Six-for-six in 2012 (July 31, 2012)

Of the six comic book events I've done this year, all six have had increased sales over the same show in 2011. The most recent was Rob Con in Bristol, TN 10 days ago.

After five increases in five shows leading up to Rob Con, I would not have been surprised to see the streak end in Bristol, because the bar was set so high by the last three Rob Cons at Bristol Mall. This year's show was moved to Viking Hall, a more spacious venue, and with a substantial increase in vendors, I would not have been surprised to have a solid, but not better show.

Mourning in Mayberry (July 4, 2012)

The death of Andy Griffith was the latest in a long string of losses this year of actors and musicians. It seems that in half a year there have been a decade's worth of passages of stars. The music world has lost Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Levon Helm, Davy Jones, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Dick Clark, Etta James, as well as several others I've overlooked or forgotten. In tv-movies there are George Lindsey, Jonathan Frid, Frank Cady (who looked old as Sam Drucker 50 years ago), Richard Dawson.

Haytime for Heroes (the Weddington Squirrel) June 30, 2012

June is usually dominated by two events: Hay Season and the Heroes Comic Convention in Charlotte. The hay season can last from 10 days (no rain) to as long as 27 days (persistant rain). Depending on the Heroes date, hay can start after Heroes or be done before it arrives. A few times the dates conflict, as was the case with 2012, but since the Compton Family, who we help put up 8,000 to 10,000 square bales, also had some conflicts, I didn't miss any hay time.

Sic transit ephemera (June 16, 2012)

At the Region C track meet recently I brought a flier for the Virginia Vintage Show for Rene Jones, senior hurdler for the Narrows High School team. At the 2011 regional, her mother saw a flier for the show and her father Kim called me about his comic collection. I visited them at their home in Rich Creek and had an enjoyable morning looking at his comics (Tales of the Unexpected #2) and talking about collecting.

Free Comic Book Day(s) (May 24, 2012)

Finally getting around to chronicling Free Comic Book Day; a very busy May, but I considered FCBD to actually include three events spread over four days, May 5-8.

The FCBD event itself was at Mountain Empire Comics in Johnson City, where I have set up dealer tables in the parking lot for the last few years. This year looked like a washout, as there were still remnants of the rainstorm when I pulled into Johnson City.

"Levon, we hardly knew ye!" (April 26, 2012)

A memorial service was held today for Levon Helm, drummer and singer for The Band, who died last week. The service was held at his home at Woodstock, NY, a great nexus for 20th Century music. Music From Big Pink, The Band's first album, took music forward by taking it back.

"Like the Beatles coming to America in 1964." (April 11, 2012)

A vist yesterday from a Denmark friend:

Mie Jensen returned to America and Floyd on a spring visit. In 2005, after completing their Danish high school education, Mie accompanied her friend Ditte Lund to America, and they spent the academic year at Floyd County High School as exchange students. In the fall, they played on the FCHS volleyball team, and the following spring, they were really in their element on the soccer pitch.

Next Up: Gray, Tennessee (April 6, 2012)

Two shows, two hits. After the Charlotte Show on March 25 and the Roanoke Valley Show March 31, my sales are running over 80 percent above what they were for the first two shows of 2011. Next up is the April 21 Tri-Cities Show at Gray, Tennessee Fairgrounds, which benefits the Childrens' Miracle Network.

"My first comic book" (April 1, 2012)

Yesterday's Roanoke Valley Comicon was a huge success, for me, and for others: it was the best show I've ever done at the Salem Civic Center, including my own Virginia Vintage show and the old Rovacon shows in the 1990s.

It was a beautiful day, the crowd was steady all day. So far 2012 has been a great comics year; I did well the week before at Charlotte, even though I didn't bring a full inventory because of truck problems and having to bring a car load rather than a truck load (sold 3 John Carter #1, which I had since 1994).

"Earl, we hardly knew ye!" (March 30, 2012)

Just heard about the death of Earl Scruggs. I won't rehash details about his talent and influence, but rather mention two personal remembrances:

Our family went to see Flatt and Scruggs at the Christiansburg Armory, must've been late 50s or early 60s, maybe 200 people in folding chairs at that tiny venue. I don't remember meeting Lester or Earl in person, but I do remember talking to Cousin Jake (Tullock), who played standup bass, after the show.