Free Comic Book Day – The People, the comics…. the hail?!

It has been a wild couple of weeks…

Free Comic Book Day not only was the annual comic giveaway across the country, but it was also the 30th anniversary for the teenage mutant ninja turtles. I was fortunate to be around for the special Eastman & Laird reunion and signing events for both Jetpack Comics in Rochester, NH and Shellback Artworks in Wells, ME.



Once again, I met up with several fandom friends, including Michele Ivey from Cowabunga Corner, Rich from, fellow Technodromer Plastroncafe, and local fans Babz and Zach. I also met Isaac and the camera crew for the TMNT Documentary that is mere months from being released upon the world. I’ll be posting news on that this week…

The crowds in Rochester were Big… estimates were that about 7,000 would show up, but it looked a lot closer to 10,000. People were in costumes everywhere: medieval soldiers in handmade armor, the unusual Deadpool donning a pink tutu and Hello Kitty umbrella, Ghostbusters (complete with a truck!), even a family that dressed up as April, Vernon, and a small herd of ninja turtle offspring. Seeing parents who were fans, bringing their kids along as brand new members of the fandom was a wonderful to see…

Countless people came to get signatures, handshakes, hugs and pictures with Kevin, Peter, Steve Lavigne and Jim Lawson. Jetpack had some weird pre-event package ‘deal’ of a $100 four-comic combo that would put you into a special line to get Peter’s signature. Kind of odd, since both Kevin and Peter were signing for whatever friendly face stepped up to the tables.

We hung out in the Knights of Columbus building, which was full of countless artists, illustrators, comic writers, book writers, comic vendors, anything you could think of… it was a place not only for the big name dealers, but also for local smaller-scale writers and businesses. It was a great resource to network and make new friends in the various industries. All of the turtle stuff was in this one location, so you could get all the IDW, Mirage, Collected books, Color Classics, Limited prints, whatever you wanted… I even found some back issues from the Archies TMNT and some of the odder ones from the previous Mirage volumes.

It was a fantastic time – hung out with the guys, got tons of pictures, it was a great event.

Now, there was two parts to FCBD here…

After the crowded streets of Rochester, NH, the adventured shifted to the not-as-crowded, but very nice, seaside town of Wells, Maine. Steve Lavigne, owner of Shellback Artworks and member of the Mirage Crew, hosted a special Sunday event with Kevin, Peter, and Jim Lawson, signing every type of TMNT and non-TMNT memorabilia possible – from bras to breakfast cereal and more. This was also the exclusive location for the first issue of Mirage vol. 4 in five years. Issue #32 will be discussed further in another post this weekend…

The lines packed the shop, extended down the stairs, past the cat boutique and down the street. Spirits were high, friendships were made, cookies and raffles were handed out and everyone waited with awesome patience. I spent my time chatting with a very friendly fan of the RPG games who even protected my comics in his bag while rolling showers and even a random hailstorm pelted us in the sunshine. It was some WILD weather, but that’s  New England – “If you don’t like the weather, give it fifteen minutes…”

The signing took much longer than expected, but all the mirage guys stayed as long as they could after normal hours. When I and the Cowabunga Corner Crew made it to the signing room upstairs, the poor guys looked like exhausted wet rag-mops, but they were still cheerfully signing away. You don’t get that kind of service at most other fandom signings. That’s why I love meeting the Mirage Crew… decent, down-to-earth people that go the extra mile for their fans.

So if you’re in the Northeast, or if you plan to visit the east coast, come on up and stop by. Steve’s always around to chat, and Jetpack is always fun to visit.

Thanks for reading!


Author: Hero_777

UK-Based, longterm TMNT enthusiast, proud parent and professional Santa Claus.