Afrodisiac Southern Tour Reportage

With the “reportage” said all French-like!

For those who may not have been following the bizarre weather the Mid-Atlantic has been receiving, well, let’s just say that the timing worked out about as best as it could have, without the tour getting killed. Jim came down South as a major storm was headed North. I think he said Pittsburgh got 18 inches after he left! Once he arrived in town, we took care of some biz (like signing books) and got organized and then headed down to Velocity Comics!

Given the torrential downpour and freezing temperatures, we were VERY happy with the turn out at the shop. Thanks to Patrick, his employees and all his customers who came out to talk shop. Rick Spears was also signing for the event, so Jim, Patrick, Rick and myself had a nice after dinner after at Ipanema… probably my favorite spot in Richmond. Congrats to Julia for winning the “Afrodisiac vs. Xxxxxx” art contest! (Stay tuned for more details on another art event that should be announced later this week!)

We got up the next day and got an early start, since it was Saturday that was suppose to get all the snow in Richmond. I figure if we could get “out” of Richmond, we should be able to make the rest of the trip, since the lower regions weren’t getting it as bad.

One of the things I was most looking forward to this trip was the talks Jim and I would have in the car. And this did not disappoint. We talked about EVERYTHING. Also, as I told Jim, this trip sort of fulfilled a dream of mine in regards to the old tours I would read about in the 1980 comic books. Things like Matt Wagner out promoting Mage. Well, this was my Mage trip.

By the time we hit Chapel Hill, most of the precip had stopped. This was my first time to the CH, and it did NOT disappoint. Loved the Med Deli place. Also, a GREAT CD shop is right across the street from Chapel Hill Comics. The retailer was playing a way cool CD that I didn’t recognize, so I asked her what it was. “Death. A Detroit punch band re-issue.” So, I shopped around, listening to the rest of the CD while Jim headed to the head shop (wahuh?). When the CD was over, I asked if I could buy it, and she let me. I like doing that. Finding a new band via the store playing their music, and then buying it. I digress…

We actually took a nap before the signing. I’m old. I guess Jim is too.

The turn out for the Chapel Hill Comics signing was probably the best on the tour. But they kinda had that advantage of no weather issues and it being Saturday. Anyway, they did it up right with a big screen TV showing the Street Angel short film, and then great finger food offered up by local chef Ben. During the signing, I had plenty of chances to joke with Andrew Neal. We like cracking industry jokes. It was good to see the other Ben stop by and get his limited AFRO Deluxe. After the signing Neal, his wife Vanessa, Ben, Jim and I went to Pepper’s Pizza. It was a fantastic time. People in CH are some fun-having folk. Just don’t talk worm-holes around some of them. Thanks to Alicia for helping during the event, too.

The next day we got up and headed to the Queen City herself, Charlotte. We actually ended up at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find fifteen minutes before they opened, which was pretty good timing. We shopped around in the shop, (Have you seen Orc Stains?) and then realized we should grab a quick bite before the signing starts. Actually, this one was more than a signing, as Andy Mansell had been “boning” up on the AFRO and was going to pummel Jim with all types of questions. He pummeled him so much that I had to step in and take one as well! Of course, I jest. Actually, you’ll be able to see that action by heading over to the Dollar Bin site, as Adam was kind enough to make the trip and record it. Big thanks to Shawn and the other Heroes employees for coming in on her day off to wrangle us and field our questions. And thanks to Jason Latour for stopping by to shoot the poop.

After the signing we headed over to Dustin Harbin’s house to chill for a bit and then make our way out for great conversation, food, and drinks! Dustin is in the KNOW when it comes to his town.

More photos. And, again, thanks to everyone who braved the weather and made it out. YOU are loved!

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