Tag Archives: comic strip

AnySoldier Donates Comic Books to any Soldier

Strenuous occupations, family issues, and other uncontrollable situations hinder people’s lives every day. Oftentimes, individuals need a momentary means of escape. In this day of technology, people all over the world can utilize that moment of escape by tapping into the latest video and music streaming services, different video game platforms, or simply dropping your head into a book the old-fashioned way, or, picking up your tablet.

IMG_9233Comic books are adventurous escapes for many people. Most stories take place in grandiose worlds featuring heroes and villains with a distinctive morality— “right and wrong,” “light and dark,” “good vs. evil.” These moral lines skew in the real world. The political world could be considered one of the main moral battlegrounds. With different media conglomerates promoting their own political beliefs, there is no telling which political viewpoint is right or wrong anymore. After the 9-11 tragedy, America’s stance on military deployment overseas was a much-debated topic. In the end, the only individuals who didn’t have a choice in the matter were the American troops. They fight for our freedom, no matter what.

However, in a theater of war, some soldiers—like civilians—find themselves asking whether their position in the conflict is “right” or unjustified. In these times, soldiers need an escape from their dilemmas. In 2003, a military family regularly sent their son care packages to Iraq. He then asked them to send more for troops who never received mail. The packages contained all sorts of items and entertainment. This family’s campaign to make sure all troops received mail turned into the launch of AnySoldier, a website dedicated to making sure all American soldiers receive care packages.

In 2008, Aaron Haaland, owner of A Comic Shop in Orlando, Florida, partnered with AnySoldier’s Operation Sequential Art campaign to send troops free comic books for their enjoyment. This allows people to bring in comics they no longer read, or possibly comics taking up too much space, and then donate it to the charity. Since 2004, AnySoldier has donated comic books and other care packages to over 15,500 soldiers around the globe.

Dan Brown, a local comic book retailer explains, “[this escape from their life as a soldier] can definitely boost their moral. One of my friends specifically said it was considered a reminder of what [the troops] are fighting for.” For more information in regards to AnySolider, visit their website. If you would like to donate comic books or any other materials to U.S. troops across the globe, AnySoldier has a list of service members who state their unit’s specific needs.

The men and women who fight for America’s freedom deserve civilian support. Help make a difference. Donate.

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Orlando’s Comic “Strip” – Benefits of Being a Comic Book Fan

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An aisle of back issues inside Sci-Fi City, located on 6136 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL. (PHOTO/Matt de Simone)

Comic books have become a more prevalent member of pop culture in thanks to the successful adaptations presented by Hollywood. New eyes on the comics’ infamous characters can sometimes bring forth new eyes to the book in which the characters originated. Orlando, Florida provides any comic book enthusiast with a chance to find whatever book he or she desires. From it’s multitude of comic books shops, to the downtown library—Orlando is a comic book fan’s shopping center.

Shaun Schapira, a resident retailer at A Comic Shop in the Orlando area, explains how cool and important it is to be so close to so many different comic book retailers.

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MattyLovesPodcast #63: “A Jaunt Through the Comic Book Cosmos”

537bc6a21256dRecorded June 6, 2017

Welcome back! MLP welcomes Special Guest, Shaun Schapiraa local comic shop retailer at A Comic Shop in Orlando, Florida. He and Matty discuss the “Cosmic” landscape of Marvel Comics, as well as elaborating on the current DC Rebirth/“Who is Mr. Oz?” situation.

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Orlando’s Comic “Strip”

For comic book enthusiasts, one of the best vacation destinations in the world becomes the land of “so much to do and so little time.” Orlando, Florida is home to, not only internationally known retailers, but home to over a dozen comic book shops all within 30-45 minutes of one another (depending on I-4 traffic). Utilize Google Maps and see that there are definitive “loops” natives and visitors can take in and around Orlando.

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The loop for a proposed  “comic shop crawl.” (Photo/Google Maps)

The “fastest” loop in the city could start at the northern most point and work in a “J-configuration” all the way down to Universal Orlando. Or, make a “loopy J” and end up inside a mall that has an upstairs movie theatre. Look at it this way: each of these comic shops are a 15-minute drive from one another. There aren’t many places on Earth where you have as many comic book shops in such close vicinity. Unless this article is about “Planet Comic Books.” Unfortunately, this little piece of information is not because a planet of only comic book shops could only exist inside of Ready Player One. 

Orlando is really close, though.

The “definitive loop” begins in the city of Winter Park, which is one of Hulk’s incredible leaps away from Orlando-proper. A Comic Shop is located at 114 S Semoran Blvd. This narrow retailer provides its customers with the most recent issues of comics and memorabilia. It’s located across the street from Full Sail University and proves to be an excellent retailer for the school’s on-campus students and faculty.

About three miles south is Sci-Fi City. This store focuses more on tabletop gaming and all of the different games’ components. The store also provides customers with new comics as well as a heavy stock of back issues and out-of-print graphic novels.

Geographically, this is where the adventurist must make a crucial decision. Either go back a little way from which the adventurer came, or, head toward downtown Orlando. The latter could possibly be a bit monotonous, or a better word: monopolized. For the sake of making the tightest loop possible, the adventurer takes the road back from which he or she came.

Another two-mile trek from Sci-Fi City rests Hudson’s Comics, located at 200 N Semoran Blvd in Orlando. Here, customers will find new and old comics and toys. This store also specializes in the sale of rare statues from companies like Sideshow Collectibles and Bowen Designs. The store’s best feature is its inventory of Funko Pop vinyl figurines.

Next, a few miles back up Florida State Road 40 is Orlando Fashion Square. Inside is one of six locations for Coliseum of Comics in the central to southwestern region of Florida. (Hence: “monopolized.”) If you’re someone who reads the more recent comics and nothing years before, A Comic Shop is the choice retailer for new readers, and reader of weekly comics. “CoC” is for everyone else. It’s hard to argue that another store in this loop, or in the entire Central Florida area, has more to offer for comic book enthusiasts new and old.

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A wall inside Coliseum of Comics (Mall at Millenia) covered in hot-selling, classic comic books. (Photo/Matt de Simone)

Comics, games, models, toys, posters, and t-shirts are just a few of the items that Coliseum of Comics sells. The store inside of Fashion Square Mall features a gaming station in the rear corner of the shop of tabletop gamers. Resting on the tables are massive, intricately designed 3-D maps to give the gamers the most realistic scenarios as possible.

The CoC sitting a couple hundred yards from the Mall at Millenia specializes in their assortment of statues that range from varying degrees of height and detail (and price). This store also displays many classic back issues that are going up in price, or older, lesser-known books that have somehow found a way to climb back up in value—usually due to the book’s story or characters tied to the most recent comic book film.

This brings this loop to somewhat of a close. Orlando also features Living Dead Comics, Mike’s Comics, Epic Comics, Gods & Monsters, and the massive Acme Superstore in Longwood. A comic book fan could spend an entire day driving around Orlando and it’s small, neighboring communities visiting comic shop after comic shop. For comic book enthusiasts visiting Orlando for the first time, be sure to plan ahead. There are comics, shops, and diverse showrooms to be seen.

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