Tag Archives: books

FREE Comic Book Day Today in Las Vegas and the World

In the world of comic books, the first Saturday of May is akin to a national holiday. That’s because every year since 2002, comic book shops around the world have taken the day to celebrate Free Comic Book Day, an event centered on exactly what it sounds like: 100 percent free comics. 

It’s a dual-purpose occasion: to encourage reading, especially by youngsters, and to familiarize people with their local comic book retailer. What started as a grassroots effort is now supported by—along with publishers, retailers and suppliers—Diamond Comic Distributors, the company responsible for filling most specialty store racks and shelves with comics, graphic novels and collectibles.

Publishers use the day as an opportunity to introduce new readers to their titles and characters, often reprinting No. 1 issues and creating special, new comics exclusive to the event. Alternate Reality Comics owner Ralph Mathieu recommends the Iron Man/Thor special from Marvel Comics, the Radical Comics “Bigger Books! Bigger Value!” sampler and the “Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics.”

Here are just some of the highlights of the participating Las Vegas stores: 

Maximum Comics.  One of Vegas’ most popular stores, it will have costumed guests, including the Neon Garrison, the local chapter of famed Star Wars costuming group 501st Legion, free snacks, candy and sodas, a raffle featuring prizes from GameStop, Panera Bread and Regal Cinemas, and, of course, a huge sale on non-free merchandise. 5130 S. Fort Apache Road 

Alternate Reality Comics. The Valley’s most indie-friendly shop is focusing on the comics themselves, unleashing a plethora of back issues and overstock titles in front of the store for a deep-discounted sidewalk sale. 4800 S. Maryland Parkway 

Wishing Well Comics.  Formerly known as Dreamwell Comics, this is one of the oldest comic bookstores in Vegas, and as usual, will host one of its 25-cent sidewalk sales featuring boxes of old and new comics, as well as 15 percent off everything in the store. 5706 W. Charleston Blvd.

Comic Oasis.  Northwest Valley residents will find plenty of goodies at this area favorite, including 20 percent off graphic novels, 50 percent off T-shirts, signed merchandise up for raffle and members of the 501st Legion. 3121 N. Rainbow Blvd.

Avatar Comics and Games.  In addition to the Free Comic Book Day titles, Avatar will feature a storewide sale with up to 40 percent off comic-related merchandise, raffle prizes, costumed characters and ice cream samples from Dairy Queen. 881 S. Rainbow Blvd. 

To locate a participating store near you or to preview this year’s FCBD comics, visit www.freecomicbookday.com

Come one, come all, for after all, Comic Book Day unleashes the inner child in all of us.

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Tennis Great, Las Vegan Andre Agassi Admits Using Crystal Meth in Autobiography

In his upcoming book, iconic tennis star, businessman, educator and Las Vegas resident Andre Agassi admits that in 1997 he used the recreational drug crystal meth or “gack,” as his assistant referrred to it, while he was married to Brooke Shields. AndreAgassi3

“I can’t speak to addiction, but a lot of people would say that if you’re using anything as an escape, you have a problem,” he reportedly tells People magazine. 

The book not only details his drug use, but it also touches on his hair loss, his tumultuous marriage to Brooke Shields and how happy he is with his current wife, Steffi Graf. 

Agassi says he was not concerned about revealing his drug use. “I was worried for a moment, but not for long. … I wore my heart on my sleeve and my emotions were always written on my face. I was actually excited about telling the world the whole story.” 

His book, Open: An Autobiography will be in stores on November 9, but is being serialized by the Times of London beginning tomorrow. 

Later, although Agassi tested positive for the drug, he managed to continue to play tennis. 

While the admission now may get him in hot water with the tennis and sports kingdom, it certainly can’t hurt his book sales- or can it?

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Book Industry Steams Full Speed Ahead

With the economy languishing in the doldrums, the good news is that the book business is steaming full speed ahead, thanks primarily to biographies and autobiographies galore which are selling like the proverbial hotcakes.  

Sen. Ted Kennedy’s “True Compass” autobiography has become very popular upon the death of the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.  

Capt. Chesley Sullenberger reflects on his life and the miraculous landing in the Hudson River in “Highest Duty.”  

And, due to the recently released film “Julie & Julia,” Julia Child, though deceased, is again the country’s most popular cookbook writer and her longtime editor, Judith Jones, even has a memoir out about her own love of food. 

Not to be outstripped, supermodel and TV star Heidi Klum is also getting into the visual autobiography act, and her status is about to get a whole lot steamier thanks to a new very sexy coffee table book on her called “Rankin’s Heidilicious” which is due out in October from publisher teNeues. 

“It’s very naughty, I’ve been shooting with this photographer, Rankin, for seven years and working with him is fun because he always makes me look different,” Klum says.  “He always gets me to take my clothes off for some reason. We’ll do some job and then he’ll say, ‘Why don’t we shoot some more things?’ and I’ll wind up without anything on.” 

In fact, steaming hot book sales have been the order of the day for many book industry genres.  The Association of American Publishers, which had been reporting declines for much of this year, finally had some good news last week, announcing a whopping 21.5 percent sales increase for June. 

Adding to the sizzling book revenue upswing, Las Vegan and eight-time Grand Slam tennis singles champion Andre Agassi, who retired from professional tennis in 2006, has recently announced that his autobiography, “Open,” is heading to bookstore shelves in November. In the book, he discusses his start in tennis as a child, his relationship with his father and his failed marriage to Brooke Shields. AndreAgassi2

Andre Agassi’s autobiography will be published by Alfred A. Knopf and be out on November 9 says Sonny Mehta, Chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 

“Open” is a deeply personal account of Agassi’s life on and off the court and will be simultaneously published in Canada, England, Germany, France and the Netherlands. 

The Knopf first printing has been set at 500,000 copies, and it will also be available as a Random House audio book. 

Moreover, ’60 Minutes’ has agreed to conduct the first interview with Agassi about his autobiography and ‘People’ magazine and ‘Sports Illustrated’ have both purchased first serial rights to the book. 

“No one ever asked me if I wanted to play tennis,” Agassi writes, “let alone make it my life.” In “Open,” he recalls for the first time a childhood without choices. Forced to embrace tennis, banished to a brutal tennis camp while still in grade school, catapulted to fame while still in his teens, Agassi grew up feeling isolated, alienated, detached.   He writes on how he reconnected, how he overcame his fears, fought through his loneliness, found strength and purpose in the decision to devote his life to others — and in the love of one extraordinary woman. 

Agassi writes with uncommon candor about his father, his family, his best friends and first loves. He recounts the intimate details of his doomed marriage to Brooke Shields. 

Agassi describes the grind of playing championship tennis, the physical toll and greater mental toll. He recalls his most painful moments in the sport — humiliating defeats, career-threatening injuries, ridicule from fans and media — but celebrates the maturity to which they all led. He also puts his fellow players, including legendary greats, under the microscope of his astounding memory. With precision and grace he recalls their quirks, gifts, foibles, and the demons with which they often struggled.

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