Sunday, May 31, 2009

Housecleaning

I've spent a good portion of today cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, doing laundry and ironing, scrubbing the bathtub, washing the dog, etc.) plus a small assortment of other domestic activities (sorting coupons, cooking dinner, going over my finances, etc.) so I thought I'd just run with the theme and do some housecleaning of sorts here as well.

As you've probably noticed already, I updated the cartoon of myself up at the top. The previous one was thrown together rather quickly, and I've since gotten new glasses and a really cool hat (after totally scorching my ears, neck and mostly bald scalp several times this summer already). The new art is a little more realistic and a bit more accurate representation of me.

You may have noticed a couple weeks ago, I updated the subscription feed options on the right-hand nav. Hopefully, this will make it easier for readers to subscribe in the format most friendly/usable to them.

I've also set up an account so that you can have this blog sent to your Kindle. Amazon's priced me at $1.99 a month (I had no control over that) and I hope anyone who subscribes that way finds it worth it. The first two weeks are free at least! You can subscribe for your Kindle here. Right now, I'm one of only 30 comic-related blogs available and (not having a Kindle myself) would be curious to hear what anyone might think of the experience.

I may as well also throw out there that I'm on Facebook and my posts here are synched with my FB account as well, if you'd prefer reading through that outlet.

Finally, I've updated my "Comics I'm Reading" list. I've added a few new regulars and removed a few that have either ended or just no longer interested me. As always, I can find something to recommend in all of the comics on that list (I wouldn't read them otherwise), so you're encouraged to click on any of those links that sound interesting.

"Real" updates resume tomorrow.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Get Yourself Some Free Comics!

So, if you're like just about every other comic fan in this recession, you're trying to make your comic book budget go farther these days. Maybe you're skipping the pamphlets and waiting for the trade. Maybe you're shopping somewhere else to get a deeper discount. And I'm sure you were ALL OVER Free Comic Book Day!

But one aspect of obtaining free comics often gets overlooked, and I'm here to enlighten you all and help grow your collections more cheaply! The key to getting more books for free is: contests.

That's right, contests.

Now, you're thinking, "Contests? What contests? There aren't that many comic book contests -- how is that going to help me get free comics?"

Actually, I've been keeping my eye out for a little while, and there are in fact any number of contests going on in comicdom all the time. Some require a modicum of creativity (Geek Syndicate is now judging their Atomic Robo and the Crazy Ass Titles Competition entries), some require artistic talent (IDW should be announcing the winner of their 10th Anniversary Logo Contest any day now), some just require a little knowledge (Blog@Newsarama just gave away a number of copies of Brave and the Bold #23), and some don't need anything beyond some plain ol' luck (Kevin Church just passed out three copies of Potter's Field). There're also contests pretty regularly on Marvel Masterworks Resource Page, Dark Horse Comics' site and Graphic Novel Reporter's site.

It's mostly a matter of keeping your eyes and ears open, and jumping in on them as soon as you can. Many require nothing more than simply posting a comment or sending an email. Most answers to trivia questions can be Googled easily enough. The only real reason NOT to take advantage of them is that you don't care for the comics they're giving away.

"But, Sean," you protest, "how many free comics can I get really?"

Well, here's a sampling of comics and comic-related material I've won in contests...


Yes, I said "sampling." This doesn't include anything I bought with gift certificates that I've won, and I know I've left off a few things that I can't find images of online. I expect I've also forgotten some others entirely.

Now maybe I didn't enjoy each and every item there as much as I'd like, but there's also quite a few that I enjoyed very much. And a good number of these I wouldn't have bought on my own to try, but was quite pleased to sample a new or different creator.

My point is that there are PLENTY of opportunities out there, and they're often well worth taking advantage of. Especially in this economy!