On Tuesday I went to the Comic Shop. On Thursday the Comic Shop Was Gone.

So, yeah, we've had some weather in these parts.

There've been some pretty HUGE floods in my neck of the woods.

Iowa City, where I live, got hit pretty bad: The gas station five blocks down the road is far enough underwater that I can't see the gas pumps, the bus barn where I worked as a school bus driver 'till the season ended is underwater, and we, and every apartment on our floor, has a flood refugee on the couch.

On the upside:  The waters are heading down now, and the worst is most definitely over.

And Iowa City got off easy compared to Cedar Rapids, a bigger town, home of Quaker Oats which is  30 miles north of IC.   According to the Associated Press, 1300 city blocks over 9.2 square miles were flooded, twenty-four thousand people were evacuated, and property damage tallies at 736 million. And, more importantly (if you're me) I've got a bunch of first-name-only level friends: "Bobby my pool playing buddy? you Ok?"   "Lauren Scotto, who sat next to me in non-fiction writing...  You alive?"


But... um... on the upside, I did make it to the back-issue comic store and the library before they were erased. Aaaaaaannnnd Yeah, OK, this is a pretty transient attempt to stay on topic - Mostly I just wanted to brag/fret about the big-ass disaster I was involved in before a wide audience. But here's what I got, mostly from the 50 cent bins, mostly stained and beat to crap.

Still.  50 comics, 38 bucks.  I'm happy.

Action Comics #560 (Featuring Ambush Bug!)

Attack # 36: ( Willi Franz Scripter, Sam Glanzman Pencils)

Boris the Bear Instant Color Classics # 1, Brave and the Bold 168, 196 (12 issues away from a complete run.), Daredevil 359, 360, 361, 363 (Heard good things about these Karl Kessel written issues, and I'm a big 'ol DD fan. And Gene mfing Colan drew # 360!), DC COmics Presents 5, 7, 13, 25, 70, 74, 79, 85 (14 issues away from a complete run. FINALLY tracked down the Alan Moore written and Rick Veitch penciled # 85.), DC Comics Presents Annual 3 (Super-powered Doctor Sivana vs. Superman of Earth-one, Superman of Earth-Two, and Captain Marvel... all drawn by Gil Kane! Pretty awesome.)

The Falcon # 2, # 4, Icon # 15 (Milestone/DC)( I'm not always a huge Dwayne Macduffie (w) fan, but I really dig this series, and I'm way excited when I find back issues in the cheap box. This issue was, unfortunately, part 17 of a 145 part cross-over with the regular DC universe.)  , Kona, Monarch of Monster Isle # 17 (I love giant monster comics like some men love they mama), Marvel Team-Up 129, 130, 140, 150 (Completed my run! Between Essentials volumes, reprints, and original issues, I have the stories from all 150 issues) Sludge # 5-8 (Malibu comics) (Steve Gerber, who's generally my favorite scripter wrote these: Sadly, not very good), Marvel Two-In-One 62 (11 Issues from a complete run.) Spidey Super-Stories # 13

(Well, y'know... I have Electric Company Nostalgia. And this had the Falcon in it. I dig the Falcon.), Suicide Squad # 10, 15, 26, 27, 28, 29. 30, 35, 36, 38 (I have about 2/3rds of the whole series.  Never paid more than 75 cents an issue), Spider-Man's Tangled Web # 14 (Spider-man stories without Spider-man. Great idea, one of my favorite mainstream series of recent years), Wonder Woman # 64, Young Justice # 21.

And, shit, now C &C's probably gone.  (I'm sure the 50 cent boxes didn't make it.)

Weird and sad.

Anyway, I got wind that the flood was coming so I stayed an extra day in Cedar Rapids to help put sandbags around buildings, which...


I'm not sure HOW the process works.

Does it create an air-tight seal?  Absorb water?  Give us volunteers that "productive and useful in the face of crisis" feeling.It seems to be the thing to do in case of flood.  Anyway, I spent the Tuesday night and Wednesday morning sandbagging downtown Cedar Rapids, but jumped on the bus outta town Wednesday afternoon.  Which was lucky, because it's now a three/four hour drive from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids -  The flood-waters have pretty much blocked every remotely direct route.

Oh yeah -  I got some comics out of the Cedar Rapids library, too.  (The Alias (Bendis version) Omnibus, Swamp Thing vol. 7, Albert and the Others, Chicken with Plums, and the Forty Years of Amazing Spider-man DVD-Rom.)

So, hey, if you take comics and CDs out of the library, and then the library gets flooded into non-entityness, if I get to keep the stuff I checked-out?

So, went back to Iowa City.  A couple more days of sandbagging, Wednesday night at the trailer park, usin' sandbags to make the river-banks taller.  Thursday in the park by the mall making sandbags which went... somewhere, and did... something.  Friday and Saturday at University of Iowa, where I go to school. And Saturday night in a human chain, moving the inventory of the Haunted Bookshop out of the basement, while trying to keep the sections organized -  meaning the person on the bottom fills a small shopping basket of books and says "Chinese History" or "Nature" or "Sci Fi," and the next person in the chain passes the basket to the person behind THEM and says "Chinese History" or "Nature" or "Sci Fi" (which we pronounced SKEEFEE) all the way to the attic, where the books are (hopefully, sort of) organized.

Best line of the night:

First Person in Chain:  "Storms and Disasters."  (Passes basket of books up.)

Second Person in Chain: "Storms and Disasters"  (Passes basket of books up.)

Third Person in Chain: "Storms and Disasters."  (Passes basket of books up.)

Top of the Chain:  "Irony."  (Passes basket of books to be organized.)

Sandbagging was actually fairly fun, although my old, flabby self was SEVERELY achy for several days.  It was enjoyable in a feeling part-of-the-community kinda sense, and I learned how to swear in Irish ("Dogs bollocks" and some (clean) military cadences from the army guys.

I'm not sure if I actually ACCOMPLISHED much of anything.  Cedar Rapids was pretty much royally screwed, and I'm not sure the sandbags accomplished much.  The trailer park was evacuated the next day.   Later and luckily, the flood waters in Iowa city crested  earlier and lower than expected, so the buildings on campus I sandbagged and the bookstore were pretty well untouched.

And tomorrow they're calling for volunteers to de-sandbag. :)

Alright, I went pretty far off-topic.  But it's not like I don't do that anyway.  And I wanted to let everyone know I'm here and OK.

(And, hey, Danielle...  Are you out there?  Doing alright?)

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