'K, yesterday was me birthday so I took the opportunity to shoot off to London and quickly hit the four central comic chops, all conveniently located mere minutes' walk away from the next one.
Starting at Gosh, one of my favourite comic shops, I picked up the softcover JMS/Ribic Silver Surfer trade, Shamballah (featuring Arthur Ranson's Judge Anderson, I character I always liked but who usually suffers from art not to my taste) and The Strange World of Steve Ditko. While adding to my newly regenerating pile of books to get through, this was an odd choice for me as I'm not a huge Ditko fan, although I'd sooner read his stuff than Kirby's. However, the book's had great reviews and looked great so I decided to pick it up---although the inside sleeve lists Ditko as originating the design for the Hulk, which he never (although his inking over Kirby on the strip was great).
Then popped in briefly to Comicana, an odd back issue den that is run by a guy who has a till but writes every purchase down in a book despite also having a laptop open next to him! I was looking for Magneto back issues and a Jurgens-era Teen Titans Annual that I just discovered John Cassaday drew but came out empty handed.
I then made my way over to the main Forbidden Planet, which always wows me with its stunning 6 meter glass cabinet displaying some great statues, busts and odd merchandise. I picked up a Darwyn Cooke-illustrated Jonah Hex issue (with a surprisingly good script--although the crisp computer lettering doesn't really suit the ambiance of the story) and located some Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane digests and decided to keep an eye out for the upcoming second hardcover as I enjoyed the first one. However, I made the mistake of sampling Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos' first issue, which looked bloody awful.
A quick trip to Orbital comics and then I was off home as I decided I do still hate London now. Plus, it stinks. Birmingham and New York are both so much better.
In the afternoon, my mate Martin dropped around and shared a few cans before deciding we should hit the local pub for a few quick drinks around 5.00---we didn't leave till 11.40 and I got pretty plastered. While my head is fine today, I'm definitely feeing slightly dehydrated today and a bit knackered. Luckily, I'm in training and not having to handle a ton of aggravating calls today.
The reason we stayed in the pub is essentially due to the 24-year old new landlady. The pub was empty apart from us for all but about an hour and as we got talking, we discovered she had previously been on a film course and as we got gabbing further, we found out she was into comic book movies, Kevin Smith movies, horror films and tons of general stuff that had us sparking all night. At the end of the night she actually thanked us for being her first interesting customers and she even loaned me a DVD, for which I said I shall try and reciprocate when I return the DVD. It was so cool to go in for a quick sherbet and unexpectedly finding somebody with such similar interests that led to hours of conversation.
Generally it may not sound astounding, but I have to say I had a pretty groovy birthday this year!