June 8, 2012

Comics, graphic novels, and my first-ever giveaway!

Not long ago, I was asked to participate in a podcast about all-things geeky (because, if you haven't realized by now what a big geek I am, you're probably reading my blog for the first time). I agreed, and was given a list of topics about which I could talk.

Right away, I vetoed two: gaming and comics.

Gaming was an obvious veto for me. The few times Charles tried to get me to play Halo or Splinter Cell, I've gotten my avatar stuck in a corner, spinning around, because I just can't figure out the PS3 controller. I can play racing games a little better, but that always results in my contact lenses drying out and my eyes getting itchy. Oh well, I'm not meant to be a gamer.

But comics was more of a knee-jerk, "I don't read comics" reaction, and upon further reflection, it may not have been the right choice.

Hear me out here.

I don't read comics. At least, not traditionally. I have always equated "comics" with "superheroes," and while I love a good superhero flick (Ohmigosh, The Avengers is AMAZING!),  I've always found superhero comics to be a bit...overwhelming. The colors! The confusing speech bubbles! The flashy costumes!  Dude...give me Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in black over any other Wolverine in yellow and blue any day!!

But then one day recently, I realized.

Maus. That's a graphic novel. And it's about the Holocaust. 

Man, I devoured that book. Part 1 AND Part 2. I even read Metamaus, about the creation of Maus. That's how much I loved it.

I read another war-related graphic novel called Alan's War after I finished Maus the first time. That was also pretty amazing.

Then, recently, Charles turned me onto Locke and Key, written by Joe Hill, who, if you don't know, is the son of the great Stephen King. And man, dude can write almost as well as his papa! Plus, the artwork, by Gabriel Rodriguez, is amazing.  I'm still working my way through the four existing volumes, and I'm enjoying them all so far.

And finally, of course, you possibly know of my undying love for all things Walking Dead, for obvious reasons. I am addicted to the series on AMC. I have action figures! I write zombie novels! 

But I'll be honest; I'm afraid to read those books right now. I can't get past the part where Rick rides a horse into Atlanta, because I don't want to see the horse get torn to bits. Plus I know...once I get past that scene, I'm going to blow through the rest of the pages, to the detriment of everything else I do (writing, family, work...). So I'm keeping those at arms' length, still, even though I know I will love them.

And so, maybe I do read comics. Maybe my knee-jerk veto was inaccurate. 

One thing I've enjoyed about comics lately, for sure, is watching Charles buying and selling on eBay. Wow - people pay a LOT of money for comics! Original superhero ones go for thousands upon thousands! First run Walking Dead issues aren't far behind right now, thanks to the success of the series.

Which brings me to this: my first giveaway.

Robert Kirkman, one of the creators of The Walking Dead, has a new comic series out called Thief of Thieves. AMC has already picked it up for development. First run copies of the first few issues are already selling like hotcakes (and for significantly more than the $3 cover price) all over the internets. 

I just so happen to have a copy of issue #1 (first printing), donated by my lovely husband Charles, who picked up a bunch of copies a while back at our favorite local comic shop. I'll happily give this copy away to a random commenter on this blog post.  All you need to do is leave a comment here (with your email address, please - I'll need to contact you if you win, but I promise not to use any email address for anything nefarious like creating an email list), before 8 p.m. Monday, June 11, and you could win! 

Hope to see you in the comments section!!


w_layne_h said...

i need to read locke and key. and you will most definitely love walking dead. it is immense. you already know my email address. :)

Ellen said...

I'm not a gamer either, I laughed out loud when I read your description about your avatar being stuck in a corner. Ditto for me!! I'm pretty sure you can reach me on facebook. :)

Lucas Hedgren said...

You know, there are games other than the ones you play on your tv/computer screen. They even allow you to blink. :) http://www.boardgamegeek.com/

Also, Thief of Thieves is great. My new fave is Saga. Check it out, it's only 3 issues in.

(BTW, don't pick me as the winner, I have ToT already.)

roblatham90 said...

If you like darker colors checkout batman, the recent annual was really well done. Ive just started collecting comics again after Avengers reinvigorated my nerdiness and would love to add this to my new collection

Meredith Short said...

Usually punny titles like "Locke and Key" or "Nick of Time" (in which the protag is a guy called Nick) irk me something fierce, but your endorsements so far have been smashing. I'll give these a whirl.

As for gaming, I'm with you. My greatest gaming ambition is to get a tabletop Galaga machine. Beyond that, I'll stick with BOARDgames, thanks.

Emily said...

I also love Maus! Those are probably my favorite comic books. I'll check out this Alan's War book!
My email is eftrunko@gmail.com!

MrZarq said...

There's more to gaming than the high-profile multi-million action oriented XBOX360/PS3/PC games. There's a lot of great indie games, like Minecraft.

But right now, the best way to get some indie games is the new Humble Indie Bundle. Pay whatever you want for 4 great games: the classic platformer Psychonauts, the very atmospheric puzzle game LIMBO, the horror phenomenon Amnesia and the very weird point-and-click game Sword & Sworcery.

If you pay more than the average ($8.30 at the moment), you get 4 extra games, including Braid, another great platform puzzle game. What's more, is that you can decide how that money is divided amongst the game developers, Humble Bundle Inc and a charity.

(Email: jensrammant[at]gmail.com

Leah said...

Thanks for all the comments, people! :) I should add that I'm totally ok with not being a gamer - between working, mom-ing and writing, gaming is not high on my priorities for now...maybe later?

That said, thanks for all the tips - my husband does already have the Humble Bundle (the name makes me smile!), and is thoroughly enjoying LIMBO.

Happy Sunday!!!

Mikey Mike said...

Limbo is such a great game. Also check out Saga for some great reading as others have suggested. Maybe its because I just had a daughter that I can relate to it so well but I'm sure you will get a kick out of it too. Haven't read Thief of Thieves but have been wanting to hunt it down. Email is the_laughingman@live.com Cheers!

Eric Burrow said...

Soooo much good non superhero graphic narratives out there. Although ur just dabbling you did make some excellent choices. Don't forget Y the last man. Email Eric.burrow@gmail.com

Charles said...

We have Y: The Last Man and Saga in the house. Both are great titles!

Rowdie Richie said...

Locke & Key rules! I want to win! sloangods@gmail.com. Cool blog, thanks!

Lucas Hedgren said...

Yay Y:tLM, Yay Humble Bundle, Yay Braid, Yay Limbo, and Yay Sword & Sworcery! All good things.

Leah said...

Since I am all high-tech and shit...I just assigned everyone a number in a spreadsheet, wrote numbers on little pieces of paper, crumbled them up, put them in my favorite hat, closed my eyes and drew!!

Rowdie Richie, you won! And not just because your name made me giggle, I swear!

I'll email you for details and such!

Thanks to everyone for participating! (Layne, sorry, buddy...I know you had your heart set on winning... :) )

Rowdie Richie said...

Well that's an awesome way to start a day! Glad to know my Excel paper hack works! Thanks so much, Leah, for running this slick giveaway and for entertaining us all with your writing. Subscribed!

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