Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Eve Party and Shipping Updates

The Christmas and New Year Holidays will not affect shipping. Comics will arrive on Wednesday both this week and next!Also Packrat New Year's Eve Party is a go! We'll be open from 11am on that Friday and will stay open until the party is over. Food and drinks will be provided for the evening. We'd going to have board games, card games, rpg games(need a suggestion or someone to run), video games, and of course a lantern drop! See you al...l on the 31st of December to ring out 2010 with some great green prizes!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Packrat Comics at Comic Con

Hi All

Life is an adventure and if things went according to plan we’d have nothing interesting to say. At least that’s what I tell myself whenever William does just about anything. Our trip to Comic Con was no different. Luggage was packed, the kids were off to spend a weekend with friends and we remembered to find someone to take care of Hulk, the ugly pug, at the last minute. Rushing to the airport Thursday afternoon, we made it thru security and I was lucky enough to have to endure the embarrassment of the full body scanner and full body pat down as a result of the pacemaker. And I know it’s been a while since I flew, but they threw out my shampoo and conditioner. What could I possibly do with such a cheap brand of hair care products to warrant those being tossed in the garbage? Making it with 20 minutes before the scheduled boarding time, we were in the clear and ready to collect our award at Comic Con.

However, other plans were made on our behalf. Weather delays and mechanical problems forced us to change our flight from a Thursday afternoon departure to a 6am Friday morning flight. Retailer programming was commencing at 9am on Friday morning and our rescheduled flight got us in to San Diego at almost 10. That sucks, but we’ll make due. We head home for a night of rest before our flight, setting the alarm for 3 to give us plenty of time to catch our flight. And could Jamie sit for a few hours? No, he mows the lawn when we get home, really, take a break man.

But for this trip 3am turned to 3pm and the alarm did not go off. Jamie bolted up out of bed at 4am; we showered and were out the door in 20 minutes. But half way to the airport I remembered I pulled out all our paperwork to call the hotel to check in so we wouldn’t lose our reservation and included in that pile of paperwork were our Comic Con tickets. We had to turn around and go back home. Boarding the flight was to start at 5:25am…rushing to the security check point again, with only 5 minutes before boarding, the security agent slowly checked our boarding passes and laughed saying something to the effect how we like to run a bit close on time. No we do not! It was like a scene from a movie, Jamie and I are running down the long corridor to our gate, except I had to stop and catch my breath telling Jamie don’t wait for me, I’d catch up with him in a minute. By the time we boarded the plane I think the excitement of leaving for San Diego was met with more of an exhausted and fatigued feeling.

Finally landing in San Diego we must have caught the only taxi with a driver that was as in much of a hurry to get to Comic Con as we were. We make it to most of the retailer programming we wanted to participate in and around 2 o’clock began our first trek to the main convention floor. This place was huge. Three full levels of programming and vendors, multiple hotel conference rooms full of programming even a bookstore down the street had some programming.

I felt like a little kid with ADD who comes to Packrat for the first time, senses completely overwhelmed by everything in view and then learning there’s more in the basement. Oh look Brian Michael Bendis, Oh look, Stan Lee, Oh Look J. Scott Campbell. We were trying to locate Sean and Steph Forney from the time we entered the hall until probably around 5pm. I had to set the map on the ground and step into it figure out where we were and had to go. But finally found them and their table.

Everyone who ordered a comic con exclusive needs to thank Stephanie, she spent Thursday hunting down what was left and getting tickets to stand in line for other items on Friday. THANKS STEPH! We would not have been able to get so much if it wasn’t for her!

The main exhibit hall was huge, crowded and awesome. From talented creators Jim Lee, Brian Michael Bendis to Dan Jurgens and Robert Kirkman. We had the opportunity meet and talk to all we could in the few short hours we had. And it took a trip to San Diego for us to meet and talk to our homegrown talent Jeff Smith. Meeting Robert Kirkman was a bit odd after all of our emails, we were pleasantly surprised at his recognition of Packrat Comics and the polite attitude he displayed towards us.

But the real reason we were there was for our award. So at 8:30pm (11:30 here in Columbus ) we sat down for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Awards. It started a bit late but that didn’t matter, I was too nervous. As much as I couldn’t wait to hear the winner, I also didn’t want to find out that it wasn’t us. So the longer it was delayed before an announcement the longer I knew I hadn’t lost yet. The competition for the award was tough. And at that point, I really could say, with a straight face and everything, it was an honor to be nominated and sit with some great comic shops from around the country. One such gentleman we met said “I hope you win, but I also hope I win”. Fun guy.

Around 11pm (2am here in Columbus ) we found out we were not the winners…and not having much of a chance to eat, we decided it would be best to head out and get some dinner. But not having actually checked into the hotel, we still had our luggage we decided to head there and order something from room service. There was no room service, but several pizza shops who were kind enough to stuff their flyers under our door. So we picked one and ordered, a large pepperoni pizza and a 2 litter of diet coke. Simple order, somehow it ended up a meat lovers with a coke. When I called back they said they ‘upgraded my order’ and were out of diet coke. The guy hung up on me. I called back. He hung up again. I called back, just trying to get what I ordered, he said they were closed but I could order from the Mexican restaurant part of their menu. Yeah, that place sucked. So we eat our pizza and it’s off to bed…because Saturday was a full day at Comic Con that even crappy pizza couldn’t ruin.

We catch the shuttle service and bright and early Saturday morning and head out for our second day. That’s when we discovered the true price of Comic Con food…$4.00 for a bottle of water and $3.25 for a can of soda and $8.00 for a slice of pizza. Man the water fountain was refreshing this time of year. We were able to participate in a few panel sessions, one with Gerard Way, writer of Umbrella Academy and My Chemical Romance band member (don’t ask me what he does in the band, you all know I won’t know). Even hung-over, he was a great panelist, but not nearly as great as our next panelist.

Sitting in the Boom panel we listened to Mark Waid introduce a few new books they are launching in the fall with one being written by Paul Cornell, writer of some great Doctor Who episodes “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”. We were polite and listened intently as one panelist was missing. Only 2 hours earlier his tooth broke and had to find a dentist at 11am Saturday morning, but I’m sure any dentist would be thrilled to be the superhero to the father of most modern day superheroes, Stan Lee. Still on Novocain but full of energy that he may have figured out how to bottle from William, Stan Lee was amazing, he was entertaining and charming, witty and brilliant. He couldn’t have been a nicer gentleman. Truly the highlight of my trip. He was in and out and it went so quick, but still time well spent. So we head back to the convention hall.

Great costumes, polite attendees and long lines, the rest of the day flew by in a blur of wonder. There were giant Megatron and Bubblebee transformer statues, a platform with life size Star Wars statues you could pose with, a life size Lego figures, Tron Cycle statue, a life size Star Wars action figure case where you could step inside and become a figure and so much more. The main hall was so large that the DC booth alone was larger then our comic shop. One sad note was that the comic dealers that have been with the convention and really make a comic convention were an after thought at the show.

Even with all there was to experience, I was homesick and missed Bobby and William more then I thought I would for only being away for a few days so Sunday morning couldn’t come fast enough. Not wanting to get stranded in San Diego with another 6am departure, I had the hotel provide us with a wake up call at 3AM. With plenty of time to spare we were at the airport and getting ready to go threw security. One question I have to ask, almost hate to ask, but where were the full body scanners? Are there that many more dangerous people leaving Columbus, Ohio that could cause harm to a plane full of passengers then those leaving San Diego? Just a thought.

The first leg of our flight was very smooth and we land in Atlanta around 2pm. Oh my goodness, the Atlanta airport is huge, we had to take a shuttle to our concourse. Worried we’d miss the flight because we only had 30 minutes from the time the plane laded to board the connection to Columbus there was a bit of a panic trying to find the light-speed train running thru the airport. But we made and then we waited. And waited. And waited a bit longer finally boarding only about 40 minutes late. But hey we’re on our way home so it’s all good. Sitting in our seat and the plane fully loaded with passengers ready to take off the pilot announces over the PA “I’m just going to let you know what’s going on. A passenger on the last flight got off the plane and took with them the luggage that belonged to one of the flight attendants and left their luggage on the plane. The good news is they found the flight attendants luggage in the hall, but not the passengers luggage left on the plane.” So the flight attendants had to look in every overhead compartment and match up each piece of luggage with its owner. I’m thinking they left a bomb on the plane, totally freaking out, but glad they are looking before we take off. Later Jamie tells me his thoughts were they took the flight attendants luggage to copy schedules and id’s and such. Great. Good news is they found the luggage, scary news was it was in the overhead compartment above our head.

We figured since we’d been gone from the boys for so long and we survived the trip, we’d better make sure we spend some quality time with them Sunday evening. Figured we’d get some KFC and take them to the park and enjoy the balance of the afternoon. Well they did want KFC, but were just as happy to go home and watch a movie. I won’t share Greg’s comic shop adventures, he’ll tell you that one. But we couldn’t have done it without the help of both Jeff and Greg watching our third baby, the comic shop while we were out. Our quality afternoon turned into an early bed time with William calling his uncle late Sunday evening to have him bring back the ugly pug. And I’m still living off the hotel shampoo, gotta fix that soon.

Until next time true believers. (Oh and there will be a next time, I still want that dang award!)


Monday, July 19, 2010


July 17, 2010 – Out of the thousands of comic books stores across the country and around the world, Columbus, Ohio’s own Packrat Comics has been nominated for the 2010 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award, an award given to comic book retailers similar to that of the Oscars Life Time Achievement Award. They says it’s just an honor to be nominated and as hard as that can be to digest, to see the requirements of a nomination and the standards established by past recipients, this truly is one of those rare moments that the phrase applies.

Jamie Colegrove, owner of Packrat Comics said “When we received a letter in the mail on May 3, 2010 we could not believe that we had been noticed and nominated.” The letter included a request for documentation showing how Packrat Comics met these qualifications and they spent the next two months putting together what had been requested. Colegrove continued “We’re excited to have made it this far in the process, being one out of the twenty selected. And equally eager to go to San Diego Comic Con this week to learn about the other stores that have been nominated as well as bringing those ideas back to and improving Packrat”

Established in 1993, the award is presented to "an individual retailer performing an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large." Nominees are judged based on the following criteria:

* Support of a wide variety of innovative material: Providing opportunities for creators’ material to reach buyers; stocking a diverse inventory.
* Knowledge: Working to stay informed on retailing as well as on the comics field.
* Community activity: Promoting comics to the community; maintaining relationships with schools and libraries; keeping active in social, business, and arts community organizations.
* Quality of store image: Innovative display approaches; using store design creatively.
* Adherence to standard ethical business practices.

The winner will be announced during the Eisner Awards presentation on Friday at Comic-Con International in San Diego and can be watched on G4.

For additional information contact Jamie Colegrove at (614) 527-8450 or via email at packratcomics@sbcglobal.net.
Established in 1993, Packrat Comics is a premier full service comic book store family owned and operated by Jamie & Teresa Colegrove serving all of central Ohio .

Jamie Colegrove
Packrat Comics
3872 Lattimer Street
Hilliard, Ohio 43026

Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Afternoon with Nicky

So it’s Friday, April 30, twenty-four hours before the kick off of Free Comic Book Day 2010 at Packrat Comics with a special guest appearance by Nicholas Brendon. I’ve prepared for months, working behind the scenes making arrangements for his visit, working with over 15 artists that will participate in our ‘artist alley’ section, traveling to promote the day in several states. Organizing the store to make sure we had plenty of merchandise and basically freaking out because Xander Harris is coming to my comic shop. I don’t want to meet the guy who played my favorite BTVS character and find out he’s a total jerk. Nicky’s character in BTVS was fun to watch, but what of the man.

At this point, 24 hours before kick off, I think to myself, what’s the worst thing that could happen now? Thinking an afternoon of autographs without photos would be about the worst thing possible, I contact Nicky’s agent to verify the photos were on their way. Sure enough Nicky had picked them up Thursday afternoon and the agent said they looked great! I’d been nervous for weeks, couldn’t sleep well, stressed out thinking, what have I gotten myself into. I’d spent a lot of time, money and energy preparing for what I thought would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for Nicky’s fans in Ohio. But what if no one showed up? Twenty-four hours before the arrival, there is no turning back now.

Twenty-hours before the event and only ten hours before Nicky is supposed to land in Columbus I get a call from his office, his flight out of LA had ‘mechanical’ problems, they’re not sure if there is another flight for him to Columbus. AGH! We all know those Hollywood types are dying to get to Ohio, that’s why there’s no direct flight here. An hour later they call back, Nicky found a flight, but it’s a red eye and he’ll be in Ohio at 9:00am the next morning, with his meet and greet scheduled at 10:30 that didn’t give him much time for any other delays or disasters.

Eighteen hours before the event, I spend the next 4 hours rescheduling cars, hotels and flights. Eight hours before the event, we still have an 80% chance of thunderstorms throughout the day. But at that point, rain was the least of my problems. I grabbed a few quick hours of rest before it was back to the comic shop for final preparations, signage, line control, lights, etc.

I’m off to the hotel to meet Nicky at 9:30. That’s when I get a call on my cell phone, never in my life did I think I’d have a celebrity calling me on my cell phone. Very weird moment passed as I thought about it for a second. He needs something, Nicholas Brendon is calling me because he needs me for something. The something he called for was not something I wanted to hear. He’s in Columbus, but his luggage is in Philadelphia he tells me. But I said, “You’ve got the pictures, right?” No, they were in his luggage. He proceeds to tell me how he verified with the airline that his luggage was headed to Columbus at the same time he was at 7:30 before he boarded, even receiving the ‘thumbs’ up from the baggage handlers.

But, they didn’t arrive when he did. So now my concern from the day before has really happened. Nicky assured me that the airline guaranteed his luggage on the next flight in at 11am, but he needed clean under-ware and was headed off to the mall before meeting us at the hotel. Not wanting to be without photos, I had a plan. His agent had already sent me a digital photo of Nicky a while back for promotional material, so I called the comic shop and sent someone out to get copies. Thank goodness Office Max was open! We’d have something if the luggage didn’t show.

It’s 10:00am and the beautiful banner I’d made was not fitting in the stand, we struggled for a bit until finally agreeing that tape was our only solution. Guests for the meet and greet were starting to come in and the ‘brunch’ wasn’t a brunch after all. There was fruit, yogurt, doughnuts, coffee and water. What kind of breakfast was that? But it was too late for anything to be done about that now. I head to the check in desk at the hotel to get Nicky’s room key and inquire about the breakfast, when he strides thru the door. Nicky was here and he made it. I handed him the room key and he was off for a quick shower before meeting his guests. At this point Nicky had been up for over 24 hours and looked a bit tired, but enthusiastically looking forward to the afternoon of events. After a quick shower and change of, well you know, Nicky comes down stairs and assures me things will be fine, I think he could tell I was beyond stressed. We headed outside for a quick smoke and discussed a few financial matters in private and returned to the ‘brunch’.

Fifteen gracious fans enjoyed over an hour of talk from Nicky. He was surprised that no one discussed his recent legal issues, but shared a bit anyway. His recent trouble didn’t detract from his fans at the meet and greet and didn’t detract from the fans at the shop. After the Q & A and photos, Nicky and I were headed to the shop, with a quick detour to a local Starbucks. He was surprised that Ohio had a Starbucks. I don’t recall what he got to drink other then there were multiple shots of espresso, that may have really been the only thing in there with the ice.

By 1pm we’re at the comic shop and the line is around the building with fans eagerly anticipating his arrival. For the next 4 hours Nicky tells fans stories, signs autographs, gets his picture taken, hugs and kisses to all and was nothing but a pleasure to have as a guest. Finally grabbing a quick bite to eat during the autograph session he autographed his sandwich, we tried to sell it for charity but no takers. There was a quick panel session where questions were asked and the snoopy dance was performed. At this point I was ready to pass out from exhaustion so I wasn’t really paying much attention to what happened here. I’m sure video of it will be on youtube soon.

He was originally scheduled to leave Columbus at 7pm Saturday night and participate in our charity poker game for a bit, but with the delay the day before it was changed to Sunday morning. So with a quick see you all later, I took Nicky back to the hotel for a few hours of rest before he returned to play poker during our charity poker tournament.

Returning to the comic shop at 8pm and with a stack of comics as poker chips, Nicky played ‘comic poker’ for the next hour and a half. I missed a bit of it, but did catch the ‘that’s a pussy bet’ remark he made to one of our good friends. He was a great sport during the game and did take someone’s pizza. After realizing there was chicken pizza available he had me order it for dinner, loved it but complained about the lack of cilantro. Okay it wasn’t a complaint so much as a suggestion that’s what the pizza needed. So we agreed that since it wasn’t in his contract this time around, we’ll definitely include it on his next.

I was not prepared to be his ‘driver’ for the event, but that’s just how it turned out. Again, I was very nervous during each of the long drives as here is a guy who played my favorite character from BTVS, I didn’t want him to ruin it for me. But he was like a big kid, a big kid with ADHD. He was funny and sweet and amazingly thoughtful. I was completely surprised.

He treated all of his fans with the most gratitude and appreciation we couldn’t have dreamed for. Thank you Nicky. It would be a pleasure to host an appearance by you again. I was not disappointed in the man we brought from Hollywood.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Free Comic Book Day Schedule

FCBD is only a few days away. Below is the schedule for the day! See you May 1!

10:00AM - OPEN - Get your Free Comics face painted & jump around in the bouncy castle. Visit our artist alley section to meet the following great creators: Darryl Banks, Chris Sprouse, Josh Medors (in at 11am), Uko Smith, Dan Davis, Victor Dandridge, Mike Watson, Sean Forney, JD Larabee, Molly Durst, Joel Jackson, Stratos, Scott DM Simmons, Eric Adams, and Joshua Peters!

10:30AM - Join us for some free play Mario Brothers video games in the Annex! Fun for all!

10:30AM-11:30AM - Meet & Greet brunch with Nicholas Brendon. Limited to 20 participants and tickets can be purchased from either this blog or our facebook page via paypal. Tickets are $80 ea. (direction will be emailed to ticket holders)

11:00AM - Meet the Stormtroopers from Darth Vaders 501st

11:00-2:00PM - Gaming Demos - get a free War Machine Heroclix by visiting the annex and giving an RPG a try. Learn to play Magic the Gathering, Heroclix or D&D!

12:00-5:00PM - Nicholas Brendon Autograph Session (Time permitting we will host a pannel session with Nicholas from 4:30-5pm)

1:00PM - Costume Contest - Kids & Adults

2:00-4:00PM - Live Ammeture Wrestling!

5:00 Nerd Night Kick Off

5:00- Video Game Play/Tournament (depending on turnout)

5:00PM - First round of our Charity Comic Book Poker Tournament (Texas Hold'Em) - buy in is $25, that gets you 25 comic from the annex to use as poker chips and to keep what you win. Have your books ready for the first hand at 5pm, as Nicholas Brendon will be an honorary player.

6:00 - Magic the Gathering Booster Draft Tournmant

5:00-10pPM- Free Concert - Comic Book Trivia between bands!
5:00- The Out
6:00 - Huge Euge
7:00 - Nerd Table
8:00 - Seven Book Trilogy
9:00 - Moto Virus

7:00PM - Second round of Charity Comic Book Poker Tournament (Texas Hold'Em) - buy in is $25, that gets you 25 comics from the annex to use as chips, you keep what you win!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FCBD Update

Taking a breather from his work on The Return of Bruce Wayne, Chris Sprouse makes his inaugural visit to Packrat Comics on Free Comic Book Day. In addition, a live wrestling event added for Free Comic Book Day. From 2-4 enjoy some head smashing, bone crushing, smack down fun ending with a complete Battle Royal!

Packrat Comics
3864 Lattimer Street
Hilliard, Ohio 43026

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Free Comic Book Day May 1, 2010

Free Comic Book Day
Saturday May 1, 2010 beginning at 10am

Industry Professionals - Darryl Banks, Josh Medors, Uko Smith and more!

Bouncy Castle for the kiddies!

Video Game Tournament

Costume Contest

Nerd Night begins at 5pm

Free Concert

Stand Up Comics

Comic Book Trivia Contest

Charity Comic Book Poker

And Much More!

Join us for an afternoon of Free Fun for All Ages!