Well my friends... I think my pull list is about to get a big hit in terms of how many print books I get on a monthly basis. Here's the thing, last Christmas my wife gave me a NOOK from Barnes & Nobles as a present and, even though I loved it, I was kinda ignoring it because I felt that if I read too many digital comics I'd be turning my back on this medium that I love so much. As it turns out, prices on comics keep going up, page count keeps going down, plot lines are being dragged on way too long in order to sell trades and my bank account keeps suffering because of it I feel I have to support the comic book industry. So, last night I got my NOOK, charged it and I said to myself: "the heck with it"! Today i took my NOOK out at lunchtime, downloaded Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1, read it, took it all in and... I LOVED IT!!! The colors were as vibrant as they were intended to be, the pages moved just like a comic would, the prices are far less than the print versions and more importantly; I can carry 100+ books anywhere and everywhere I go without a problem. I absolutely love my NOOK. So, from this day on I solemnly swear that I'll cut my "pull list" at least in half and I'll be reading the trade version on my NOOK. Thanks Barnes & Nobles and thank you NOOK! (This read like a paid advertisement for NOOk and/or Barnes & Nobles but I swear it wasn't!) LOL!
Sometimes I wish everyone had my same moral compass and I'll tell you why. I say this because in this day and age, it seems that wanting fairness for everyone makes you naive or an idiot in society's eyes. I feel we should treat others the way we want to be treated no matter who we are or what we do, that's how I was brought up; that's how I live my life. I say this and the example I want to present to you is how unfair the comic book industry has been, is and if we don't act on it; always will.
One of my biggest gripes is the fact that the comic book industry was built on the backs of a few, very talented artists and writers like Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, Steve Ditko, Gary Friedrich and many more that simply got taken advantage of by greedy individuals who only cared about dollar signs. But this is not exclusive to the comics industry, I'm just expressing my disgust with the industry as whole due to this important fact. The thing is, corporations made, and are still making millions upon millions of dollars while those people who actually put in the work and created these characters got nothing in comparison. It's sickening really!
I understand they signed those contracts, I understand they had a choice (if you can call it that) and I know that the "Big Two" aren't doing anything "illegal", but just because something is legal, doesn't necessarily mean it's right. Like the great Dr. Martin luther King Jr. once said: "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal". Now I'm not comparing these corporations to Hitler, my point is that wrong is wrong, it doesn't matter if the law covers your heinous acts, if you treat someone unfairly; you're still wrong!
I do know, without a shadow of doubt, that those creators who started this medium we love so much should've had a far better compensation and recognition than what they got; regardless of what the the law stipulates. I wish I woke up tomorrow and when I checked the news I find out that the "Big Two" were announcing that their golden age creators were going to get a % of the sales from those characters they created, that the Kirby heirs would be getting a piece of the pie, that Bill Finger would be credited with being the co-creator of Batman and all those characters he created and his heirs would be getting a retroactive payment of what he should've had in the first place if it weren't for scumbag lawyers taking advantage of honest
and hard working creators. Now THAT would be super heroic.!
-Manuel A. Carmona
Here are some links so you can understand what I'm talking about and why I'm so angry about all this.
Why boycott Marvel?
Jim Starlin on Cosporate comics
Jack Kirby Documentary
In Search of Steve Ditko Documentary
-Manuel A. Carmona
Today we celebrated Tabernacle Church's Harvest Festival 2013 and I can only described it by saying... it ROCKED! There were plenty of kids from all over Norfolk, dressed in their Halloween costumes and having a grand ol' time. There were tons of games for the kids to play, there were clowns, balloon animals, tons of candy and of course; FREE COMIC BOOKS!!! That's where we come in. Through our non-profit organization Comics For Christmas, we gave away more than 400 comic books to at least 80 kids; completely FREE of charge!
We had an absolute blast handing out those comic books and what a reward it was to see all those kids' smiles when we handed those comics to them... priceless! There were a few kids that we've come to know because they follow us from event to event, which makes us feel good for two reasons: 1.They know what were about and 2. They like comic books and in some way it's because we gave them their first comics; which makes me feel pretty darn good! As if handing out free comic books wasn't enough, we also handed out candy to the kids so everyone left our table with a big smile; and that makes me very happy.
We want to help Tabernacle Church of Norfolk for organizing such a wonderful event for the kids around the community and for allowing us to be a part of it for the second straight year, we hope to be there next year and every year after that. It was truly a blessing!
-Manuel A. Carmona
For those who interact with me on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is common knowledge that I'm the president of a non-profit organization called Comics For Christmas and that we had scheduled an event for this weekend. It was called The Comics For Christmas Free Comic Book Giveaway at The Book and Movie Exchange and we were going to give away at least 2,000 comics and candy to every kid that stopped by the store. But, what ended up happening was far from what we've expected and to be honest, it was quite upsetting to say the least.
The thing is, we do this because we care about kids, we want to encourage kids to read and we put a lot of effort behind this events, we invest our money and time trying to make this events as successful as humanly possible, but we need the support of the people involved with the events as well. We make the flyers, print them and provide the store owners with enough flyers to pass along to their customers and of course, we expect them to pass them along.
But how upsetting it is to stop by on the day of the event, have the store owner pull you aside and tell you: "I went on the website on the flyer and found photos that made me not pass the flyers". The photo in question was the one I posted to the right ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>
Pretty much every comic book fan knows that the character being portrayed by the model is none other than Sara Pezzini (aka Witchblade) and that Cosplay is in no way, shape or form pornography. I mean, if we want to get technical, there's far more offensive material in a DVD/Blue Ray store than on any Witchblade comic book, but regardless, because of our last Truthful Comics Spotlight the store owner didn't promote our Comics For Christmas event; AT ALL!!! As you might imagine I'm beyond upset and because of this we won't be visiting The Book and Movie Exchange tomorrow or ever again because we feel that it was totally unncesary and rude to have us pay for flyers and then basically throw them in the trash because you didn't bother to either contact me or do your research into who the character is or what the model is doing. This could've easily been avoided by giving us a call, e-mailing us or even massaged us through Facebook but to wait until we arrive at your store, after we've been promoting your store non-stop everywhere we go and we're ready for the event, and then you basically tell me that you don't know how many people will come because you didn't like a picture on my website and it made you not pass the flyers to the parents; that's unforgivable.
Regardless, kids did showed up and we handed out a few hundred books, candy, we had some great interactions with the parents and the kids who attended and we even left a few dozen comic books in case some kids show up tomorrow. I have to admit that I'm so disappointed with this whole situation that if it wasn't for the kids, I'd stop doing it but we have a mission and making kids happy is more important than wasting a few bucks and a few hours because of some people who lack vision.
I hope that we can find other establishments who are willing to open their doors to us and believe in our cause which I believe is so important. Kids need to learn to read, they need to love reading and what better way to instill that love of reading than to provide them with books filled with stories about their favorite characters. They'll follow their favorite superheroes on numerous adventures and hopefully they'll graduate into novels and so on. I want to help light that spark of imagination in their young minds and I'll use comic books to do the trick.
Today was one of those days when I just wanted to take my family out for a long drive without a specific destination and just wing it. Fill up the gas tank, lower the door windows, open the sun roof, turn the volume and just enjoy the ride; so that's what we did! We drove for a while and my wife spotted a dance studio (she's a professional dancer) and asked me if we could stop real quick, to which I replied: "Sure". Of course, I immediately spotted a book store right next to the dance studio and I told her I wanted to check it out afterwards. The books store was independently owned and it looked inviting.
There were tow male clerks who immediately acknowledge me and my family and were very courteous, something that employees from every field are missing more and more these days! I looked around for a few minutes and they asked me if I needed help, but before I could ask them, I noticed that one of the clerks had a pile of at least 50 comics in front of him! All I could say was "Yes you do!" He looked at me funny and I said "Comics, do you guys carry comic books?" And he said "Yes we do!" He showed me three aisles full of comics ranging from Batman to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to The Mighty Thor to Wildcats! It was a beautiful thing!!!
As soon as I turned that corner where the clerk told me to, I was suddenly in front of what can only be described as a comic book hidden treasure! Even more so when it's located in Virginia Beach, so to me it felt like I was a pirate, and I discovered an abandoned treasure chest full of comic book gold! I'm talking about hundreds, if not thousands of comic books, and at great prices too! It's too bad that I had just went to my local comic shop and spent a pretty penny there, because I only had so much extra cash to spare. But rest assure, I'll be stopping by this book store on a more regular basis and I'll be getting a bunch of those comics they had in their store.
So, next time you're in Virginia Beach and get the mood to buy some comic books, visit AFK Books, Music and Movies.
They're located at:
4801 Shore Drive, Suite D
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Press Release- Apr. 3, 2013 - OLATHE, Kan.
You can find out everything there is to know about the Nerdvana Network by visiting: http://nerdvananetwork.com/
On days like today I'm reminded of how diverse us comic book fans are and how far we've come in the eyes of society. When I arrived at work this morning, the last thing I expected to see was a newspaper spread across our lunch room table and on the front page a news article titled: "In Virginia's halls of power, some of the powerful indulge in a little comic relief". Even more shocking to me (in a good way) was looking at a photo of Virginia Beach Del. Ron Villanueva, holding a Green Lantern POP! figure on his right hand and gesturing like he has a Green Lantern "power ring" on his left hand, and if that wasn't enough to prove his geek credentials; Del. Villanueva was wearing Batman cuff-links. I don't know about you, but to me, that is extremely cool!
The Virginian-Pilot article is humorous and very interesting, especially if your a comic book geek like me. Del. Villanueva talks about his love of comic books, his Star Wars and G.I.Joe collections (some of which populate his office) and how he even decided which of his House colleagues are doppelgangers for comic book characters. Among them are House Speaker William Howell, whom he compares with Jedi Master Yoda (from the Star Wars Saga) and/or Professor X (from Marvel Comics' X-Men). He makes this comparison because he feels House Speaker Williams is a very wise and convincing individual, much like the aforementioned. There's also Republican Del. Jackson Miller, whom he compares to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Marvel Comics' creation: The Hulk. He makes this comparison due to Del. Jackson's temper.
Then there's Del. Rich Anderson. Now, Del. Anderson isn't much of a comic book guy, but during his 2009 campaign, he picked up the nickname "Captain America" when a political foe mocked him for his United States Air Force service. The monicker stuck with the retired Colonel. During that same campaign run, Del. Anderson fondly remembers when a retired US Marine presented him with an exact replica of Captain America' shield. The shield has been displayed on a wall behind his desk ever since.
The article talks about a few other Delegates and I have to admit, as I was reading this, I felt a strange sense of pride, not for me, but for comic book fans across the world. Here are a few "geeks" who did good and became successful. These Delegates are just one example of how far us comic book "geeks" have come and how far comic book roots reach into all facets of society as we know it. I hope that these politicians follow the righteous path of those superheroes they're fans of.
If you want to read the full article visit:
So in the words of Jedi across the galaxy and Del. Villanueva himself: "May The Force Be With You".
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