AMBER LOVE 09-MAY-2016 This year was a challenging Free Comic Book Day for me to get through for a few reasons. Health, basically being the umbrella under which all the various symptoms, disorders, concerns would fall. I was excited about going to Comic Fusion as I always am. This year would be familiar because I’d get to see my old friend Tom Schloendorn and of course Stacy Korn, one of the owners of the shop. Bill was there but constantly busy so I saw him walk passed once. New this year were Avantika Shaha and Joy Taney joining me and Tom in our “Artists’ Alley”. It’s been extremely hard for me to get female creators booked for appearances in our charming yet remote town. Having three this year felt pretty epic.


When I woke up on Saturday morning, I should have bouncing and filled with vibrant energy ready to have one of my rare public appearances with some of my closest friends. I had my period and was dealing with pain and symptoms since Wednesday. Sorry, dudes, but these are the real facts. Some people who get periods can get the worst of the worst while others aren’t really bothered and you’d never know it. I have a lot of stress and anxiety in my life which makes coping with PMS/PMDD symptoms even more unbearable.

I showered and laid back down on my bed curled in a ball and didn’t want to get dressed. Nothing in my closets fit, including all my costumes. I could have theoretically squished into something like my Madame Web costume, but I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to try. I put on my special comic themed outfit and felt like a lost cause. Silly outfits are usually fun for me to wear. I hated everything. My clothes, my hair, my body. All of it.

Plus, Caico wouldn’t be there. She wasn’t there last year because there were weather concerns and transpo considerations. Whenever Caico came to the shop for a public event, it’s because my mother would bring her down for a short time and then head back home. Gus isn’t anything like Caico so I was without my comfort companion all day.

Before I left the house, I was crying.

At the shop, I set up my stuff and went outside where I figured I’d spend my day out of costume with the cosplayers. Everyone’s outfits were fantastic and it looks like folks are ready for their bigger conventions. The skies were grey and gloomy. The temperature was a perfect range of sweater weather. I needed to sit down though and went inside where I thought I’d get a few minutes of rest before heading back out. I didn’t. Things started to hurt too much and my butt wasn’t moving out of the chair. I took half a pill that’s probably long expired, but I wanted to get through the day without leaving early. Plus, I wanted to have after-con dinner with Ally who drove three damn hours to be with us. I didn’t want to bail no matter what. The pill kicked in eventually.

By the end of my evening, I was crying again even harder in a much worse headspace.


I set up my table at the shop between Joy and Tom so unfortunately I didn’t get to talk to Avantika too much this time but everyone was great. Joy and Tom did a lot of talking to customers of all ages to talk about how they make comics and art.

What was incredible was that I sold all the copies of Cardiac Arrest I brought down and a couple comics. I was only going to bring one copy of the book for Jesse since we weren’t going to run into other anywhere for a while. I packed a few extra and couldn’t believe anyone wanted them. So THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to those kind folks. I had been feeling pretty crappy with terrible online sales so selling an entire small stack of books at one event was unbelievable and a feel-good moment.


Thanks to Stacy and Bill for once again hosting a fun day at Comic Fusion; Tom, Joy, and Avantika for donating their Saturday to us so we had different kinds of artists on hand to answer questions and sell their work; Jean-Luc, Jesse, Andrew, Gregorio, Ally, and Joe for cosplaying all day and posing for pictures; special thanks to John for those to-die-for Amish pretzels.

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