Free Comic Book Day 2013

Over the years, Free Comic Book Day has turned into a sort of combination of Black Friday and Halloween for nerds.

Tomorrow, May 4, is Free Comic Book Day, the annual event where people can go to participating comic book stores and get free stuff. Not only are there special comic books to be had, other comic book related items are usually there for the taking as well. Most participating comic book retailers also use the annual event to promote their business by having sales on back issues and other merchandise.

Over the years, Free Comic Book Day has turned into a sort of combination of Black Friday and Halloween for nerds.

Hagerstown is of course without a comic book shop since the city condemned the building in which it resides. That means anyone in Hagerstown who wants to enjoy Free Comic Book Day must travel to Comics World in Chambersburg or Brainstorm Comics & Gaming and Beyond Comics, both in Frederick. Yes, that’s right. The city of Hagerstown doesn’t have a comic book shop while the neighboring city of Frederick has two. They also have a Costco while we don’t, but we do have a nicer Sam’s Club. Yes, that’s right, Frederick has both a Costco and a Sam’s Club. No wonder people in Frederick think they’re better than everyone else in Western Maryland.

I probably wont be attending any Free Comic Book Day events tomorrow as my schedule for tomorrow already looks as though it’s already full.

Ugly looking Star Trek Phaser rifle sold for $231,000

A Phaser rifle only used in the second pilot episode of the original Star Trek television series fetched a whopping $231,000 at auction yesterday. Julien’s Auctions, the auction house that sold the Phaser rifle, thought the piece of Star Trek history would go for around $70,000. It turns out they underestimated just how rich at least some Star Trek fans are.

I wouldn’t pay that much for a Phaser rifle unless it could really kill Klingons or Romulans, and I don’t mean by bashing them over the head with it.

PHASR-phaser-rifleI’d love to know a thing or two about the person who purchased this prop. They know it’s only a prop, right? I wonder how they arrived at a place in life where they can spend $231,000 on a piece of obscure Star Trek history. After the second pilot episode, the prop was never used on the show again. It was only used in publicity photos of William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk.

I’m guessing whoever purchased this thing doesn’t drink the supermarket brand of cola, nor do they buy their clothes at Marshalls or T.J. Max. It’s just a hunch.

Show me someone who spends over two hundred grand on a non-working Phaser rifle and I’ll show you someone who probably buys a lot of over-priced, stupid things.

Hagerstown’s lone comic book shop condemned by city

atomic-comics-hagerstownThe old Hamilton Hotel building, located in the heart of downtown Hagerstown, has been condemned by the city. The reason? The building was without heat for the entire winter, causing the water pipes to freeze and then burst. The building’s lone tenant, Atomic Comics, Hagerstown’s lone comic book shop, has been forced to close indefinitely.

Anyone who has visited Atomic Comics in the last 15 years should not find it surprising that its been condemned. It was always very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. It reeked of dust and cigarette smoke. The aisles were always extremely cluttered with boxes and miscellaneous pieces of junk. The last time I was there, this was years ago, there was a used above-ground swimming pool folded up with a “for sale” sign on it sitting near the door. It was the first thing you saw when you walked in. My guess is that when a city inspector visited the location after the pipes burst, it was the first time anyone from the city set foot in Atomic Comics.

According to the Herald-Mail, Atomic Comics never even had a restroom, which is against city code. Why did it take the city this long to discover how bad the conditions there were? That an area business located across the street from the county courthouse didn’t even have a restroom?

The place should have been condemned years ago. If Hagerstown city officials had been doing their jobs, it would have been.

Update: Bleeding Cool, the Internet’s premiere comic book news site, has posted about the closing and the following comment was left by a reader:

I was actually just at this store on Saturday. A friend and I were looking for stuff that our shop had missed, and in the past, Atomic had been the “not my regular, but once or twice a year” shop. We thought it was a bit odd that the electricity was off – especially since this isn’t the best organized shop when the lights are on. But the owner had flashlights and spotlights, so we got to play Silent Hill – The Comic Shop. It was definitely a surreal experience, and I hope he can find a workable solution. I don’t envy him moving his store stock though.

Photo: Victoria Pembroke / Walk Score