By Beau Smith
This past weekend I was a guest of the FREE COMIC BOOK DAY celebration at Comics 2 Games, (formerly Comics 2 Cars) a fine retail store in Florence, Kentucky. Bobby Hickey and his staff of dedicated employees invited myself, artist Joe Corroney (Star Wars, 24) artist Bill Nichols (Blood and Roses, Parts Unknown, Sketch Magazine) as well as a troop of various costumed characters ranging from Batman to Star Wars. The place was packed.
They had close to 1,000 people for the advertised occasion and hardly a minute went by that there wasn’t someone in front of me asking me to sign their copy of Cobb, Wynonna Earp, Parts Unknown, Guy Gardner Warrior or Star Wars Tales. I gave away well over 500 signed Cobb and Parts Unknown prints. I also had some very interesting discussions on the current state of comics with some very well-read readers that were there. The general opinion from the readers that I talked with seem to have grown very tired of the long drawn out story lines and yearn for more stand alone stories with deeper characters and less event. I like it when folks think like me.
I was real happy to see tons of families with kids there. I spoke to Bobby Hickey about this and he tells me that they really push an all ages, family store with their product and the way they advertise in the area. He mentioned that it’s paid off with a very loyal fan base that really does include all ages and lots of young kids.
There was a tented area set off outside for games and gamers. That place was busy the entire day. I don’t know anything about the games arena, but I could see the crowd and how the flow of traffic was constant. I think I also heard the cash register ring a lot.
They had a huge spread laid out with all sorts of great food that they were cooking out on the grill. There were burgers, hot dogs, chicken and more. Needless to say I carried a couple of plates around with me at all times as did my son, Nick. He just bought one of those new Toyota FJ Cruisers, so I talked him into driving the old man to the signing to test that big ol’ SUV out. It passed all of my tests and the ride was smooth. It’s the best of the old (original Land Crusier) and the new. It’s outfitted with all the high tech stuff you could ever want. The sub woofer in that beast is as big as a trash can lid. I drove it back to put it through the Beau Smith Real Man Driving Tests. It passed. Nick and I had a heated discussion between which hulking SUV is the best, his or my Land Rover Discovery. We compromised and agreed that they both drink gas like there was no tomorrow.
On the way over to Kentucky we listened to nothing but the best variety of music, everything from Dean Martin, Mark Selby, The Subdudes, Eddie Money, Pat McGee Band, and Bad Company. On the way back Nick broke out some of his comedy stuff from his iPod and the comedian Mitch Fatel had me busting a gut. It was about a 3 hour drive straight interstate with spotty rain and road work, but we did just fine.
Artist Joe Corroney had loads of youngsters gathered around his table talking Star Wars as his older crowd were more interested in his cover work on 24 from IDW Publishing that was displayed. You can check Joe’s stuff out on his site at www.joecorroney.com.
Bill Nichols and I had a long talk about my upcoming (June) book No Guts No Glory: How To Market Yourself In Comics. Bill is the editor on it and had some really good ideas about the way that they book will be laid out and some of the content. We also talked about getting the unpublished Parts Unknown Annual that he and Chris Ready drew out on the web or in print. More on that in the weeks to come.
Nick would man my table when I’d make my multiple trips to the BBQ grill. He mentioned that now and then folks would mistake him for me because of the name plate. He said the most asked question he got when they thought he was me was “Beau Smith… I thought you were dead?” To which Nick would reply, “Naw, just my career.”
My statement to Nick was “Go cut me a switch off that tree, boy.”
I hope your FREE COMIC BOOK DAY went well wherever you were. I also hope that all the retailers involved brought in some new readers that will continue to come back. I wanna thank Bobby Hickey and all the fine folks at Comics 2 Games for letting me and Nick come over and spend the day. We had a real good father/son time and it was good to let the rest of the world know that there are even more Smiths to come.
Speaking of more Smiths…This past week I became a grandfather for the first time (to my knowledge) Our oldest son, Dana and his wife Andrea gave birth to a strapping baby boy named Andrew Tennyson Spencer Smith. Every one was healthy and there were no complications of any sort. The boy was born with a head full of dark thick hair (Only a few days old and already has more hair than me) and unlike me at his age, he hasn’t screamed and cried much at all. With three sons I figure this is just the start of a lot more Smith’s entering the world and learning to tell others what to do. I’ve scared everyone in the family by telling them that I’ll be filling the boy with Mountain Dew and making a saddle so he can ride my dog, Blue. They already figure I’ll be a bad influence on the kid. Who am I to tell em’ they’re right.
So make room on the post office wall for a new WANTED poster. There’s another Smith at large.
Busted Knuckles Babe Of The Week
Christina Cox is an actress that is always right under the radar of becoming a huge star. She’s got the looks, the smarts and the acting chops to do most anything. She’s even trained in Muay Thai kickboxing. Right now you may know her from as the detective that runs around with a vampire on Blood Ties on the Lifetime channel. You may also know her from such TV shows and films as Numb3rs, House, CSI Miami, The Chronicles of Riddick, She Spies and many others. Her upcoming project is Ascension Day.
I haven’t seen her show on the Lifetime channel (big surprise, eh?) I’ve been told it might have a Wynonna Earp ring to it. Any of you Knuckleheads seen it and have any comments?
Anyway, check Christina Cox out in something soon. She’s worth it.
Busted Knuckles Manly Cover Of The Week
Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos #13
Marvel Comics 1964
Do I really need to explain this one? I didn’t think so. It comes from my personal collection that I’ve had since 1964. I bought it at the Tradewell supermarket in the spinner rack.
Make sure you swagger over to Chuck Dixon‘s message board to see what weak attempt of a manly cover he’s put up this week.
Okay, the past week has been busy for me with making sure the Smith name lives on, signing comics in Kentucky and doing lots of work. I hope all of you have found some worth wile things to do. As always I look forward to hearing about em’.
By the way, every Wednesday night is “Manly Movie Night” for Nick and I. I go over to his house and sit in front of his monster TV screen and introduce him to a manly movie that he should see. Sometimes I even let him pick one. This past week I introduced him to The Boys from Brazil (1978). It’s the ultra fine movie with Gregory Peck and Laurence Olivier as Nazi and Nazi Hunter doing battle across the globe. Needless to say, Nick loved it and has been quoting lines from it all week. Gregory Peck is way too good in this film as the crazed Nazi doctor Josef Mengele. It’s a great horror/sci-fi/drama that is worth it for the old man fight at the end and the crazy kid Hitler clone. Go watch it and you too will be saying?”Shut up you ugly bitch!”
Okay, be here next week and we’ll talk about more stuff that I like to talk about. After all, it’s all about me isn’t it?
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