Skullkickers fan Carl Smith contacted me late last year to ask for help putting together a special promotion with his local comic shop. When he told me his plan, I honestly didn’t believe he was serious and I expected that by the time our next issue came out he’d lose his nerve… but today it happened: Carl ordered 440 copies of Skullkickers #25, one for each pull box customer at his favorite comic store. Crazy and incredible.
For me it’s a reminder of the power of fandom and the passion people have for the stories we create. I’ve never met Carl in person and this kind of intense loyalty has knocked me for a loop.
Here’s the letter he sent and a photo, which I’ll be running in the back of issue #26 as a special thank you:
Skullkickers and Legend Comics & Coffee share a unique significance to me personally: both of these institutions solidified my return to comics from the great diaspora of adulthood.
Skullkickers nails everything I love about fantasy comics - Colorful lead characters complete with flaws, a huge world of adventure that is only barely explored, and under all the humor a truly engaging plot that makes waiting between issues joyful torture. The comic fit like an old shoe, reminding me of my favorite comics of my childhood such as Groo the Wanderer and Thor. It was the first comic I sought out back issues for at any cost.
Legend Comics & Coffee on the other hand is a comic shop dream come true. Nestled inside a building that served the community as an independent grocer for many years, Legend does not disappoint the locale’s legacy. Beyond a cozy coffee shop and comic dealer, Legend is friendly and giving. Using their space and events to also support local food banks and Make A Wish, Legend cemented itself as something I wanted to be a part of. They also support local creators by hosting workshop nights and by selling locally produced work. The staff, without exception, are all fantastic people who welcome all comers; new or returning. It’s no surprise that they were nominated for the 2013 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer award.
I have long wanted to find a way to celebrate my appreciation and fanaticism for both, so it only seemed natural to reach out to Jim Zub and team to squeeze a mention in the appendix of an issue. I assumed I would need a stunt to pull it off. My idea? To buy every current pull-file holder an issue of Skullkickers. My hope is to draw attention to both; for Legend Comics & Coffee to become a part of the lingua franca of Skullkickers’ readers and for loyal customers at Legend to be exposed to the thousand joys within an issue of my favorite comic.
Thanks to Jason, Wendy, Dave, Joe, and staff at Legend I was able to order the 440 copies of issue 25 I needed to pull off the stunt. They accommodated my request and got stuck with the task of receiving and distributing the comics. Thanks to Jim I was able to promote the store, and his patient involvement brought me great joy. Thanks to Skullkickers and Legend Comics & Coffee for enriching my life, and I hope all who read this will invest themselves in these two institutions and also in the things they love. Support your local comic shop and creator owned comics!