Friday, December 28, 2012

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2012

Cincinnati Comic Expo 2012 – “Unleash Your Inner Geek”        

My review of CCE 2012 is featured in this month's issue of Comics Buyer's Guide #1698, but in case you don't get a copy, here is the online version!

The third annual Cincinnati Comic Expo (CCE) was held on September 22nd and 23rd, 2012, at the Duke Energy Center in downtown Cincinnati.  For a relatively small show that started out at Xavier University’s Cintas Center just two years ago, the show has grown at an incredible rate.  With dozens of dealers, artists and fan groups, it now rivals veteran regional shows like Wizard Mid-Ohio Con and the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE). 

With top comic and media talent, plus unique attractions such as “sci-fi speed dating,” this show is holding its own in the highly competitive pop culture convention industry.  For this year, the guest of honor spots were shared between artist legend George Perez, and an amazing “Swamp Thing Reunion” that featured creators Thomas Yeates, John Totleben, Rick Veitch and Stephen Bissette.  This reunion was an incredible accomplishment for CCE, because none of these creators, with the exception of Yeates, had appeared at a convention for more than a decade.  The long lines for sketches and autographs were made more pleasant, thanks to representatives of The Cincinnati Symphony Pops Orchestra, who gave out concert passes to fans, and played selections from popular musical scores, such as Superman and Star Wars.

John Totleben, Thomas Yeates and Rick Veitch signed and sketched for fans during the "Swamp Thing" Reunion!

Media guests included Actor Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead TV series and Jason David Frank from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.  Also attending was Star Wars Light Saber Choreographer Nick Gillard, who conducted a “Jedi Training” session for fans.  Several comic book publishers were also in attendance, including Arcana Publishing, Devil’s Due and Skystorm Studios. 

CCE 2012 also provided a family friendly atmosphere with the Sunday “Kids Con” event, which featured Star Wars Padawan Training, a Lego Scavenger Hunt, face painting, raffles, and much more.  Artists from several “kid-friendly” comic titles were also in attendance.  Children’s book illustrator Dave Aikins, known for creating dozens of books featuring characters like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob Squarepants was there, and Mike Norton from Young Justice did free sketches for kids.

My son Jordan was thrilled to get a free Beast Boy sketch from Artist Mike Norton!

Another unique attraction at this convention was the opportunity to play vintage arcade games for free, including Ms. Pac-Man, X-Men and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  All of these classic machines were brought to the show floor courtesy of Arcade Legacy, a local business that offers both vintage and modern video gaming at hourly and daily rates.  Their website boasts “7,800 square feet of arcade gaming goodness, with sixty plus arcade and pinball cabinets.” Convention attendees apparently loved the idea, as the arcade machines were busy throughout the weekend, especially the ones that could be played by two or three people at the same time.

My son Jordan got to play several vintage arcade games, courtesy of Arcade Legacy.

Of course no comic convention would be complete without a large variety of comic dealers, and CCE had plenty of them.  Vendor merchandise ranged from Golden Age and original art, to modern comics and variant covers at bargain prices.  In addition to more than 30 comic dealers, there were dozens of other vendors selling art supplies, glasses, buttons, t-shirts and non-sports cards.  One of the more unique vendors was Cincinnati Bricks, an online Lego marketplace that sells individual pieces (or “bricks”), complete sets and other product that is often exclusive to the European market.   

Brett Pinson of Boomtown Press brought his animation style cell art to the show!

As I’ve mentioned in prior reports, convention experiences can be more fun when you turn the trip into a complete family vacation, or even a quick day trip.  Cincinnati is just minutes from the Kentucky border, which means lots of possibilities for additional fun, such as The Newport Aquarium, Big Bone Lick State Park and the sleepy town of Rabbit Hatch, where you can have a barbeque pulled pork sandwich for breakfast, check out the old fashioned general store, and even visit with the town’s mayor, who is (literally) a dog. 

CCE 2012 was a great success, and before the convention even started, the first big name guest was already announced for 2013.  Art Balthazar, known for his beloved Tiny Titans comic series, is scheduled to appear at next year’s show, and more guest announcements are expected soon.  The convention’s catch phrase, “Unleash Your Inner Geek” was embraced by all, and this reviewer is looking forward to next year’s convention!

Comic Creators Rob Worley and Paul Storrie




Friday, November 16, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #26

Daredevil #19
Marvel Comics
$2.99, color, 28 pgs.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Chris Samnee, Javier Rodriguez

In this modern age of Facebook, Twitter and so many other methods of delivering spoilers to readers, it's very rare when you can truly surprise a comic book reader.  However, if anyone can do it, it's Mark Waid, as he continues his incredible run on Daredevil.

Most Daredevil fans are aware that a new villain named Coyote has been introduced to the series.  However, until you read the issue, you may not be aware of just who Coyote actually is.

Mark Waid is one of those rare writers that can deliver surprises to even the most jaded reader.  This series has also been blessed with some great art, including talent like Marcos Martin, Paola Rivera and now Chris Samnee.  The issue should still be available in most comic shops, so check it out!

Daredevil #19 Cover Art

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #25

Lego KidsFest 2012 – A Builder’s Paradise 

My wife's contribution to the Lego "Art Gallery"
Many of the toys our parents and grandparents enjoyed during their childhood have long since faded into obscurity, or are no longer even in production.  Perhaps the most significant exception to this rule is Lego, the company that manufacturers the well-known interlocking “bricks” that can be used to build almost anything, given the proper combination of creativity and talent.  Based on the wooden toy designs of a Denmark carpenter in the 1930’s, and then gradually transforming into the modern-day brick a quarter century later, Lego may be at its most successful stage yet. 
The popular building toys are now more closely aligned with the comic book industry than ever before, especially given the partnerships with Marvel and DC that were secured this past year.  The release of The Avengers in theatres this past summer helped to cement that relationship even further.  With the recently announced licensing agreement to produce building sets featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, collectors are finding Lego to be as much of an “ally” with comic books as video games and movies are. 
The 2012 nation-wide tour of the Lego KidsFest Expo landed in Detroit during the weekend of October 12th-14th, 2012.  KidsFest was held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, which is also home to The Motor City Comic Convention each year.  The unique expo was perhaps the most interactive event ever held at this venue.  Several different building areas were available throughout the building: The Lego Art Gallery, where parents and kids alike could contribute to a huge wall of brick displays; Creation Nation, where anyone could add a building or landmark to a continually growing Lego map of the United States; and the Monochromatic building areas, for those fans that like building everything with just one color (several color selections were available).    
The Ninjago tournament area was one of the most popular spots at the KidsFest!
Lego “Master Builders” provided live demonstrations, and explained to the audience how they hold the enviable position of being “paid to play.”  Staff and workers were well informed and very helpful with providing information or pointing the way to one of the events.  Perhaps the most popular attraction of KidsFest was the Big Brick Pile, which could best be described as a gigantic mosh pit of Lego bricks.  Kids (and adults) could get on the floor with thousands of brick pieces and either build to their heart’s content, or literally bury themselves under the bricks, which some did in the same way that people bury each other in the sand on the beach. 

If you lost one of your friends, there's a good chance they were buried in here.

Unlike traditional conventions and expos, the event was divided into “sessions,” in which ticket holders were allowed at the expo for a specific number of hours only, and then closed until customers came in for the next session.  There were two sessions on each day of the expo, one starting at 9:00 a.m. and one starting at 2:00 p.m.  The reason for the limitation on ticket sales quickly became apparent, as the Showplace was packed almost to capacity throughout the day. 
DK Publishing was also in attendance, with a wide variety of Lego-related story and sticker books for sale, with all their popular licensed product, including Star Wars, Harry Potter and Ninjago.  The Lego Marketplace had an huge selection of Lego sets for sale, including some hard to find items not often found in standard venues, such as Walmart and Target.  However, the marketplace (or “gift shop,” as my son called it) was tucked into a sequestered area, which was appreciated by parents who didn’t need product shoved into their faces, after spending money on tickets and concessions.

The expo also provided areas for taking a break, with large video screens showing Lego-related movies and website episodes.  Extra credit goes to the convention organizers for making sure there were plenty of chairs available for weary parents to sit down while the kids practiced their building skills. 
Best friends enjoy a quick break before getting back to the action!

Lego KidsFest was serious fun, and an announcement is expected before the end of the year for the tour dates in 2013.  If you missed it this year, stay tuned to for updates on tour visits to your city! 

The ninjas of Ninjago helped with security detail during the KidsFest. 



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #24

My First Review for CBG!

This week marks the third anniversary of submitting my first comic book review to Comics Buyer's Guide Magazine.  CBG is the longest running ongoing magazine about comics; they celebrated their 40th year of publication in April 2011.  Before I became a regular contributor for the magazine, I had several letters published in which I related both my family's convention experiences, and our annual Free Comic Book Day adventures, as we visited several local stores during each year's event.

In the second half of 2009, I was contacted by Brent Frankenhoff, the Editor at CBG, about a new feature in the magazine that would be called "Fan Reviews."  The purpose of Fan Reviews would be to feature a different reader/subscriber each issue, and give them the opportunity to write a couple comic reviews.  Apparently, I did something right with my first few reviews.  On November 13, 2009, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an offer from Brent to become an official member of "The Review Crew," CBG's official monthly team that writes comic book, graphic novel, and trade paperback reviews in every issue, and rates each one on a four point scale. 

It's hard to believe three years have already passed. During this time, I have had the opportunity to expand my writing skills to graphic novel reviews, press coverage for Heroes Con 2011, and even having the honor of writing the lead cover article for CBG #1685, which featured my interview with Mark Sparacio about his independent comic series Omega Paradox. 

For this occasion, I thought I would present my very first review for CBG:  Issues# 1-2 of the Black Lightning: Year One mini-series that was released in the first half of 2009.  I'd like to think my writing skills have improved since then, especially after I began moving past my comfort zone, and started writing reviews for independent publishers such as Antarctic, Boom Studios and Zenescope. 

I've enjoyed writing for CBG, and hope to continue for many years to come. 

Black Lightning: Year One #1-2 (of 6), DC, $2.99 each, Color, 32 pgs.
Writer: Jen Van Meter; Artist: Cully Hamner 
Black Lightning: Year One brings the title character back to its roots, eschewing previous incarnations of the character, like his stint as Secretary of Education under Lex Luthor’s administration, and at the same time provides a fresh look at the character’s background and motivations.  High School Teacher and Olympic Gold Medalist Jefferson Pierce, armed with a “Wayne Education Trust Grant,” has moved to a Metropolis borough called Southside (aka “Suicide Slum”) with his wife Lynn and daughter Anissa to continue his mission to, in Lynn’s words, “save the world one school at a time.”
With Jefferson taking on the role of Garfield High’s new Principal, Writer Jen Van Meter expands upon the role of his wife (no longer divorced as in previous series), and family, while updating original cast members like Peter Gambi and Earl Clifford.  The first part of this mini-series sets the groundwork for Black Lightning declaring his personal war against the criminal gang called “The 100,” while Issue 2 establishes a promising relationship between Jefferson and Clark Kent. 

Van Meter’s pace will keep the reader looking forward to future installments, and Hamner’s art has an engaging quality that is nicely complimented against Laura Martin’s colors.  Year One #1-2 does a solid job of honoring the character Tony Isabella created in 1977 while carving out its own path at the same time.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Just a reminder that this weekend is our final Comic Book Garage Sale of 2012!  Thanks to everyone who stopped by and made Day 1 such a success.  We still have thousands of comics available, including everything from The Walking Dead to Gold Key to Marvel and DC. 

The sale is at 1370 Maureen Avenue in Madison Heights, Michigan, and will start at 10:00 a.m each day.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #23

Superman Family Adventures!

DC Comics
$2.99, color, 32 pgs. 
Writers: Art Balthazar, Franco
Artist: Art Balthazar
The recent cancellation of Art Balthazar’s Tiny Titans did not sit well with fans of the beloved series.  Those readers who have Balthazar as a Facebook friend are well aware of this, as the fallout from disappointed fans continued on his Facebook wall for quite a while.  However, Balthazar’s new ongoing series Superman Family Adventures is off to a great start, and he has crafted yet another perfect comic that’s entertaining for both kids and adults alike.   

Balthazar manages to include all the favorite characters, including Lois, Jimmy and Perry.  Plus, he even manages to fit in a guest appearance by a couple of those Tiny Titans: Kara and Superboy.  With a little help from Superman's friends, villains like Lex Luthor don’t stand a chance.

Perhaps Perry should cut down on the caffeine.

This is Superman at his finest: battling giant robots, saving the day, and enjoying his own private joke that he plays on the rest of the world while disguised as the mild mannered Clark Kent.  Future issues will feature Bizarro, General Zod, the Super Pets and many other familiar characters, all portrayed in that great Art Balthazar "Aw Yeah" fashion.  If all that isn’t enough, what happens between Luthor and Krypto in the first issue should have fans rolling on the floor in laughter, and that's all I'll say about that. 

Superman maintains his "New 52" costume in this series.

Reviewed by Christopher Galvan   

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Comics Buyer's Guide #1694 !

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but family caretaking has taken up much of our time this year.  More reviews are coming soon, but in the meantime, Comics Buyer's Guide #1694 will soon be on sale in finer comic shops everywhere.

Check out my reviews of America's Got Powers, Fury Max #1, Ultimate Spider-Man, and other comics in this issue, which also features the San Diego 2012 Scrapbook and a special feature on Jim Henson's Comics Connection! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



We will be having our final Comic Book Garage Sale of the summer THIS weekend at 901 N. Edgeworth Street in Royal Oak.  More comics than ever before, as we have added several more long boxes to the sale.  Over 15,000 comics for sale at 50 cents each, or take an entire long box with comics of your choosing for only $35!!

The sale will be on Saturday, July 14th, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
                          and Sunday, July 15th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

N. Edgeworth Street is off Gardenia, between Stephenson Hwy and Campbell Road.

Hope to see you there.  If you can't make it to the sale, we'll also be at the Great Lakes Comic Expo at Trinity Lutheran Church on Harper Avenue in Clinton Township on Saturday, July 21st !!

Friday, July 6, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #22

From Comics Buyer's Guide #1692:
Inner Sanctum 

NBM Publishing
$16.99, b&w, 115 pgs. 
Writer and Artist: Ernie Colon
Legendary artist Ernie Colon presents a collection of tales based on the classic radio show Inner Sanctum.  Although there were many different “scary” shows broadcast during the golden age of radio such as Suspense and Lights Out, Inner Sanctum stood out for both its morbid host Raymond Johnson, as well as its trademark “creaky door” sound effect that many fans still remember today.    

This collection perfectly bridges the gap between graphic novels and old time radio, and fans of both genres will equally appreciate Colon’s style of storytelling.  Each story has the same twists and turns as the radio show, and Colon’s incredible black and white art only enhances the experience. 

An example would be the tale of “The Undead,” in which a woman’s extreme nightmares are followed by the discovery that the man she loves was reported dead almost a decade earlier. 

Readers will experience the same sense of dread that a listener might have felt while sitting around their Firestone Air Chief radio in 1948.  This treasure trove of stories is one of Colon’s best works yet.  4 Stars.  
Reviewed by Christopher Galvan in Comics Buyer's Guide #1692

ISBN #978-1-56163-614-3

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Our Comic Book Blowout Sale continues tomorrow from 9:00 AM until about 3:00 PM.  Over 15,000 comics priced at 50 cents each, with a few higher priced books as well.  The sale is taking place at 901 N. Edgeworth Street in Royal Oak, Michigan.

Hope to see lots of Facebook friends at the sale!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We will be having a Comic Book Blowout Sale on Saturday, June 30th, and Sunday, July 1st, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM each day at 902 N. Edgeworth Street in Royal Oak!  Over 10,000 comics will be on sale at only 50 cents each!! 

Hope to see lots of Detroit area friends at the sale!   :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Comic Book Garage Sale 2012 !

Thanks to everyone who came to our first Comic Book Garage Sale of the year!  The sale went well despite the heat, and we had people coming to check out the comics until almost 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, which we were not expecting.

Hope to see lots of FB friends at the Great Lakes Comic Book Expo on Saturday, July 16th, and at our next Comic Book Garage Sale, soon to be announced.

Reviews will return soon!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What Lurks in YOUR collection?

From Comics Buyer's Guide #1689:

Recently my esteemed editor at Comics Buyer's Guide Magazine asked its team of reviewers and columnists for feedback on this issue's theme:  What's in your collection?  For today's blog, I've included my responses to the questions, based on our experiences with buying back issues, going to conventions, and looking for those "gems" that can literally show up anywhere.  Among the questions were:

Where Do You Buy Your Back Issues?

My response...

"For several years my wife has been the primary buyer of back issues in our household.  Her marketing and research background has proven invaluable in making deals with both private owners and professional comics dealers.  Although we find some good deals at such larger conventions as Heroes Con, our best finds have been located through Craigslist.  Among her finds was "The Telegraph Collection" (we often name our collections based on the street on which they were purchased), a private collection of 10,000 comics that consisted of a mix of Silver Age, Bronze Age and Modern comics, including such great finds as a near-complete run of Sandman and two NM copies of New Mutants #98 (Feb '91, the first appearance of Deadpool).  Perhaps her best find was "The Eagle Trace Collection," which consisted of almost 5,000 comics at a cost of 8 cents per issue.  Just in the first couple boxes, we found Near Mint copies of such gems as Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 88), Batman #492 Platinum Edition (May 93), and Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, along with a large variety of such hard-to-find small-press comics as Scud the Disposable Assassin #1."

What's Your Favorite Comics-Related Find?

My response...

"Once again, my wife gets the credit for several “favorite finds,” among them a Fine+ copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Feb 74, the first appearance of The Punisher) she found at Heroes Con at a very reasonable price and a nice copy of Ghost Rider #1 (Aug 73) at Adventure Con, which I then proceeded to get signed by co-creator Gary Friedrich just a few minutes later."

What's Your Biggest Regret In Buying Or Selling Or Both?

My response...

"My only real regret would be that I left the field for about three years back in the late 90's for personal reasons.  There are definitely some comics I had during that period that I wish I had not sold at "blowout" prices, but it's all part of the learning process." 

What's Your Holy Grail, The ONE Item For Which You're Looking?

My response...

"One comic that I have been searching for during the past couple years is The Walking Dead #2 (Nov 03), which is the only issue I'm missing in the entire run.  Although I had two copies of the first issue, #2 has proven to be both elusive and priced outside of my budget." 

There's lots of additional feedback and stories from the entire team of contributors in this issue, plus great reviews, articles and market updates.  You can also check out the additional responses on their website at!

Check out Comics Buyer's Guide #1689, now on sale!!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #20

Young Justice #7 !
$2.99, color, 32 pgs.
Writers: Kevin Hopps, Greg Weisman
Artists: Christopher Jones, Dan Davis

I'm a huge fan of "kid friendly" comics.  I love seeing them prominently displayed in a comic shop.  I have especially enjoyed many of DC's offerings, such as Tiny Titans, Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  I think many stores would benefit from having a specific section/rack/shelf devoted to all-ages comics.  Parents who bring their children to a comic shop for the first time are often overwhelmed by the quantity of material available.  They would benefit from having a store employee point the way to a section where they can pick titles that they feel comfortable about their children reading.  During the 2010 Free Comic Book Day event, we were joined by several parents (as well as their children) that had never seen a comic shop before.  Unfortunately, as is often the case with this annual event, most of those parents never went back. 

I've read several articles and online comments over the years stating there are kids that have never seen an actual comic book, but I was always a little skeptical.  However, after a couple years of listening to my own child's observations about his classmates, I've come to realize it's totally true.  Many kids in the elementary school age range have no idea what a comic book is, let alone have ever seen one.  I'm hoping to work with my son's school in the Spring for some kind of promotion related to Free Comic Book Day, but haven't thought out the details just yet.

As a comic reviewer, I try to review all-ages comics as often as possible, especially the ones that are a great fit for kids and older readers.  DC's Young Justice is a fun companion book to the hit TV series, and I recently did a quick review of one of the issues.

Cartoon Network’s newest DC series focuses on Artemis in this issue.  It’s one of the benefits of a comic adaptation of an animated show:  Readers get to see a character’s background in more detail than what can be shown in the limited time available during a typical episode.   
The first half of the story explores Artemis’ family life, as her mother returns home from prison.  The other half shows her embracing her new superhero status.  She successfully foils a liquor store robbery, just before her first encounter with the newly formed Young Justice team.  While she does well dealing with armed robberies and jewelry heists, Artemis quickly realizes she's in over her head when she runs into her first super-villain.

Like many of DC’s all-ages books, it’s a little light on dialogue and a very quick read.  However, it’s still a fun series, with vibrant art and lots of action.  While the “New 52” titles are getting all the attention, it’s also important to remember that DC is still publishing good comics for younger readers.  I was disappointed to hear that a couple of these series have recently been cancelled, but at the same time I'm hopeful that the upcoming titles Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Superman Family Adventures will be fun replacements. 

DC Nation's 2012 FCBD offering will include a preview of Art Baltazar's "Superman Family Adventures."

Monday, January 30, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #19

Omega Paradox Returns!

As most of you know, I recently reviewed the "zero" issue of Moonstone's new creator-owned sci-fi series Omega Paradox, both on this blog as well as in the pages of Comics Buyer's Guide Magazine.  This followed my interview with the entire Omega Paradox creative team (Mark Sparacio, Ian Ng, and Abe Rivera), which served as the cover story for CBG #1685.  Creator Mark Sparacio was kind enough to send me a review copy of the first issue of the ongoing series, so I was happy to get another chance to check out this exciting series!

Following up on the events from the "zero" issue, the alien team of Julian, Solarra, Malice, Gemma and Grinder continue their quest to rescue Quintoro and locate the Eye of Ancev.  As mentioned in the interview, the Eye of Ancev is an ancient artifiact that the team must find before it falls into the wrong hands, which would have catastrophic results.  Besides getting more familiar with the team members in this issue, we also learn a little more about Valerius, the leader of the group.  As mentioned on the Omega Paradox Facebook page, one of these characters "may hold the key to keeping the universe together," so the reader will feel a definite sense of urgency as they read each chapter of the series. 

The team uses the information provided by Quintoro to travel to a planet that promises to hold clues to the next step in locating the Eye.  However, some overconfidence from their earlier victory over their enemies may prove to be their undoing, when they fall into a surprise ambush in the Temple of Neak Prei.  Even worse, they find that none of their technology seems to work in this place. 

The issue ends with a great cliffhanger, with next issue's promise stating that "The artifact is within their grasp, if they don't fall for the distractions along the way!"  While Ian Ng gradually peels back each layer of the mystery, Sparacio and Rivera continue to deliver stunning art.  I'm looking forward to seeing where the story takes the team next.    

Dealers and retailers can also receive an incentive sketch cover variant free with the purchase of just 5 copies of an issue, which is a nice bonus for stores that support this creator-owned series.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What Lurks in the Longbox? #18

The Theatre #4
Writer: Raven Gregory
Artists: Robert Gill, Novo Malgapo, Michael Garcia 
$3.99, color, 29 pgs.
Zenescope Entertainment

Zenescope's The Theatre mini-series continues with an issue that gives plenty of food for thought, especially for those readers that are parents and/or guardians. 

As mentioned on the publisher's website, the series focuses on an old fashioned movie theater that releases horror on the victims that visit the theatre to watch horror movies themselves. 

"...This unassuming theater holds a deep dark secret, one that threatens the lives of anyone who dares enter it. And when an unsuspecting couple decides to visit the old movie house to watch some horror films, they soon will find that something full of horror is also watching them."

During each issue, the sadistic theatre owner "entertains" his victims by presenting a different horror tale.  In this issue, two best friends that live across the street from each other make a fateful decision for the sake of their families' safety, but one of the friends quickly realizes he may have made the worst mistake of his life. 

It also begs the question for all of us:  Could you commit a horrible crime if you felt it was necessary to protect your family?  Moreover, how long could you continue to justify commiting such an act if the guilt was driving you insane?  Secrets can be kept from those we love for decades, but you can never hide those secrets from yourself.

Things get worse between the two friends when one of them inevitably begins to crack under the guilt of what they have done.  The other man decides that his friend has become a weak link in their plan and needs to be dealt with permanently.  Unfortunately for him, things don't always go as planned.

The writing and art on this series is excellent, and besides being a horror story, it's also a great character study on how one person can influence another into doing a horrific act that they would have never committed on their own.  Episodes of the popular television series Criminal Minds often examine the concept of the "alpha," or the dominant member of a team of criminals, and this issue of The Theatre takes a close look at that type of relationship, while never losing the story's momentum.