At least they want to be free one day a year. And hey, finally I took advantage of that! Attended an hour or so yesterday of Free Comic Book Day at the Hollywood Things From Another World. (I've said it before, I'll say it again: I want as an in-joke for a Dark Horse Comic to use the initials for Things From Another World as a sound effect. A spaceship jumps to light-speed or something and makes the sound "TFAW!") I met Whiteout artist Steve Lieber and talked to him about Pittsburgh, how an artist's life can be like solitary confinement if you're not careful ("In jail, you punish prisoners by putting them in solitary. Artists do that voluntarily all the time."), and how Robert E. Howard probably would've liked The Incredible Hulk. (I recommended Howard's boxing stories to Lieber. He said most boxing stories he'd read usually ended with the boxer dying. "Or spiritual death," he said slightly ruefully. I assured him that Howard's boxing stories weren't like that.) I also talked more with Shannon Wheeler, who created Too Much Coffee Man -- we'd met before, via the Battlestar Galactica screenings at the Bagdad last year -- and Erika Moen of DAR, who's also Lieber's co-worker at Periscope Studios, so they're artists who make sure to be around people when they work.
I did pick up a few of the free comics that were put out for the day. And because comics need more support than just reading them, I bought a couple: a new issue and a back issue of The Dark Tower. I've slowly been expanding my comics purchasing, because I like comics and want to support them, and when I can I buy individual issues. Individual issues of comics nowadays don't sell as well, though the stories sell better later when they're collected into larger books, but many stories wouldn't make it to book collections in the first place unless they sell OK individually. Thus, this. (I credit Peter David, Writer of Stuff for really driving that home. He's one of the creators I regularly support. Have so since 1991. Whoa. That's been a while.)
I haven't mentioned the pirates. Or the guy from the Alter Egos Society who showed up in a full faux-metal (with some metal) suit of armor. Or the occasional use of a whip -- outside the store, thank goodness. I've mentioned it now. It was a heck of a thing, Free Comic Book Day as celebrated at the Hollywood TFAW. I think I did mention that.