Saturday, October 25th was a rather busy day for myself and, to a lesser degree, my youngest child. The day started off awkwardly, with me failing to set my alarm the night before and therefore missing out on bringing my wife to work and my kids out for a quiet breakfast. Nope, my wife instead woke me up and told me that she would be leaving in ten minutes for work and wanted to know if I was taking her in to her job. Flustered, half-awake, and still trying to determine why my alarm didn’t go off (it wasn’t until later that I realized what I’d done), I told her to head on in to work and that if I had to do anything later that day, I’d use my old truck to get around.
I knew that our local comic book store, Paper Heroes, was taking part in the Halloween Comic Fest and that their would be free comics for the taking and who knows what else the store’s owner, Kevin, would have up his sleeve for visitors. All that I was worried about was making it to the shop too late to get the comics that I wanted the most (two titles involving Batman, a Grimm Fairy Tales comic, and a couple of Marvel reissues, particularly Sercret Wars #1). I wasn’t able to go to Free Comic Book Day this year, and last year I got there too late to get the titles I wanted. I had no plans to do that this year, so I fed the kids, piled my son into my little truck with me, and made a mad dash to the shop to get there when the doors opened.
Sadly there weren’t a lot of people in the shop when I got there. I managed to get all of the books I wanted and my son grabbed the ones he wanted as well. Kevin had placed out some Halloween candy and noted that there was going to be a costume contest later that day (including a visit from Heroes4Hire, a local costuming group). I killed about an hour hanging out with Kevin and talking about upcoming comic films, new TV shows like The Flash and Gotham, and longingly looked at a few graphic novels and comics that I wanted but didn’t have the proper funds to buy them on hand.
After leaving the shop, my son and I had to make a grocery store run and then headed back home. The rest of the day was spent washing clothes, cleaning dishes, and other standard “I’m off of work today but still have X, Y, and Z to do” tasks. I also squeezed in a little bit of college football and then started to get ready for a Halloween party hosted by the local Starfleet International club, the USS Lafitte. I joined up with this group a little over a year ago and have officially been a Starfleet International member since April or May of this year. The Lafitte itself started as a local Star Trek fan club called C.A.T.S. (Calcasieu Area Trekker Society) and then grew into an official Starfleet International crew.
Each year the club hosts monthly meetings and attends charitable events. They also attend events for fun like the Texas Renaissance Festival. The Halloween party was held a member’s home and our hosts made a wonderful meal that included barbecue ribs, smoked boudin, corn, hot dogs, a red velvet cake provided by another member, and snacks brought by everyone else. An episode of Enterprise kicked off the viewing for the evening and a bonfire was set up outside. I had a lot of fun hanging out with friends old and new, mostly by the bonfire, but by the end of the evening everyone went inside to watch Mel Brooks’ classic Young Frankenstein.
Some members attended in costume. I dressed up as the Discount Dark Knight, and there were two Riddlers, an Iron Bishop (think Iron Man meets Assassin’s Creed), a well dressed Deadpool, a Ghostbuster, and disappointed Saints fans.
This party and each and every event that I attend that is put on by the USS Lafitte keeps me sane. My “normal” life is full of things that do not include science fiction, comics, fantasy, horror, or animation. I NEED events like this where I can nerd out without fear of being judged or attacked. This time of year in southern Louisiana is a dead time for conventions. There are a couple of small ones in the NOLA/Mississippi area in September and October but other than that there is nothing going on locally.
I start to miss my nerd friends a lot at this time of the year and can’t wait for January to roll around and bring back conventions like New Orleans Wizard World, CoastCon in March, CyPhaCon in April, and Bayoucon in June. I want to hang out and visit with my friends in groups like Southern Geek and The Doctor Whooligans. I am SOOOOO ready for the new year to get here so I can see friends like Mike and Jenni M. and enjoy the company of those lovely ladies of Orion’s Envy.
As much fun as there is going on in October, November, and December, I miss my nerd family big time. Thankfully the Lafitte crew is there to fill the void until I can see the rest of my friends.
So, do any of you have friends that you only get to see at conventions and can’t wait to hang out with them? Did any of you attend a Halloween Comic Fest event over the weekend? Any cool parties? Let me know in the comments section.
As always, thanks for reading!!!