Tuesday, May 16, 2006


It's been a crazy couple of weeks...

First, some FREE COMIC BOOK DAY business to attend to here.

Thank you to the more than 1100 new and returning comic fans who showed up at FLYING COLORS on May 6 for the 5th Annual FCBD. We gave away thousands of comics and we really hope everyone is enjoying them. Read 'em and then come back to FLYING COLORS for more! Woo-hoo!!

More big thanks to BILL (Bongo Comics) MORRISON for being such a great guest. Bill dazzled fans with sketches and he must have signed more than 500 copies of the BONGO "Free For All" FCBD Special Edition comic book.

Since you were here on FCBD (right?), you know we were taking registrations for a prize drawing, so I'd like to announce the winners:
* GERALD TAMAYO won a pair of tickets to see the Oakland A's!
* TIFFANY SUTHERLAND was the big winner of a Shopping Spree for $100 worth of comics & other cool stuff at FLYING COLORS!
Congratulations to Gerald and Tiffany!

As many of you know, last Sunday May 14th was my 50th birthday. I had no idea what my sweet wife Libby was up to, but she quietly spread the word for friends and family to send me cards. The first thing she set up was a little surprise party at the end of Free Comic Book Day.

I was pretty delirious by the end of the day to begin with, but when we went next door to Round Table I was greeted by friends and family. My life-long pal Steve (the guy who got me into comics when I was 11) was down from Washington, the first Flying Colors' staffer from 1988, Mark Parsons, flew up from L.A., my dear friends Jerry & Kim came out from Stockton, my brother and his family were here--- and then there was a contingent of Flying Colors' regulars and staff, too! It was quite a deal.

Libby presented me with a Spider-Man decorated cake ---and along with daughter Jenny and friend Jonathan, they put together a video montage of photos from the first half-century (*gulp*) of my life, with a soundtrack of some of my favorite power pop music (Beatles, Shazam, Chris Von Sneidern, Glen Phillips). It was awesome, even if some of the photos used were, shall we say, a tad embarrassing.

Now all of that was on May 6, a full week before my actual b-day. Since then, Lib and I took a short trip to Southern California to see our favorite band, SPOCK'S BEARD, perform in Hollywood on Friday night and Santa Ana on Saturday night.

SPOCK'S BEARD's music combines the classic elements of progressive rockers like Genesis and Yes, along with the melodic sensibilities and soaring vocals of the Beatles. I kid you not. If video hadn't killed the radio star, this band would be HUGE! And they still will be if I have any say in the matter. I'll soon be posting some pix from the two shows here (and on the "Music" page, just a click to the left away from here).

Thursday we spent a really great day in Disneyland and the Disney California Adventure. With the Pirates ride closed, we hit every other major attraction at the two parks from 9am-6:30pm, with nothing longer than a 20 minute wait for "Soarin' Over California". It was our first visit to California Adventure and it was a blast.

Finally, Sunday was Mother's Day and my b-day--- a day I'm happy to share with my Mom and Libby. This was also the day I was presented with another of Libby's big surprises: a scrapbook full of cards and letters from so many great people, including my friends from Flying Colors, from the wider comic industry and friends from my former life in radio, as well as lots of other friends.

More to share--- I received original art cards from some of the most wonderful (and my favorite) pros in the comics' biz: Dan Brereton (long-time friend and FlyCo supporter), Joe Sinnott (long-time friend and the hugest SF Giants' fan ever!), Sergio Aragones (fastest cartoonist in the world--and one of the truly good guys I've met in my time in comics), Bill Morrison and the gang at Bongo Comics ("Carpe Crustum", indeed! You rock!), Dick Ayers (great guy---you should check out his totally engaging autobiographical graphic novel series!) and Stan "the Man" Lee even sent me an original poem (what a guy!).

As if that wasn't enough already, I also got cards from maybe 60 other friends from all phases of my life and some thoughtful gifts--- and I'm left with the feeling that I've truly led a blessed and wonderful life. And it is the ever-wondrous Libby who orchestrated the whole celebration. I know I've used a lot of words here, but really, I'm speechless.

Big heartfelt thanks to one and all!

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