Well, it’s been another crazy weekend. On Saturday, our No Tax event started at both stores. People began coming in and choosing their envelopes from the prize hopper. Five minutes after we opened, Eli Mantel won one of our grand prize $100 shopping sprees. He is pictured above with Walter Fink, the first winner of our T-Shirt prize. Walter chose a Captain America Shirt. Eli wasn’t even sure that he was going to come in that day, so let me tell you, he was one happy fella.
People took great delight in choosing their free Duck and Cover Bumper Stickers. I want to specially thank Jim Buser, the mad genus behind Duck and Cover for providing this special treat for our customers. Did you know that I used to buy my comics from Jim when I was a lad? Back then, Jim held down a position as a clerk at Comics and Comix. In those days they were in Downtown Palo Alto, at the corner of Cowper and University Ave. Jim’s long blonde hair is a thing of the past, but he still keeps his freak flag flying with his crazy bumper stickers. My favorite one is “Eschew Obfuscation”. That’s been my personal motto for years now, as you can clearly see!
Here’s (Jovial) Jason Chen, the first winner of our Free Wall Comic – up to $25 prize. He chose Tales of Suspense #49, with an early appearance of the X-Men. You can see that The Jovial One is beside himself with glee at his good fortune.
Tom Beland, creator of True Story Swear to God, joined us at our Mountain View location at noon. Tom drove here all the way from Napa with his brother Joe. Tom is a delightful guy! I have never seen such generosity from an artist before. He spent hours entertaining them, and doing free sketches. He even added a page of original art from the series for our raffle. Tom was a stand up comedian in San Francisco for a short time, and is a natural entertainer. He kept the fans in stitches for hours.
If you are not reading True Story, you should really give it a try. It is one of the freshest and funniest comics on the market. It’s a true love story too. I haven’t yet heard of anyone reading it and not liking it. My wife, Connie hardly reads any comics, and she loves it. Its popularity is just starting to catch on. Mark my words; True Story is going to be a huge hit. Remember, you heard it here first. By the way, we have copies of all the books and comics coming in soon. So far, there are 13 comics, and 2 graphic novels. One of the graphic novels reprints his earlier comic strip work, and the other one reprints the comic book series from #1-5. The next True Story graphic novel, which presents issues #6-11, is coming our next month.
The law of probabilities did not seem to apply to this raffle. Within a few minutes of adding the envelope with the prize of an original page of Tom Beland True Story Swear to God art to the hopper, along with about 300 other envelopes, we had a winner! It was young Alan Noah, whose dad brings him to Lee’s Comics every weekend. What a great dad! On his way over to pose for the picture, Alan exclaimed “This is the best day so far in my young life!” It might sound like I’m making this up for comic effect, but it’s absolutely true. Swear to God.
Here’s Pat Leong, another Wall Book winner. Pat chose Tales To Astonish #101, another silver age Marvel comic. My efforts to get rid of that wall copy of Huckleberry Hound continue to be thwarted.
Here’s Alyssa Tamajima, who won our second $100 shopping spree in the evening.
Here’s Tom and Me right before we said goodbye in the early evening. I think it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Here’s Joe and Tom Beland. As you can see the brothers are quite close. Some may even say they are a little too close!
Lacey leaps in!
While I was having fun at the store, Connie was at a house party at her friend Kevin’s house. She was helping him put up a tent, when she was struck in the left eye with a tent pole. After I got home, she initially wouldn’t let me take her to the doctor. Connie is a pretty tough customer, but the pain kept increasing, and eventually she couldn’t keep either eye open. Finally at around 9 pm she was in so much pain that she relented and let me take her in. Thankfully we were able to leave the twins at Grandma’s house.
We drove to the emergency ward at Good Samaritan Hospital. Since Connie could not open her eyes, I tried to entertain her by reading selections from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. Sitting in an emergency waiting room late at night can be quite a surreal experience. First of all you never know when, if ever, you’ll get to go in and see a doctor. Second, there are all kinds of people in all manner of dress. You discreetly look over at them, and wonder what affliction brought them at this hour to this awful place. The door opens periodically to let a new soul into this fresh purgatory. It’s a surreal out of body experience when a mother holding a young girl yells to the receptionist “I’m not TAKING this CRAP any more! My son DIED in this waiting room six months ago!!!” After that outburst they let her and her daughter in right away. I don’t even look up, and nobody else does either. But I wonder for a moment if I will need to make an outburst like this to get Connie in. Two years ago Connie made a similar outburst on my behalf at Valley Medical Center as I lay bleeding. Had she not, I would have likely bled to death in the waiting room. No, this time it’s not a matter of life and death, so I just continue to sit and read to Connie. Finally they let us in. The orderly in charge takes a quick look at Connie’s eye, asks a couple of questions, and sends us back out to wait. After another half hour or so they let us back in.
We get to go into a room now to wait some more. They tell us it's a busy night. Finally a doctor comes in to see us. She is a good natured, plump Asian woman. She puts some drops in Connie’s eye that dull the pain in an interesting way. They create so much extra pain that the nerves just shut down. Connie says the drops feel like gasoline. Connie gets a few moments of relief, and is now able to open her eyes. The doctor puts some phosphorescent drops in the left eye, and lets me look at it under a magnification. I can clearly see a gouge over the cornea. The doctor tells us it will start to heal in a few days, and should heal completely in two weeks. A nurse comes in and gives Connie a tetanus shot, and we leave the hospital at midnight with a prescription for eye drops and pain medication. The whole experience wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Connie even managed to have a few laughs through it all. Maybe we’ll see Sin City next week.