Free Comic Book Day! Pow!

In case you missed it, May 4th was Free Comic Book Day. Of course, I'd have rather it been Free Plastic Model Kit Day, but hey, at this point I'd take Free Just About Anything Day. Its a shame more businesses don't have this in their marketing Free Fix Your Car Day, or Free Carpet Installation Day, or Free Hair Cut Day. It would certainly drive business, in my opinion. But I digress.
This Saturday, my Free Comic Book Day experience was held at Level Up Entertainment and Farpoint Toys and Collectibles in the Hamilton Mall. A couple of good people I know are in charge of those establishments so how could I resist free comics and a chance to support some pals? Moreover, my friend at Farpoint Toys was unveiling his latest window display - a large scale action figure diorama. Right up my alley.

Now then, I've got three kids, one of whom is a little boy of three. Getting him involved in my interests is always something special. I figured getting him out of the house to check out some comic books and goofy cosplayers would be just the thing he needs. Of course, being three and quite fascinated by pirates, every day is cosplay for my son...
Prior to ogling the diorama, my son and I stopped for a nice meal at Johnny Rockets, fueling up on sit-down style fast food and ice cream. And then of course, a couple spins on the merry-go-round followed by several rides on various and sundry coin-operated vehicles. With my son full of carbs and age appropriate entertainment, it was time to see what we came to see.

As you can see, its a pretty impressive feature to front the store entrance. The theme being He-Man, the diorama is adorned with all kinds of He-Man related action figures. To compliment the scene was some fine work any modeler would appreciate. The castle is all hand carved using various materials, like foam and tile. Foliage and even a water feature made for nice accents to an otherwise already impressive piece of work. Every where you look, there is something taking place or some detail to catch your eye. The interior of the castle is lit and furnished, and a deep abyss glows red with ominous lighting. Having the young man in that picture lends to the scale of the piece. I have never attempted a work of that magnitude, albeit I don't have a store front to fit one in, but never the less, a great deal of work went into this. Very creative and an enjoyable diorama to look at.

My only regret is that I forgot my camera. I would have taken more pictures but having the son with me sometimes makes me a tad absent minded as I worry about other things getting accomplished, like timely trips to the restroom, rather than taking pictures of action figures. In hind sight, pictures might have been difficult, made so by the glass window that shows a glare even in that photo.

For all intents and purposes, the main goal was to see the diorama since it was the store secret until its revelation on May 4th. Free comics would just be a bonus. I used to have comic books as a kid, ranging from GI Joe, to Spider Man, to Star Wars but none of them exist in my possession these days. The only comic I have was a gift I received from my father several years ago. Its July 1967's issue of Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos! 

This is the first time I've taken it out of the plastic cover [gasp], just to photograph it for you! You gotta love those old comic books. They aren't as glossy and colorful as today's graphic novels, and this one in particular has more content in it on one page than most present day comics contain in one volume...

That's a lot of text! But it comes as no surprise since most war-themed media back then resembled more of a documentary than entertainment. Its good quality, however, and you have to admire the art work and over the top action...

Hmmm, strange how the Germans speak English though. Oh well...
But one of the most enjoyable things about this comic book are the old ads. If you've got a comic book as old as this, take a look at what was for sale back then and you just may get a kick out of it...

Well, despite my lack of an appropriate comic book stash, if you will, I didn't come away empty handed. I found some company for Sgt. Fury. The per customer limit of free comic books was three which by all means is a fair number, especially for some one like myself...its probably three too many! There was a decent spread to choose from, including The Walking Dead, and Mass Effect, as well as some assorted super hero titles. [Full list of what was available] But I came away with three gems! When I saw these three, I knew I had to have them...

Laugh it up, this is no joke. With three kids in the house, grabbing free swag to please the children is always first and foremost in my mind. Also, this held my son off while I perused the store for other deals and intrigues. The second comic book I nabbed...

Hey, you're forgetting I have a daughter as well. She loves Tinker Bell. No...this isn't for me...
But this one is...

Had to get something that recalled the beloved comic books and TV shows I had so enjoyed as a child. It is interesting to see the evolution the turtles have gone through over the past twenty or so years. They're perhaps a bit meaner looking, but slightly less "radical" than I remember...I read this one to my daughter before bed, go figure.
Any way, that is what I came away with. The day was, as far as I am concerned, a great success. Got to see a great diorama, enjoyed a day at the mall with my son, and scored a handful of comics that will be lucky to survive a week in my kids' possession. But hey, they were free!

Some of you may be wondering what this is all about. Every Monday, an assignment from Cool and Collected is given to participants in the League of Extraordinary Bloggers to write about a given topic for that week. This is my response. Once complete, we post our work, and share the work of others.
I don't participate every week, only when I can find a correlation between modeling and the topic at hand. It is a fun way to get my work out there, and to read the creative stylings of other bloggers.
If you enjoyed this article, then you should check out some others like it...

              (I'll add more participants later)


  1. Wow, That's a great looking diorama! I always had a dream of opening a shop and having a rotating series of displays like this -- hearkening back to the old Lionel train displays from the 50's. I wish more stores did this sort of thing.

    I also always wanted one of those pet monkeys. ;)

    1. Yeah, its pretty awesome. This is the third window display they have done, the very first being a Battle of Hoth diorama, which was quite impressive, followed by a city-scape scene featuring characters from Marvel. Yes, I agree, more stores should do this and it is quite the attraction at the mall.

      And yeah, if I had $18.95 laying around...I'd buy a monkey!


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