Wednesday, November 30, 2005

"If I had a nickel..."

As the saying goes, "... for every time I heard someone say..."

In the comics' business, I get to hear every story about how "Mom threw away my comics when I was away at college" or some variation. The story-teller, almost despite how old they are, will then say something like "And I had ALL the first issues--- the very first appearances of Superman, X-Men, Spider-Man and Batman."

Considering the first issues of Superman and Batman were in 1939 and 1940, while Spider-Man and X-Men first issues were in '63, what I've realized is that the memories associated with the times surrounding the comics are probably more vivid than memories of the comics' themselves. The sweet innocence of childhood is remembered, mostly in the haze of lazy summer days, lounging around with nothing to do except vicariously live the lives of our favorite heroes. But the specific comics that were in hand at the time may be a detail only the most die-hard fans would remember. Most people who tell me this comment seem to be lamenting the value of what they think their old comics might be worth today, rather than missing some fun and important piece of their childhood. Our cherished memories are always worth more than gold...

I'd also love a nickel for every frustrating time I've heard a parent tell a younger child "I'll buy you comics when you learn to read!"

I've heard this one way too many times! The parent's voice is usually embarrassingly loud and often comes off as a put-down. I know from experience comics are a medium parents can enjoy with their younger kids while also using comics as a tool to help along pre-literates.

With that in mind, I want to pass along some recommendations of comics for parents to read with their younger kids. These feature some classic characters and some relatlvely easy vocabulary.

• BONE by Jeff Smith. There are nine volumes in this series in black & white. There's also the BONE "ONE" Volume, a massive edition with 1000+ pages of the complete BONE saga. Scholastic Books has also published the first two volumes "Out from Boneville" and "The Great Cow Race" in separate volumes in full color for the first time. BONE can best be described as "Looney Tunes meets Lord of the Rings." Filled with action, humor, suspense and a little romance---and characters kids and parents alike will love!

• Ultimate CASPER the FRIENDLY GHOST. Many parents were probably raised reading the old Harvey Comics line, featuring Wendy the Good Little Witch, the Ghostly Trio and other familiar characters. Simple stories and art---and lots of fun for early readers.

• Marge's LITTLE LULU. There are now several volumes available of these classic stories featuring the irrepressible LITTLE LULU, along with her supporting cast including Tubby, Alvin and Witch Hazel. I highly recommend these stories for read-aloud fun for kids and parents. Lots of laughs, lots of inventive stories and lots of memorable times await you when you share this series with new readers.

• OWLY. We now have two volumes of the mostly text-reduced (mostly silent) comics featuring this soon-to-be star in comics. OWLY and his friend Wormy are, to no one's surprise, an owl and a worm. Their adventures together are sweet and fun and gentle. With text-reduced comics, kids can learn reading skills by verbalizing the story they see flowing from panel to panel. As we live in a highly visual culture, this is a good skill to give to any new reader!

• We also have a good stock of very popular comics done for readers of all ages featuring characters from other media, including movies and cartoons--- SPIDER-MAN, TEEN TITANS, JUSTICE LEAGUE, FANTASTIC FOUR, POWERPUFF GIRLS, SCOOBY-DOO, BETTY & VERONICA, SABRINA, LOONEY TUNES.

(These recommendations would all make for some fun gifts this holiday season. Hint, hint.)

While the average age of comic book readers is now in the late 20s, there are still lots of titles to explore at Flying Colors for new and younger readers. For more info on the power of comics as a tool to teach younger readers, go to the "Education" page at

Parents: You give your children an amazing gift when *you* encourage their love of reading. Don't wait for them to learn how to read--- help teach them the love of reading by doing it with them.

I'd love to hear your comments!


Monday, November 28, 2005

In store Wednesday 11/30

If you were in the store over the last week or so, I may have told you that the shipment of comics would be delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday. Well, I want to tell you that is not the case---we WILL be receiving our regular shipment on-time and we'll be ready to go with some cool stuff on Wednesday at 11am.

Here's a few new and cool items that'll hit the comic racks at Flying Colors on Wednesday November 30 ---

• THE AMERICAN trade paperback from Dark Horse Comics. If you're a fan of the SMALLVILLE TV series like I am, some of the credit goes to the writing prowess of Mark Verheiden. THE AMERICAN is a compilation some of Verheiden's early work in comics. Good storytelling here!

• IMAGE COMICS Hardcover. Get ready for the earth to open up and swallow us all--- it's finally here! This is what was originally called the IMAGE COMICS 10th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL--- if it would have come out on time more than three years ago. Well, it's still full of good stuff for fans of the founders of Image Comics. There's the final fate of CyberForce by Marc Silvestri, the future of ShadowHawk by Jim Valentino, the origin of Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen--- and get this, a new Spawn story, hang on now--- actually drawn by creator Todd McFarlane!

• WALKING DEAD Volume 4. Everyone's favorite zombie epic is collected in a new trade paperback called "Hearts Desire."

• MARVEL MASERWORKS FANTASTIC FOUR Vol. 9. Nearing the end of the classic Lee-Kirby run on this seminal title, comics just don't get a whole lot better than this!

• NEW AVENGERS #13. Finally the identity of the Ninja is revealed. Maybe not the stunning turn of events some had hoped for, but this title continues to be a fun read.

• WONDER WOMAN #223. An INFINITE CRISIS tie-in, as Wonder Woman tries to save Paradise Island from an attack of OMACs (for a translation of this fan-oriented synopsis, go to and click on "Crisis Counseling").

Lots more stuff coming in---be sure to ask us for some recommendations!
And remember, we do gift certificates!

Peace 'n' Comics!


Saturday, November 26, 2005

New Flying Colors TV Ads!

The new Flying Colors TV ads are now posted on our site. Click on the "TV Ads" link on the left side of the screen to get to the page.

A couple of things about the ads:
•I want to thank all those who gave us testimonials on Free Comic Book Day to use in the ads. FCBD is always a lot of fun here and shooting the TV ads sure is a part of that fun.

• I want to thank Adams Digital Video at for doing the production. If you have a business in the Contra Costa area and are interested in doing some cable TV advertising, give Paul Adams a call.

• I particularly want to call attention to spot #4 featuring my daughter Jenny....and some of the gals who get their comics regularly at Flying Colors. We have a lot of comics gals of all ages and interests enjoy---several of them are cover-featured on Jenny's TV ad, so we hope you'll take note of them and check 'em out on your next visit to Flying Colors. Just ask Jenny for some great recommendations! This spot is currently playing during Cartoon Network's anime programming and on Adult Swim, by the way.

• I also want to thank my web-master, Alan Alvaro at for doing the work to get the web-site looking so good. Alan can do the same for you if you give him a call!

Repeat after me---
"When it happens in comics, it happens in FLYING COLORS!"

Peace, y'all!


Friday, November 25, 2005

Giving thanks...

Had a lovely and relaxed time with my family yesterday on Thanksgiving.

My wonderful wife Libby did most of the cooking but we did spend a good part of the day in the kitchen together. One small revelation about Thanksgiving and the traditional cooking of the turkey and preparation of the rest of the meal--- it takes time and care to put together a feast like the one we enjoyed.

Along with that time, though, are pieces of time that were open. Between turning the bird in the oven every half hour or so, between the time the turkey goes into the oven and when the final touches are put on the feast with the mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies (did I tell you just how amazing Libby's turkey stuffing is) and the pouring of the wine--- there are short stretches of open time.

I happily filled that time by talking with Libby and my daughters Jenny and Cindy. I filled the time by relaxing and reading some comics, by noodling on my piano and keyboard a few minutes here and there. I didn't stare at football games that are meaningless to me, I didn't plot my Black Friday early-morning-dark shopping tour (no way!) ---I simply enjoyed the rare day off with those I love the most. And I missed those who couldn't be present.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

New & Cool (and Another Anonymous Question!)

Time once again for the Flying Colors' Retailing Brigade to sound off with this week's staff picks:

JOE: Ultimate Casper Vol. 1--- Beautiful reproductions of Harvey Comics from the '50s. Also featuring Wendy the Good Little Witch, Spooky, and the Ghostly Trio, this is a sweet trip down memory lane. recommendation: this book is a good candidate for parents to read aloud with younger children.

MIKE: Jew Gangster: A Father's Admonition --- A stunning graphic novel by the legendary Joe Kubert!

BRIAN: Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein #1. With a creative team of Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke, this is a no-brainer for all-out action and weirdness!

JENNY: Y the Last Man, Volume 6. This Vertigo title is consistently one of the most engaging reads on the market today.

CINDY: Fade from Grace trade paperback. An excellent selection for those wanting to try something cool and a bit out of the ordinary.

ANDY: Perhapanauts #1--- A new adventure series from Dark Horse by the creative team of writer Todd DeZago and artist Craig Rousseau. Give this one a look!

ED: Down #1 --- From Image/Top Cow Productions, this is the new series from writer Warren Ellis and artist Tony Harris.


Well, it seems as though at least one person is regularly reading "A View from Flying Colors"! With the cryptic name of "Anonymous", I have received another question about what makes Flying Colors tick. Here 'tis---

"One of the great things about Flying Colors is the wide selection of material in stock. How do you determine which items (and how many) to stock so that you do not overextend yourself financially?"

I'm a good guesser?

OK, Nonny, there's more to it than that. Every month, we get the Diamond PREVIEWS catalogue featuring more than 4000 items due to arrive in-store anytime from six weeks to several months down the road. The catalogue includes comics, toys, statues, manga, anime, t-shirts--- you name it. If it's remotely associated with the explosion of media, it's probably listed in PREVIEWS.

So every month, we collect orders from a few (but we'll always welcome more!) of the Flying Colors Faithful and that gives us a small idea of what some people are looking forward to. Putting together a monthly order from PREVIEWS takes me close to 20 hours of work just to make sure everything fits within our budget while also fitting within the kinds of things we feel good about actively selling.

(SPECIAL NOTE: We always have a "store copy" of PREVIEWS available for you to look through---and hopefully place orders for items you just don't want to miss. Ask us about it next time you visit Flying Colors.)

OK, back to our show---
We also keep pretty copious track of what we sell. Even though we are not set up with high-tech scanners and other inventory control systems, you might notice when you're in the store that Flying Colors' staff have clipboards in hand to take your special requests, to count what inventory we have on hand and to give me information about what's selling so I can re-order items we've run out of.

There *are* times when it is a financial strain to buy stock hoping it will eventually sell. The diciest part of my job is buying back issues since that's the part of the market going through the most upheaval right now. Sometimes I make the mistake of buying by my heart rather than my head, since I still love the old stuff (and that means "old" to me, rather than "old" to you). Sometimes, I royally goof and drastically over-order new items--- or totally neglect to order something at all. It cuts both ways, actually.

But more often than not, we get it pretty close to right. That's one of the bonuses of lasting in this business for more than 17 years. There's *history* here. Sales history, for one, but also a history of knowing the kinds of things regular and casual buyers respond to.

Here's one of the key secrets of the way that I order merchandise---
There are so many comics-related items licensed to so many different companies these days, but I look for cool l'il chotchkes that have the most timeless appeal.

Anything that looks like it's frozen in current continuity will have a short "shelf-life", so I order accordingly. For instance, there are a lot of licensed items currently available with the long, curly haired Superman of the mid-'90s. Uh, they don't sell well at all. But a classic looking, spit-curl Superman item looks far more timeless and thus has appeal to a wider audience.

I'm also a pretty good guesser.

Happy Thanksgiving, my fine Flying Colors friends!


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Questions & Answers

I've been away for several days---this time no comics' biz work was involved!

Libby and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday (mark your calendars---coming December 5!). We took in two shows: the Moody Blues at the Mirage on Friday night (one of our favorite classic rock bands, especially love their early stuff. "Question" is one of my all-time favorite songs...does that surprise anyone given my previous blog entry?.) On Saturday night, we went to an oh-so-very-Vegas show, seeing (*ulp* out the window goes my cool-cred) Barry Manilow at the Vegas Hilton. It was a fun show, complete with dancers, a mini- big band, light show and tons of oozing schmaltz. Still can't figure how those light sticks work, though...

So I'm back in action to answer the questions I received from my last blog entry. "Anonymous" asked the following:

"How do you make Flying Colors such a wonderful place to shop?"

This is where you got it a bit wrong. Everyone who comes into Flying Colors makes it such a wonderful place. Without you coming in, we wouldn't hear what you like about our store, we wouldn't respond to what we hear---and we'd all be sadder for it.

A quick story: My sweet wife Libby is a credentialed teacher. One of her old favorite teacher books was called something like "The Classroom I'd Like" and it went into ways teachers can personalize their classrooms and turn their visions of productive, fun, learning environments into reality. Flying Colors began as a kind of vision--- not only mine, but also Libby's and my daughters' visions, too. Between 1986 and 1988 (when we opened), as a family we visited something like 40 different comic shops, making notes of what we liked and didn't like, in the hopes of creating "The Comic Shop We'd Like". My daughters were between the ages of 4 and 8 when Flying Colors opened, so their unique perspective was invaluable to me. I looked at comic shops as a total fan-addict--- they wanted an accessible, light and open place. We all got what we envisioned.

"And where do you find your staff? They are incredibly helpful and very friendly. Half the fun of comix collecting is visiting the store every week and chatting with the employees."

Wow! Thanks for the nice compliment. Again, I've been a very lucky guy. Back before the store opened, I wondered how I'd find the right people to fill out the Flying Colors' team. One of my mentors in this business, the late great John Barrett of Comics & Comix fame (the good old C&C, not the lame company it was under its final criminal owner) , told me simply "Good people find good people." So I've tried to be good to everyone who comes into the store and along the way I've found good people to work here. "Anonymous", you are right--- it really is fun to hang out each week and talk comics here at Flying Colors.

"And why are you so fair to your customers? You treat everyone with honesty and respect, as if they are a part of your family."

Oh, man, this is gonna sound like an Olive Garden commercial, but--- when you are here, you *are* family. You help to support my family and allow me to continue doing something I really love. We all share a common interest in loving a powerful medium of entertainment and artistic expression (that's fancy talk for "we like comics!") I also like to sleep well---and I wouldn't be able to do that if I treated anyone poorly, especially those who come in every week and give me money in exchange for bags full of comics and other cool stuff!

OK, I'm ready for more questions!

Peace 'n' Comics!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What goes around...

Man, it was fun to be in the store today! I love Wednesdays with tons of new comics to talk about with everyone who comes in. In my blog yesterday, I posted a bunch of the #1 issues that came in today. When I thought about it more, I realized this is the first week I can remember that each of our Flying Colors' Retailing Brigade "Picks of the Week" are all first issues.

If you haven't been by the store recently, it's a great time to come in and check out all the great stuff going on across the comics' spectrum. You've been officially invited!


OK, about today's blog title "What goes around..."

I was a notoriously inquisitive kid, asking tons of questions of everyone I'd come in contact with, probably just to hear the sound of my own voice in some cases. I asked LOTS of questions--- whether it was to the produce guy in the Safeway, my old friends Ma  and Len who ran the pool hall in Moraga, and especially the guy who ran the pet store in the Rheem shopping center.

Well, what goes around comes around, as they say. So I find myself in a position where I get asked tons of questions each and every day. Mostly comics' related and most of those are easy.

• What are my all-time favorite comic books?
Easy. The first two I started with were Amazing Spider-Man #51 ("In the Clutches of the Kingpin") and Fantastic Four #65 ("From Beyond This Planet Earth" is the story title, but everyone knows it as the Ronan the Accuser story).

• When was the first appearance of the Punisher?
Shortly after the first time I did something really wrong...

• Who'd win a fight between Superman and Thor?
Easy again. DC and Marvel.

You see how this goes, right?
So during the rush of fun that is another New Releases' Wednesday here today, one of the the regular readers of this blog suggested I put out a general call for questions to everyone.

Anything you'd like to know about Flying Colors?
Want to know more about the excitin' life of a comic book retailer? Really?
Got some real curiosity about any little thing?

Then respond to this by clicking on the comments link. I'll try to answer every question I get, although it may take me a few days to get to the answers--- and the answers may be about as straight as the ones above. But you'll never know until you ask.

After asking so many questions in my younger days, it's now all coming back to me. It's my penance for having been precocious---and it's your duty to ask away!

With great power and all that....


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Great Week for #1

A quick look at some of the debut issues hitting the racks at Flying Colors Wednesday morning---

• LOCAL #1 --- Brian (DEMO, DMZ) Wood's new series from ONI Press. Jenny (and the rest of the staff) will not let you leave the store without picking up this one!

• ALL-STAR SUPERMAN #1 --- Grant Morrison. Frank Quitely. In my estimation, this is where the run-up to the Summer '06 release of the new SUPERMAN movie starts.

• BATMAN & THE MONSTER MEN #1--- Matt Wagner writes. Matt Wagner illustrates. We all get something new and cool to enjoy.

• BOOKS OF DOOM #1--- Writer Ed Brubaker (GOTHAM CENTRAL, SLEEPER, LOWLIFE, CAPTAIN AMERICA) continues his emergence as one of Marvel's go-to writers. Really nice stuff.

• MAD KIDS #1 --- More than 50 years ago, Havery Kurtzman and Bill Gaines launched MAD MAGAZINE. Today, we get a new first issue from MAD---one that will still rankle parents with gross out humor and parody.

• THE THING #1--- From Marvel, everyone's favorite member of the FANTASTIC FOUR finally gets a new on-going series, written by Dan (SHE-HULK) Slott, dripping with funny stuff amid the action.

• TOMORROW STORIES SPECIAL #1--- OK, this one stretches the point of being a new first issue a bit, but it features excellent work by Alan Moore, Cameron Stewart and Kevin Nowlan, so you know it's going to be a good read.

• X-MEN DEADLY GENESIS #1--- The cover of the first issue of his series is a take-off of GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1 from 1975, so the message is this title will shake things up as much as that classic comic from 30 years ago. Definitely worth a read.


Another short thought after DC's Retailer meeting in Montreal:
At Flying Colors, we really don't push our subscription service (the FLYING COLORS' SUB CLUB) all that hard, since we usually have a good stock of new comics and we're constantly re-ordering. But looking again at my notes from the meeting I just attended, I'd like to invite you to consider getting into the SUB CLUB.

There will be so many amazing new titles coming out in the next year that, frankly, I'm not sure if we'll order all of them right. To avoid quick sell-outs on popular titles---and to make sure to receive many of the lower-selling (but still amazingly good) titles from ALL publishers, take another look at the SUB CLUB. You can download all the info and a sign-up sheet at under "Advance Orders".

Lots of great stuff is coming soon, so don't miss a thing!

Peace 'n' Comics---


Monday, November 14, 2005

Back from Montreal!

Did you check in here over the last week only to notice I hadn't posted anything new to "The View from Flying Colors"?

I was in lovely Montreal, taking in DC's Retailer Representative Program. The RRP is a semi-annual retreat in which DC sales and marketing pros work with comic book retailers to improve DC's lot in the direct market. The event is usually every year to 18 months, but it had been close to three years since the last one. It's a sometimes intense, always informative and invigorating focus group lasting four days.

Without going into surprises I can't tell you about yet---and ones you'll probably hear about on the comic news' sites beore I blog about them here, anyway--- I can tell you it's going to be an incredibly fun ride for readers of the DC Universe titles over the next year or so. DC's plans are ambitious, to say the least, and I'm happy to report this premier publisher is definitely putting back into comics some key ingredients that have been for the most part missing in super-hero comics in recent years.

Some of those ingredients are:
• A cohesive universe and characters that make sense from one title to the next.
• Story surprises that will keep us all coming back for more every week.
• No "waiting for the trade paperback" anymore! Look for a solid rejuvenation of the periodical format with tight attention to story-telling and value in every comic book.
• Each of us will HAVE to read the periodical comics because the new DC is about the "hyper-serial"--- the kind of story-telling that if you blink, you may miss something very cool. It's like the "never look back" attitude of LOST, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and BOSTON LEGAL story-telling with the addition of capes and super-powers.

There's so much more that came from the Montreal RRP. Vertigo, Wildstorm, some potentially exciting Free Comic Book Day news, lots of great comraderie with many great retailers. I'll get to some of that as the days roll on. All I ask is for you to get ready for a good ride from DC--and to be here for the action.

Like the guy says on TV: "When it happens in comics, it happens in Flying Colors!"

Up, up and awaaaayyy!


Monday, November 07, 2005

New & Cool this Week!

Another week with lots of fun stuff coming in! Be here Wednesday November 9 to check out these "New & Cool" items:

• DMZ #1. The first issue of Brian (DEMO, Channel Zero, Jennie One, etc) Wood's new series from VERTIGO. Wood is a very unique voice in comics. Definitely good buzz on this one.

• MYTHOLOGY: The Art of Alex Ross. Now available in softcover for $24.95, Ross's art is always a visual treat. He's the Norman Rockwell of the comics' biz!

• SIMPSONS Wacky Wobblers! Homer, Duff Man, Apu and Moe. D'oh!

• WIZARD presents "Best of Basic Training: Heroic Anatomy" A nice guide to drawing super-hero comics.

More "Buzz" Comics & Books:
• JLA #122
• INCREDIBLE HULK #88 (I've heard this is the start of something major. "PLANET HULK"!)
• Michael Chabon Presents THE ESCAPIST #8
• DANGER GIRL: Back in Black #1.

See you soon!


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Vast Projects: Thinking Aloud

"Don't start vast projects with half-vast ideas."

I don't know who gets credit for that fitting play on words, but I know I've used it enough to feel like I owe royalties for it. For the last three years or so, I've been wanting to do a relatively small re-modeling project here at Flying Colors. New carpet, some new fixtures to go with a revised layout. I even paid the contractor a down payment (last year!) to get the job rolling, but it's all been bogged down by me. The bucks may go there, but they sure as heck stop right here!

Turns out it very difficult to re-model a store and keep it open at the same time. Sure, we could do the bulk of work late nights and early mornings---and that seems to be my only viable option. But clearing the calendar and, more importantly, being sure of the precise changes I want to make, have slowed my "project" for the last year. Other things have gotten in the way, too, but enough with the excuses!

Part of remodleing is asking some tough questions:
• What will the comic book business look like in five years?
• What will the back issue part of the business look like in a few years?
• How long do I want to keep running Flying Colors? (Answer: I still LOVE my job!)
• How much is wise to invest in the project?
• Could those funds be better used elsewhere?

Some of the seemingly minor things we've been doing around here lately are leading up the bigger changes, though. Those include re-organizing our inventory of trade paperbacks and back issues, donating some books to local libraries, etc. And really crystalizing my vision for what I want this store to look like and feel like when the whole process is done. (My retailer friends reading this are doubled over laughing now. No store project is EVER "done"!) As always, I'm interested in any feedback you might be willing to give me (but I do remember most free advice is worth what we pay for it).

Too late to finish it in time for holiday shopping here, so my goal now is to make it happen in earnest in early in '06.

Keep me on my toes, will ya?

Health & Happiness!


Friday, November 04, 2005

Remembering My Friend Eric

It's been a busy week here, so I haven't blogged regularly. I've been hitting my other deadlines, though. The big deadline was uploading the Diamond Previews' order for items shipping in December. That catalog is massive and more confusing than ever, but it's our one tool to show off all the upcoming comics, graphic novels, toys, statues, and "other cool stuff" to everyone who comes into Flying Colors.

Jammed with more than 4000 items on 500+ pages, we are more than happy to advance order any items from Previews for you. Please ask us about it next time you're in the store. Another deadline come and gone was getting my next column ready for Comics & Games Retailer magazine.

Honestly, having that deadline every month for the last seven years gives me renewed appreciation for what all writers go through to get their work to market. I've often been told I should write a book about comics' retailing, but every day I feel like I've learned more, but know less. Maybe I should just write a book about my experiences in comics. Lots of stories there...


Yesterday was November 3. Fifty years ago yesterday, one of my closest childhood friends was born.

We lost him much too soon when he was killed in a car wreck in the summer of '98. Eric and I met at the wee small age of two when his family moved in next door to my childhood home in Moraga CA.

We were close friends from then on. We played on the same Little League baseball teams (King's Nursery and Cracker Barrel Delicatessen, to name a couple) in the old Lafayette Youth Association (before it became the Lafayette/Moraga Youth Association).

We didn't go to the same schools until junior high since I attended Santa Maria parochial school in Orinda for six years while Eric was at Rheem Elementary in Moraga.

Eric was six months older than I, so he was always one year ahead in school. But even when his family moved across town, we still found the time to get together.

Eric was a big comics' fan, too. He was very quiet about it, though. He was the first person I remember who bought comics through the mail from early dealers like Robert Bell and Howard Rogofsky. When I spent the night at Eric's, we'd stay up until all hours drawing and reading comics--- and we were often joined by Eric's brothers, Mark and Paul (Eric was in the middle), and by Eric's dad, who was also my family doctor. We had a wonderful childhood and our friendship stayed strong through high school, girlfriends, college, careers, marriages and our own kids.

I still think of my friend often, I still miss him and will never forget how blessed I've been to call him my friend. Peace! Joe

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New & Cool for 11/2/05

Each week at FLYING COLORS, we post a list of recommendations from the whole staff here, so it's time for the Retailing Brigade to "Sound off!"----

Joe: Simpsons' COMIC BOOK GUY'S Book of Pop Culture! (He's not me, I'm not him, but this IS funny!)

Mike: EXCALIBUR: The Sword is Drawn trade paperback (Classic Chris Claremont/ Alan Davis work)

Brian: JONAH HEX #1 ( Looks to be the re-launch of the year! Also check out SHOWCASE Presents Jonah Hex)

Jenny: SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED #12 (The first time Jenny has picked a super-hero comic, but this one is special---featuring one very moving story written by TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD's Tom Beland!)

Cindy: CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME Hardcover (Another wonderful work from writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale!)

Andy: WILDSIDERZ #2 (Don't over-look this one, it's a very fun book!)

Ed: POWERS #14 (Ed says "If it's Bendis, it's worth reading!")

Now, you'd think that would be enough in the recommendations' column. But there's so much more good stuff hitting the racks tomorrow, I have to tell you about a few more:

• Complete PEANUTS Volume 4, 1957-1958. Simply a must!
• AVENGERS Ultimate Guide, from DK Publishing. Spolier warning: if you are a current reader of NEW AVENGERS, please be warned that the surprise identity of the NINJA is revealed first in this book!
• LIBERALITY FOR ALL #1. Maybe you heard about this from Hannity & Colmes on FOX News...
• HOUSE OF M #8 The final chapter of the Marvel universe-changing series!

We've got your cool stuff right here--- in FLYING COLORS!

Comics Guru

November's Busting Out All Over...

Have you checked our stellar selection of comics-related statues and busts lately? Lots of great stuff from BOWEN Designs and DC Direct, including these new items on sale Wednesday November 2----

• Justice League Unlimited BLACK CANARY Maquette (DC Direct)
• Marvel's SANDMAN bust (Bowen)
• Absorbing Man bust (Bowen)
• Spider-Woman bust (Bowen)
• X-Men's PSYLOCKE bust (Bowen)

Also new this week:
• Convention Exclusive Marvel Select SHE-HULK action figure
• RESIDENT EVIL series 4 action figures
• Todd McFarlane's SPAWN Series 28 action figures
• MARVEL HEROES Chess Pieces (Very cool! In mystery-box packaging.)

Make it a cool day!