’s lawmakers and their federal agents’ involvement in enhancing U.S. immigration limitations. According to the Seattle Census Bureau, over 600,000 people live in Seattle, of which over 33% are minorities/immigrants. Murray wants the city to continue its reputation of being a welcoming community. The Emerald City recently made a request to obtain public records in order to gain more knowledge about how the new immigration laws in cities with high foreign populations will work.

Mayor Murray and Tom Taylor likely share similar beliefs, as do comic book fans in touch with the country’s political climate. It is unfortunate that Taylor was absent from a convention in a city where its leaders are willing to verbally stand up against the President’s recent Executive Order. With other comic book creators also refusing to travel into America, what does this mean for the future comic book conventions within the United States? Will Taylor’s perspective set and example for other comic book creators to follow?

Tom will tell.


MattyLovesPodcast #52 -“A CHIKARA Special with Kevin Ford”

In this latest episode of MLP, Matt de Simone interviews Pro Wrestling Ponderings co-founder, NOVA Pro Wrestling’s lead commentator, and the operator of The CHIKARA Special, KEVIN FORD. They discuss their earliest introductions into pro-wrestling, Ford’s connection to CHIKARA Pro Wrestling, NOVA Pro Wrestling, and Reno Riggins.

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MattyLovesPodcast Episode 47: “A (Killing) joke.”

So a week or so ago, Matt de Simone and “Dr. Tom” Lucas watched a sneak preview of DC Animation’s adaptation of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke. In this episode, the fellas took the time to discuss everything that went wrong.

With Suicide Squad coming out this week, Matt decided to create a “Death Pool.” Hear who The Street Shaman and Matty think bites it.


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