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

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I really enjoy the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. Today she had a segment on the upcoming "Marriage of Archie."

Hey, did you notice that Rachel's correspondent, Kent Jones, looks a whole lot like a grown-up Archie Andrews. As you can see, Jones says that Archie is going to marry Veronica. As it turns out, he's going to marry Betty too, but both stories are going to be imaginary stories. It all stars with Archie #600, where imaginary Archie of the future proposes to Veronica. This runs to issue #602. In issues #603-605 future imaginary Archie marries Betty. Poor Jughed, he gets left out in both imaginary scenarios. And he's none too happy about it, as you can see on this cover:

I don't have any inside information, but I would speculate that the world or Archie will return to normal shortly after these issues run their course. Archie Comics is a conservative company, and they are not going to change their successful 70 year old formula. It's going to quickly return to a teen love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica, never to be definitively resolved. But, in the meantime, Archie is getting a boatload of free publicity with this "Imaginary story".

I wonder if Marvel's rumored return of a certain shied slinging hero will garner the same.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I didn't set up at this year's WonderCon in San Jose, but I traveled there with my friend Mark Arnold to hand out Lee's Comics coupons. Actually I didn't have to travel far, since I live in San Jose.

There was a nice, long line of advanced ticket holders. I walked the line, and gave out my coupons. I saw several of my regular customers in line.

Here's the view from the inside.

Here's Michael V. Bennett, who I call "Wild Kirby Guy." He paints incredible day glow originals in the Jack Kirby style, which he sells for a very modest price. Right now, he has a show at the Super7 Store in San Francisco. Check it out!

Here's one of the all-time greats, Howard Chaykin, creator of American Flagg. Howard is a fascinating, animated, and personable fellow. He talked to me about his admiration for Harvey Kurtzman. Howard is kindly holding up the Lee's Comics coupon.

Here's Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos with my friend Bill Morrison of Simpsons Comics fame. Jane did a great interview on the Ronn Owens program on Friday at 11:00 am to Noon. It was a very entertaining interview, and she plugged the SuperCon a bunch of times. If you hurry, you can listen to the interview, or download it.

Here is K.D. Boze with his book, the Virgin Project. This is a very compelling book about various people's first time. You can buy it at Lee's Comics, or online. There's going to be a 2nd volume, so you'll have a chance to submit your story. I'll post details about that later, when I find out.

Here's the great cartoonist Sergio Aragones of Mad Magazine and Groo fame, along with your humble retailer. Forget about the guy in the beer commercials, Sergio is the most interesting man in the world!

Mark and I cut out after about 4 hours, but we had a great time. The SuperCon continues today (Sunday). Hopefully the air conditioning will hold out, as temperatures are expected to reach triple digits today.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Have you ever wanted to enjoy fine Classical Music while getting down with the boogie? If so, this is for you:

Monday, May 11, 2009


I found this terrific piece of art on a Worth 1000, a website where people create a Photoshop rendering based on a suggested theme. This time, it's cartoon characters in classic art.

Monday, May 04, 2009


This year's Free Comic Book Day was an overwhelming success at both locations! I worked the Mountain View store. After some deliberation I decided to give away the free comics outside like I have done on previous years. The deliberation was due to the light drizzle that was coming down. Drizzle or no, I want ahead and set up outside. I really like to be set up on the sidewalk out in front of the store in our busy complex as it features a Costco, a Pet Club, a Krispy Kreme, and other popular stores. There are one thousand five hundred parking spots in our center, and most of them are filled on a busy Saturday, so it's bustling with people. I like to think that by being out front, we create just a few new comic readers. Lucky for me the drizzle abated by 11:00am. I noticed that the crowds of shoppers inside the store were huge this year. The store was so packed that we we almost had to have people wait in line outside for their turn to go inside. For the first time ever, we completely ran out of free comics to give out, even though we ordered larger quantities than ever.

We sent out Postcards to the 2,500 people on our mailing list. The postcard offered 2 extra free comics (for a total of 4), and 4 free comics from our bargain section. Our bargain books are regularly 50¢, but we had them on sale for 25¢. The bargain books were so popular that it was hard to get near them. In the afternoon, I had a good idea, and I brought several boxes of choice old bargain books outside for customers to pick through. That way, they could choose their free bargain books without having to fight their way to the bargain bins inside.

Sales were up a whopping 30% this year! (We were quite happy with last years sales too!) Not too shabby for being right in the middle of a recession. I guess people really like the free!

The bargain bins are not for the timid!

A view from the back of the store.

Customers lining up at the register.

More interior shots.

A view from the front door.

Set up outside to hand out the free comics. Mark Arnold mans the booth. Note that the ground is wet from the light rain.

Back inside.

People getting their free books.

The fellow I'm talking to here is Chris Pedrin. It's been a few years since I saw Chris. You may remember him as the creator of the Fortress, a heavy duty clear holder for valuable comics that came out before CGC came along. Chris brought along his two boys. He's got a few more kids at home.

I always like to see parents bring their delightful kids to Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day is a party for all ages! See you again, the first Saturday in May!


I was amazed to see a picture of Paul McCartney meeting Jack Kirby. Jack's daughter Lisa talks about the meeting on her Blog.

As you may or may not know, the Beatles were comic book fans. Paul McCartney has a song called Magneto and Titanium Man.

The Beatles Photo Blog posted pictures of the meeting along with the scan of an original drawing that Jack presented to Paul. There was also a picture of Iron Man #22, which might be the inspiration for the Magneto and Titanim man song. This is really neat stuff for this massive Beatles and Jack Kirby fan.

I found out about this on Heidi MacDonald's Beat.

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

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