Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Free Comic Book Day - Tale of A Diva and A Kilt

Freebies from Kinokuniya
It was Free Comic Book Day last Saturday (May 7) - to the gleeful delight of comic book fans around the world.

The event was also celebrated on the Red Dot Island - with fun activities heating up in three local book stores!

In fact, the weather itself was relentlessly Hot and Humid that day. Red Dot Diva declared that it was almost nuclear, and she nearly melted into gooey glittery particles.

The day began with an early bus ride to Kinokuniya main book store at Orchard Road because there was the giveaway specially for members from 10 am to 12 pm. The simple collection booth was located at the "Crossroads" of the store, and when Red Dot Diva arrived at about 10.30 am or so, there was hardly anyone around!

She simply walked up to the booth and collected her freebies - 2 random comic books which were already pre-packed into Kino plastic bags, plus a cute little Green Lantern HeroClix. (See pic of her Kino stash above.)

Kino's FCBD collection booth
As the Kinokuniya FCBD store giveaway was announced at regular intervals, more members approached the booth to collect their bags. Most did not seem to know that it was Free Comic Book Day.

The graphic novels section at Kino was pretty packed with the hardcore comic shoppers though, mainly because of the 20% special discount offered.

While observing the almost non-existent line at the Kino booth, Red Dot Diva bumped into 2/3 of the HereBeGeeks dudes and chatted with them for awhile. It was nice seeing them again.

After which, she went to hunt down some brunch-like noms. She was absolutely starving for some reason or other!!

The next FCBD stop was GnB Comics store at Rochor - a definite hot spot for the local comic geeks. The FCBD fun was to begin at 1 pm till 5 pm, with a special appearance by comic artist Gary Erskine.

On the way, the heat got progressively worse, and that didn't help much when one had to patiently stay in line for the chance to get into the GnB store! When Red Dot Diva arrived, the queue was already about 30-40 people deep.

While the folks sweltered it out in the muggy afternoon heat, Green Lantern and Spiderman walked down the line handing out FCBD stickers to everyone. Red Dot Diva thought poor Spidey looked as if he was going to wilt like a pale-white spider lily.

Leonard Shoh, one of the GnB Comics crew, came by to check out the line and when he saw her, he loudly chastised Red Dot Diva for "not coming to the store early". Hehe. Guilty!

Standing outside with already a stash of comics and hardcovers were 2/5 of Team Jove Pater - Aravind and Samuel - who were regulars of the store. It was definitely good catching up on geeky stuff with these dudes too.

It took about 15 minutes of waiting in line before Red Dot Diva was finally able to seek air-conditioned reprieve in the store itself. Phew! At the door, a familiar face from Reed Exhibitions was handing out free Kalkitos stickers as promo for this year's STGCC in August.

Red Dot Diva noted that special guest Gary Erskine was already signing stuff for fans, and there was a separate line for that.

Gary with a fan

But first, Red Dot Diva has to get her free comics. This is what FCBD is all about, isn't it? There were tons of comic books put out for members and visitors to grab. Many were older and not so popular titles, which GnB warned were "not suitable for children". Oooh. Naughty graphic novels!

She patiently trudged along in the queue and nabbed 5 comics, including "Captain America/ Thor" (Marvel), "Star Wars/ Avatar" (Dark Horse) and the "Dark Crystal"/ "Mouseguard" flipbook by Archaia. And then, as she squeezed pass folks in the crowded shop, she managed to quickly purchase a copy of "The Filth" so that she could get Gary Erskine to sign it for her.

It was very fortunate that the autograph line for Gary was not too long at that point in time. Red Dot Diva was only the fourth in line. And it was then that she spotted......*gasp*.... THE KILT.

No wonder it has been so Hot. Gary was *The One* who had turned up the heat by several notches! (Lookie at the evidence on right!) Woooo.... *fans herself*

When she introduced herself to Gary, he flashed a big, warm, friendly smile. Gary had remembered her because she helped re-tweet the time of his special appearance at GnB.

Red Dot Diva, ever the nosy blogger, quickly took the chance to ask Gary a couple of questions, which he was very happy to answer. All in that warm, musical Scottish brogue of his! (Apologies about the background noise from excited fans in the shop!)

Here's Gary sharing how he ended up on Red Dot Island for this year's FCBD and what he found artistically inspiring or culturally interesting here:

As there were others waiting in line, she quickly asked if she could take a pic of Gary and his sexy kilt. When he stood up beside her to pose for the camera, Gary exclaimed, "Oh, you're so tiny!" Eeep. Red Dot Diva sure did feel like a midget standing beside super tall Gary.

Gary's minder, who was helping to take pics, then pointed out to him Red Dot Diva's cute superheroes tee, which Gary found really amusing. He also noticed that there was a graphic of cartoony Spidey printed at the back of Red Dot Diva's tee, and both him and the minder said that they had to take a pic of that.

Hence.... these cute Front and Back pics... ;)

Much kudos to the GnB Comics team for their hard work and making their FCBD a fun, geek-worthy stop!!

There was also new store at 313 Somerset called Harris Planerds which was giving away free comics, besides having special appearances of local comic artists that day. If it weren't for a bloody date with "Macbeth" at Fort Canning Hill that same evening, Red Dot Diva would have geeked out at Planerds too. If one is curious as to what went down at Planerds, check out the HereBeGeeks blog post!

So, despite the terrible heat (of which Red Dot Diva partially blames Gary Erskine and his kilt), it was a very awesome FCBD indeed!

Here's looking forward to next year's FCBD!!

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