Review: Free Comic Book Day 2014

Every year Comic Book fans have a day that stands out above any other.  This day helps introduce people to new comics, brings communities closer together.  Gets creators out to meet their fans.  All while bringing happiness to the comic fans who gather for this day of fun and excitement.  Free Comic Book day.  In 2013 I reviewed two awesome gatherings that took place on the Holiday.  This year I only went to one, though for an important moment in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles history.  Here is my review of “Free Comic Book Day” 2014.

We arrived at 5am in Rochester, NH for the events.  I traveled this event with Miki, and our friend Kooki.  Getting there early we parked near the comic shop and waited in the car, till around 7am when someone else arrived and started the line.  Knowing the autograph session was not going to be there, I still wanted this to be the start of our day.  In the line we started talking with people around us, fastly making friends. One of these friends told a story of how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are helping her deal with some major life problems, making the fandom truly important to her at this time in her life. 

While visiting with our new friends, another good friend who we spent most of last Comic Book day with, Machias Banshee from the Technodrome Forums contacted me.  I came down and met up with her in line and pulled her to join our crew as we knew she will be with us for the entire day.  It was so much fun to catch up with our friends.  This is the real reason that I will like to keep going to Free Comic Book day at Jet Pack Comics.  I goofed off with puppets, showing photos, and even gave some autographed cards away. 

At 10am the doors opened and we walked through Jet Pack, checking out the books they had for offer.  Directly after getting our comics we headed to the location where the autograph sessions were to take place.  Making new friends in line, we waited for them to let us in.  This was the main pull for the events of the day, as both Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were to be signing autographs. 

This is to be the first time in 20 years that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were signing autographs together.  Last time I know for sure that this happened was on August 23rd at Turtle Con 1992.  While Eastman and Laird have been at the same events during these 20 years, like New York City Comic Con.  They were not together, Eastman would be at the Heavy Metal booth and Laird was in Artist Alley.  They would not go together for a signing.  Making this a great day for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans.

To our surprise was the new added rules of the event.  If you bought a set of four comics from the Jet Pack Comics website you were to be admitted in to get both Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s autograph, once Peter arrived at 1pm.  If you did not buy those comics, you could go in before Peter got there, and get Kevin’s autograph.  The four comics that you were to buy from the website cost $100!  Making this one really costly autograph session to be a part of, and you could only truly be a part of this if you knew their rules before the day of the events.

I did not know of these rules, so I went in for Kevin’s autograph.  In line with our new friends, and making more friends as we stood around.  Fiona came out through the line, it was great seeing her again.  Fiona is a good friend who works for Kevin, as I met her back when she worked at the Words & Pictures Museum.  One of the friendly faces I looked forward to see every time I went to the museum.  We made it through the line, I picked up a book to get signed by the group at the merch table. 

Two other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist there was Jim Lawson and Steve Lavigne.  They were at the tables right next to where Peter should be sitting when he got there.  We all stopped there and hung out at the building.  I took time to catch up with Steve and Jim.  I also walked around and looked at the booths there at the event.  It’s like a mini convention, with dealers selling toys and comics, and artist showing their stuff through this artist alley.

Just before Peter Laird arrived, Kevin went on a break.  At this time they stopped the outside line, since those people paid for both Eastman and Laird.  So I encouraged my friends to go up and say hi to Peter before the line was sent in.  They went up and got their autographs.  This was good to see, as I know their hearts were broken thinking they were not going to get this chance.

Once Kevin returned, they did photos with Eastman and Laird, before they sat down to do their signing.  I thought for sure they would be at the same table, so you truly had them together.  Though they both had their own tables, right next to each other.  Fans seemed to enjoy their chance to meet both of the talented creators.  I enjoyed seeing so many happy fans and friends go through.  It was a surprise to see Plastron Cafe from the Technodrome forums.  I also enjoyed seeing the TMNT documentary crew.  And Rich was there sharing information about his TMNT Collection website.  http://tmnt-ninjaturtles.com/

This was the day, for those who just wanted autographs it was just a line wait away.  Though for those of us who are there to hang out with good friends while making new friends, this becomes a full day event.  Seeing people dressed as their favorite characters and bringing some of their favorite collectables to be autographed.  Truly a fun event to come to yearly.  The only real complaint is how they tried to block people from getting Peter’s autograph.  People did leave hurt and angry by this rule.  It should of been a joyous day for the fandom, not one where money talked.  

Over all I enjoyed the day and hope that everyone else did as well.  A big shout out to Babz, Zach, Plastron Cafe, and Machias!  Thanks for hanging out and making this day totally worth the long drive.  Looking forward lots more time to hang out and talk Turtles with everyone!

Did you do anything for Free Comic Book day?  Please share your stories of the day, which comics you got and friends you hung out with!  All reviews, comments and questions welcomed below! 

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