Last weekend, my wife decided that she wanted an adventure. Not a sail-around-the-world-in-a-weekend type of adventure, just a fun outing that was totally unplanned, and could therefore reap unexpected delights. As we had slept in on our day off, we naturally took time for a leisurely breakfast before deciding exactly what to do with our day. Then, we set off for our adventure!
First event of the day: carting our empty cans and bottles the recycling yard. This was a place forty-five minutes away. We've gone other places, but like this one the best. It's next to a tool shop we used to frequent, back before a series of events forced my grandmother into the hospital, then to be watched over by family, then sent into a nursing home, and then, gradually, to drift away from us until...well, you know. Like any war, the fighting and unwillingness to compromise in my family altered or killed numerous aspects of our lives. One of those was our woodworking. Still, even if some parts of our lives are irretrievably destroyed, we're hoping to resurrect the woodworking. Although we entered with no plans to buy anything, we left the store with a wood-and-brass mortise gauge. A cool tool in my hot little hands, courtesy of the wad of cash burning a hole in my pockets. Either the stupidest decision of my life, or an investment in my future. Hopefully the latter.
Of all the culinary delights in life, one my wife and I enjoy are our visits to Panera Bread. I'm talking our local one--we'd never visited another. But we found another by the tool shop, and it proved superior, in every way, to our local. And the coffee cake, our favorite treat: a big hunk to share and to savor, before we resumed/continued our adventure. (Sorry, no cake photo).
Over lunch, we decided to visit two comic book shops up in Temecula and Murrieta. So even though it was early afternoon, we headed up that way.
On a recent trip to a local store, I picked up several old Classics Illustrated issues. One was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds. I brought this with us, and as my wife drove, I read the comic aloud. Printed in the 1970s, the artwork is crude by modern standards, but the story made pleasant reading, and my wife was able to glance at the occasional drawing. It made a pleasant interlude before we arrived at the first comic book shop.
Mostly we were just curious what these two stores had in their old, discounted stacks, but we were also hoping to pick up the variant cover for Rocket Raccoon Issue 8, drawn by Marvel colorist Justin Ponsor. Although we didn't find it, we found several missing issues in series we collect, and completed the four-part story "Hulk Vs. Iron Man," part of Marvel's major Original Sin event.
In "Hulk Vs. Iron Man," the Watcher's eye reveals many secrets and past events our heroes would rather not have faced. One of those involve the intertwined past of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. I've read through Issue 2 now, and as it's a complex story, I won't attempt to summarize it in this post. It's co-written by Mark Waid, who writes the current Indestructible Hulk series, and Kieron Gillen, who writes the current Iron Man series. I've really enjoyed Waid's intelligent take on the Bruce Banner/Hulk situation, and what I've read so far leaves me intrigued about Gillen's take on Tony Stark/Iron Man. I'm glad I found the missing issues, so I can finish this four-issue story.
For dinner, we decided to be equally indulgent, and stopped for dinner at Weinerschnitzel. We shared a healthy dinner of chili cheese hot dog, chili cheese burger, chili cheese fries, and for dessert, soft serve ice cream cones. (Hey, we can always eat our vegetables later, right?) Then it was time to head back to San Diego, our adventure completed.
Or at least, so we thought. As we drove down the I-15, we decided to stop in North County Fair mall, and see if we could find that variant cover issue for Rocket Raccoon #8. Sadly, just like every other store, they didn't have it in stock, so we decided to give in and purchase the issue with the regular cover, along with Issue #9, which had just arrived in stores.
This cover is fun, as you can see, and offers an accurate reflection of the series. My wife and I don't collect many ongoing series, but Skottie Young's irreverent and low-key writing have won us over. I especially enjoyed the first four issues, which formed a nice homage to the stories Bill Mantlo wrote about Rocket back in the 1980s. Since then, the artists have changed, and the stories have been less epic, but they've all been fun. The issues never sit around long before they get picked up and read. When the next issue comes out, we read the electronic version on our computers, to refresh our minds on the story, then go out to buy and read about Rocket's latest adventures.
That night, for whatever reason, we didn't sleep all that well, so we got up early in the morning and went to the gym for a workout. Then we came home and went back to sleep for a few hours. When I woke up I found myself alone in bed, and a pleasant aroma permeating the house. I headed into the kitchen, where I found a coffee cake baking in the oven. (Sorry, no cake photo). Sometimes an adventure can reap unexpected rewards, and this usually proves the case of scrounging through discount comic boxes. In this case, I also had a cool-looking and potentially useful tool, some new stories to read, pleasant memories, cash left over, and best of all, homemade coffee cake to savor. Can you think of a more pleasant way to cap off an Adventure in Cake and Comics?