Light, Tunnels, and Endings

Today was a really great day, and a really hard day. There seems to be a lot of hard days lately. I’ve discovered that I’m not built for tedium, that I can’t function well without a structure.

When you work in a comic shop, the days meter out. Tuesday, you process shipment, Wednesday you sell like crazy. Thursday, you clean up and process, and do re-orders. Friday, you wrap up projects and – if you’re a store that runs them – you have a Magic: the Gathering tournament. The weekends, are yours. Or they were. Starting the comic shop means weekends are back on the schedule, but the weekend can still be yours, you just have to know how to work things right. A comic store can be a fun place if you allow it, and if you do the bulk of your work during the week, Saturday and Sunday can be days of relative rest. You get right back to things on Monday by doing your final order cut offs, and preparing for the days to come once more. On and on it goes.

Some people would find the routine strangling. I thrive on it. I know what my time looks like, know where I can slip things in and write or play or vegetate. Today was not that. Today was another day of chaos, punctuated by victories and a weird phone call. The good news? Things move ever closer to getting back into a store, and getting comics into the hands of people. I miss that more than any other part of the process. The connectivity. The shared experience.

Soon. Very, very soon.


I think every blog ever stops posting with the promise of more posts. I think by virtue of the fact that I do that quite regularly here, that will be the case. But until then.


  • Variant Edition is coming along quite nicely. We announced last week that we would be located at 10441 – 123rd St here in Edmonton. What everyone doesn’t know, is when we plan on opening. Whelp, the answer is “not as soon as you’d like” and “sooner than you think”, depending on what you’re thinking. I don’t think anyone has really guessed at what we’re aiming for, but even if they did, I couldn’t confirm it anyway. So.
  • Now that a few more things are in place, I have more time to devote to getting more retailer articles out – so coming up soon, you’re going to get an earful on just what it’s taken to set up the store, and my take on Marvel and DC both going through relaunches of a sort in the next few weeks.
  • What else. Uh… we binged through the first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt this weekend, and that was something else. It has that 30 Rock insanity, but with more of a heart, I think. The core of the show basically tells you that you should be proud of who you are, not who anyone else wants you to be. It’s pretty great.
  • The internet announced a new dude Ghostbusters movie and hey, I think that’s pretty dumb. Guaranteed, someone got scared and greenlit this to “balance” things out. Because you guys, where are all the movies with male leads. Have the ladies Tak3n them all away? What will the Hemsworths DO.

And that’s Tuesday. Tomorrow, Brandon Fights City Hall, and I may or may not tell you about it. Productive!

Wake-Up Call: The Ides of March

Wait, “ides” are a bad thing, aren’t they? I probably shouldn’t have brought “ides” into this. There are no “ides” here. Nor do I seem to have the ability to go back and delete things it seems.

Oh, the things I’ll do for a dumb opening paragraph.

  1. I’ve started to make a little schedule for myself, and have made a promise to bag out at least 250 words on nonsense on this blog every weekday. At least. I have the time (sort of) and I’m still trying to train myself to write on a regular schedule. It’s been almost 30 years, and nothing has seemed to take. Oh well. Let’s try this.
  2. Tomorrow, I’ll be announcing where Variant Edition will be located. Many have asked, but few properly know. One person got fairly irate about not knowing, and uh… sorry about that, but the lease hadn’t been signed. You understand, right? (You don’t understand, I know, but also, I uh… don’t care. So.) Anyway, tomorrow, if you don’t keep up with any of the Variant Edition feeds I run, I’ll be dropping that information here, because marketing.
  3. This past week, Danica and I posted the first part of Doctor Whooch’s 50th Episode, which is crazy for several reasons. First: we’ve done fifty episodes of this, and second? We invited everyone who had been on the show before to go on. It’s a beautiful mess that had to be pulled apart into two episodes. It’s… it’s pretty wonderful.

And that’ll be the that for today. If you want to find me, I’ll probably be screaming nonsense on the internet all day long, so catch me there. Maybe tomorrow I’ll put together something better. Probably not.

Anna Confidence

Doctor Whooch // Episode 049 // Sweet Nightmare

In which there’s lots of singing. So. Be aware.

On the eve of our 50th episode, we head back to the very beginning of Doctor Who, watching two version of the premiere episode “An Unearthly Child”, and the second episode “The Cave of Skulls”. Along the way, we talk a bit of business, recount the time we were “fake Who geeks” on a panel, and comment on the literal garbage set that kicked off Doctor Who. Also, Brandon is really drunk and does a bunch of weird voices. The weirdo.

Outro music is “Rockin’ in the Free World” by Neil Young and Pearl Jam


Doctor Whooch // Episode 048 // Slaps and Giggles


This week, we’re back watching sexy Torchwood for the sexy second series episodes “Adam” and “Reset”. Only good things happen in these episodes, and no one is cavernously sad. Also, Ianto’s cry-face is a million times better. Maybe because he’s in the fetal position? Like we said, these were sexy episodes. Also, we watched a lot of Parks and Rec, which is a thing we hadn’t really done before now, alongside some (one) slaps and some (lots) of giggles. But you kinda already guessed that part probably. You’re so smart. We like your face.

Outro music is “The Pit” by Mouse Rat


The Weekly Pull // Frankenstein

Going to the comic store as a civilian has been a strange experience. From this side of the counter, I can understand how people would skip on adding books to their file, in that I’ve yet to make changes to mine in the past few weeks… despite the fact that there’s a chance some of the books I’m interested in won’t be on the shelves by the time I get into the store. So there’s that.

This week, I’m starting a self indulgent look at my pull list. If I’m being honest, I’m doing this because I’m talking about comics about 95% less than I usually do, and it’s really freaking me out. If I’m being more honest, I’ll probably continue this after my shop starts because I’m just conceited enough to believe you might care about what I read. Let’s uh… let’s do this. Continue reading The Weekly Pull // Frankenstein

Doctor Whooch // Episode 047 // Broadperch

In which Brandon is a parrot for much of the podcast, for reasons.

This week, we return to Torchwood for a pair of second series episodes (“To The Last Man” and “Meat”). Both of these feature meat, but only one features man meat. From there, the usual madness occurs. Brandon goes full German, we administer some British history and sex education and somehow talk about idependant butt stuff. Like you do.

Outro music is “A Bushell and A Peck” by The Andrews Sisters


The Next Phase

Over the past couple of months, a lot of people asked me what I was going to do after leaving Wizard’s – the comic store I’d been working at for over eight years. For the most part, I’ve been telling people to keep an eye out because… well, because I wasn’t quite sure myself. I knew I wanted to write more, and that I wanted to take more control of my placement in the world, but beyond that, the options were pretty wide open. In the end, a few strange and wonderful life-shaped curveballs brought me to this:

In 2015, I will be starting my own comic shop.

You can find a bit more on what prompted the decision at Comics Beat, where my first retail column of the year is up. As for what the store will be called or where it’s going to be… well, stay tuned. I’m not trying to be coy, I just don’t have everything locked in yet, beyond the fact that I’m bound and determined to make this happen and I don’t want to blow some of the hows and whys before they become solid, tangible things. Just know that when everything’s ready, you’ll all be among the first to know.

Until then, keep a tight eye on this site. In addition to the odd small update, it’s going to keep track of what I’m writing and where, in addition to the big announcement when it happens.

Oh, and thank you all so much for your support over the years. Without you, none of this would be possible and… well, honestly, without you none of this will be possible, so thank you thank you thank you, and we will definitely talk soon.

Party Pooper

I’m dropping this safely in the confines of my personal blog because… well, it’s not so much a valid criticism so much as it’s personal feeling.

I love the idea of the Image Expo. I love a big, industry melting thing that celebrates the achievements of one of the best publishers in the business today. But you guys. These announcements. They need to be reigned in a little. I mean… yes, pretty much everything announced today was exciting and I absolutely can’t wait for the majority of these to get into my hands. But. Image is having the same problem Marvel and DC used to have when they started announcing books coming out six months to a year from their ship dates. They’re getting excited about product in development, and they’re blowing announcements in a big splash in order to make the company look strong for a couple of days at the detriment to the books that just aren’t ready. I mean hey, remember all those Nick Spencer announcements from… what was it, a year ago? Those looked pretty good, right? Where are they? And honestly, can you tell me what they were about without looking them up?

Each Image Expo has announced books that have yet to ship – and they started doing this roughly 3 years ago. And man, I love getting excited about comics, but I’d rather the company hold onto some of those announcements until they know the titles will be shipping out in a healthy time frame after the announcements, you know? And yeah, I know it’s all creator owned content, and Image can’t control what they don’t own, but… I dunno, maybe focus the lens on books on the schedule proper, you know? It’s not like they don’t make great books – so what if the names attached aren’t big. Isn’t this all about content anyway? It should be.