Off the Record Collection: Book Launch Party at Challengers Comics

After work on Friday, I headed over to Challengers Comics, to attend the book launch party for Off the Record Collection. Since we had a little time before the event actually began, a few of us headed over for a quick pre-event drink at the Green Eye.

Mike, Chris and James (the consummate professional, sipping on a Diet Coke).

Outside Challengers Comics. Given how close I am, I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first visit. Walking inside… it’s by far one of the nicest comic stores I’ve ever been in.

Nice promo ad on the screen.

James’ book available for purchase, at the front counter.

As we were wandering around prior to the event starting, James showed us a small illustration that his son Noah made. It’s Batman vs. Joker and Harley Quinn. How awesome is this?

Lots and lots of comics. Though I have several titles I follow, the idea of purchasing issues never really crosses my mind. I think it might be my binge mentality, where I want to spend an hour plus reading through a comic… and don’t like the small bursts, even if they are more often. My mind goes to cigarettes – why buy one at a time?

Fitting that I turn to an addiction metaphor. Walking around, I got this craving to just plop on the floor and read every damn thing in the store.

Heh. Does this look familiar to anyone?

Some fun Hello Kitty inspired sketches.

Here’s a nice photo that James took of Mike, Chris and me.

James, checking out a photo taken by Patrick (one of the owners).

There were a few comics I was interested in purchasing, and I ended up asking about a mini-series entitled Kingdom Come. My friend Walt had told me about a continuation of the storyline, and I asked if they might have it in stock.

One of the employees, Molly, ended up helping me out and tracked down the Thy Kingdom Come – the story-arc that picked up in Justice Society of America. She and I got to talking, and I had her recommend a few things based on the comics I’ve liked and am currently reading (Sandman, Fables, Ex Machina).

I have to admit – I got a small crush on Molly. She really knows her stuff and gave me a ton of recommendations. In addition to me picking up the latest Walking Dead, I also got a series called Northlanders. On my to-buy list: Scalped, Invincible and The Unwritten.

Chris, checking out the artwork in the area of the shop entitled the Rogues Gallery. There is where I presume all the authors and artists hold court and greet the customers/fans.

Another view of the gallery…

Behind the front register, there’s a large white wall chock full of illustrations. When I asked Patrick about the wall, I learned that it wasn’t just visiting artists who drew on it. Any customer is welcome to do a sketch or sign their name.

The folks running the register were nice enough to let me slip behind the counter and take a few closeups.

Hey, look! One of the bagmen from Jack of Fables!

James, with friends. He was also checking in on his son’s Little League game, which unfortunately was scheduled for the same day/time.

And look who we met: Matt Brelje and Jessica! We all had a nice catch-up session, learning a bit more about what Matt’s been up to.

Unfortunately, I called it a night fairly early. Given my sleep schedule from last night, I got pretty punchy around 8PM.

Congratulations to James, on his book launch. If you’d like a copy of your very own, you can pick one up via Amazon.

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