LET'S LEVEL WITH LEE!

By Lee Hester, owner of Lee's Comics of California.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

FREE



There is one day that I always keep fondly in my memories. It was 1971 and I was 10 years old. I was riding around my South Palo Alto neighborhood in my chopper bicycle with the purple sparkled banana seat and 2-foot sissie bar. I was making the rounds looking for the new comic books. I was just getting into comics, and in those days you would find them all over the place. They would be sold in drug stores, department stores, and convenience stores. On this particular day, I stopped into the now long gone Bergman’s Department store. They had a shoe department and a clothing department, and a coffee shop that served food. The comics were kept upstairs with the toys. The whole place looked like a run-down Sears. It must have seen better days in the 1950s. The staff must have been from the original days too. They seemed to be all in their late 60s. These were grumpy old women who would follow you around and spy on you, fearful that you would steal from them. Usually there were only a couple of people in the place but on this day when I walked in, the place was crowded with people. I quickly realized that they were giving out free doughnuts! The crowds were gathered around happily munching. Soon, I too was offered a free doughnut, and was invited to eat all I wanted! No doughnuts have ever tasted better in all my life. They were fresh, warm, sweet, and best of all, free. This was a very happy day in my young life. I felt as if I had stumbled upon a pot of gold. It was at this point that I realized how delightful free stuff is. If they had been handing out free comics that day, I think I would have died and gone to heaven. But, we had to wait 30 years for heaven to come to earth. For it is here, and it is called…

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
Saturday May 6th
11:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Both Lee’s Comics Locations.

Free Comic Book Day is always a great event here at Lee’s Comics, and this year promises to be the best ever! First of all there’s all the free comics that we are giving out at both stores. The publishers have really outdone themselves this year! Choose from titles like Simpsons, Star Wars, Conan, Justice League, Archie, GI Joe, Owly, Scott Pilgrim, Tokyopop, Image, Wizard, and much more! Make sure to bring your friends and family. You can choose 2 comics per person. We mailed out a flier good for 2 extra free comics, for a total of 4. If you don’t a flyer this week, stop in to Lee’s Comics for yours.

Another great reason to come stop by on Free Comic Book Day is that we are having a big sale! It’s our first sale of the year, so you won’t want to miss it. Save 10 to 50% off on everything except that week’s new comics and subscriptions.

In Mountain View stop by between Noon and 2:00pm, and meet Ted Naifeh, artist and writer of the hit book Courtney Crumrin. Ted’s a terrific artist, and a great guy, so you won’t want to miss this!

If you want more information, and if you want to see lots of the free comics, check out our homepage.

http://lcomics.com/

Thursday, April 13, 2006

GOING APE

I had a great time at the Alternative Press Expo (APE) last weekend. After taking a couple of years off, Lee’s Comics was set up to sell again this year. We had 5 booths to fill, so it was quite a bit of work. I pulled all the material from the Mountain View store on Friday. Shaun did a great job of helping me box it all up. Later on, I went down to the San Mateo store and worked with Mark to get seven heavy wooden 8 foot book racks down from the loft and loaded in the van. On Saturday, Mark and I arrived in San Francisco at 8 am and started to unload the van and set up. Each fixture and box had to be hand carried on to the floor down 2 small flights of stairs. It was quite a morning workout for Mark and me. Richard joined us shortly, and we worked hard to get ready for the 11 am opening time. I was pleased that we were nicely set up by 10:30, so I had a little time look around.

I went outside to check out the attendees that were lining up. I was struck at how different the people in the line looked from the folks lining up at conventions such as Wonder Con or San Diego. This looked more like the line for a punk rock concert. There were lots of people with black or spiky hair. There was lots of body piercing. Many people were wearing black clothes. The people looked thinner and sexier.

The crowds were good on Saturday and sales were fine. We were in the rear of the building, in the center level. I think that sales would have been even better for us if we get relocated towards the front next year. On Sunday, things were much slower. I spent more time looking around and talking to people. I purchased a bunch of great books to sell in the stores. I had many of these autographed, and I will be offering these to my customers at no extra cost. I also got some nice books on liquidation that I will be able to offer to my customers for very cheep in my bargain section. The best news is that I was able to set up a couple of fun events. I will let you know about them in the coming weeks as the details are confirmed and hammered out. I’ll try to post a couple of pictures from the ape next week. All in all, it was a very pleasant show. I look forward to next year’s event.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DISNEYLAND PART 1

At the end of March, I went to Disneyland with my wife, Connie and my twin girls, Hannah and Sophie. We were celebrating the twin's 10th birthdays. One of the really neat things about Disneyland is the attention to details. It makes most other places look shabby in comparison. Great America can rattle you up pretty well, but when you look down, you are looking at the underside of the ride, and the pavement below. Disneyland doesn't shake you up quite as much, but when you look around you'll see amazing detail. They engage the mind, and surround you in a world of fantasy, instead of just stimulating your body's nerve endings. We took a bunch of photos. Here are a few. I hope you enjoy them.


1. The last time we were in Disneyland was in 2000. California adventure was still being built. We took Sophie and Hannah's picture as we went around in the giant Ferris wheel.


2. The kids take our picture.


3. A spontaneous block party breaks out on the street.


4. Hannah and Sophie chill out at Minnie Mouse's house in Disneyland Toontown.


5. Speaking of Minnie, here she is in person. We were celebrating the children's birthday with a character breakfast.

DISNEYLAND PART 2



6. After having defeated Chip (or is it Dale) in a duel, Captain Hook tries to make off with my Wife!






7. Everyone was amazed by the walking, talking trash can. Kids dept looking in to see who was inside, but there was nobody there but the trash. How did they do it? I was baffled. I looked all over for hidden cameras, but saw none. It must have been more Disney magic, I thought. As we were leaving from the area I told Connie that I was stumped. She said "are you kidding, there's a guy standing right next to the trash can, talking into a microphone and working the controls in his pack, and he's making no effort to hide." Nope, me and the kids didn't see him. We were too busy looking at the talking can. You can see the guy controlling the can to the left. He's quite a cut-up!





8. On our 4th day, we didn't have tickets to the park, so we spent a few hours at Downtown Disney, which is right next to the theme parks. The stores are all nice and clean, and pleasant to look at, but there is one that really stands out head and shoulders from the rest. It's the Lego store. Here you can see me by The Batman, who is made entirely out of Legos. As a child I loved my Legos. I dreamed that I could rule the world, if I only had enough Legos. This store would have put me over the edge. As it was, my family almost had to use a large Lego separator to get me out of that store.






9. Sophie poses with Darth Vader and R2D2 made out of Legos.






10. Hey you! Lego my Wife!

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Imagine a World with no comic books. Not worth living.

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