Possibly my second day of work, back when new comics were delivered on Wednesdays and needed to be completely processed in the back before they were ready for customers, sometime usually between 3 or 4 PM.

I had to dig into the vault that is MySpace for something older than last week’s entry.

It’s time to say something. I’ve been putting it off for the better part of the month, but with just over a week to go, I owe it to everyone to come clean. It still doesn’t seem completely real, but it will be soon enough, maybe even too real, and this is the next step down that road.

I posted the first Acme First Look on November 2, 2007. Nine years, ten weeks and a day ago. Before that I was throwing them up on the store’s MySpace page, unnumbered, just because I was bored back when I only worked four days a week and the summer felt like it would never end. It never dawned on me that the numbering would eclipse the Walking Dead, or Spawn, or Uncanny X-Men, or Action Comics, but there ya go.

This will be my final post on the blog, and next Saturday, December 31st, New Year’s Eve, will be my last day at Acme Comics.

I’ll be here next week, but it seems wrong pumping up the books that I won’t personally be here to handsell.

Everyone I’ve told has asked why, and the honest truth is that there’s no one incident or moment that I can point out, but I’ve known that it’s been coming for a long time. Even after this year’s Free Comic Book Day, having made no real decision or having given things too much thought, I specifically remember thinking, “This was my last one.” No reason in particular. Heck, I could look back to Acme First Look #401 in July 2015 when I stopped doing Stephen’s So-Called Emo Life as a time when I felt like I was running out of steam.

It’s not that I’ve fallen out of love with comics. I was as excited about 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank this week as I was for Umbrella Academy #1 in September 2007 or Secret Invasion #8 in December 2008 or Scott Pilgrim vol. 6 in July 2010 or Justice League #1 in August 2011 or Saga #1 in March 2012.

OK, maybe not that much, but I’ll never forget laughing almost to the point of hysterics in the hotel room in Portland during ComicsPRO with Pete wondering what was so funny while I read the preview of 4 Kids #1.

No, I’ll still be reading every week, and I’ll be continuing to pursue a career as a colorist and flatter, with 5 more issues of Castoffs with Smitty, the Pix Too Super for School original graphic novel with Gregg, Science Comics Robots with Jacob, and more Royal Einhorn Force for Einhorn’s Epic Productions on my plate at the moment.

As much as I’ve accomplished with Jermaine, and as much fun as I’ve had with Matt Fair & Matt White or Adrian & Frank or Brad & Scott or Cody & Griffin or Liz & Val, right up to Austin & Pete, I mean no disrespect to anyone when I say that I’ve probably been closest to Riley & Jay. When Riley left in June something in me shifted, and it certainly will again when Jay also leaves after next week.

It takes a lot to invest what we do in this job, to become as close as we do stringing things together over 40 hours every week, 356 days a year (we’re and when folks move on, for better or worse, holes need to be filled, and those are two gaps I don’t have it in me to bridge.

One of my resolutions the last several years has been “Be your own boss,” without really know what that meant. It’s taken me through the entire year to realize that the last decade has been about adding tools to my toolbox to achieve that goal, not just in comics, but in life. I’ll always be grateful for that.

So while 2016 has certainly had its tribulations, obviously politically, definitely personally (I’ll keep that to myself), and publically (most notably the loss of Darwyn Cooke for me rather than Bowie or Prince), I can’t write it off like so many people seem to want.

Then it just became a matter of when. When the calendar ran out of events? We made a concerted effort in August to fill up and give you guys something to do, and we put together 3 1/2 months in which we had some sort of event every single week. When the podcast hit its 300th episode? The continually infrequent release schedule made that highly dubious. When this very column hit #500 on June 1, 2017? That would take me through another FCBD that my subconscious had already warned me off.

The end of the year seemed like a clean break.

Someone asked recently how we’re able to keep track of so many subscription box numbers, and I believe I responded with something like, “It’s not numbers, it’s the names and the people.” Going quickly around the room, I noted that Justin is the biggest Cliff Chiang fan we have, Josh is the last of his friends that he started with to still maintain a subscription, the Carols are invaluable to many of our efforts, Chris Clark is the one and only Chris Clark, etc.

A friend once said that our customers were like extras in the play of our lives, and I assure you that couldn’t be further from the truth. You guys are what I’ll miss the most.

Acme is literally in my cells. Not figuratively, literally. When I got Jeff Lemire’s Acmebat tattooed on my left arm after Comic Book City Con in November 2013, that became the case. It will always be a part of my story, and I doubled down on that in May 2014 with Chris Schweizer’s man of mystery.

My first Wednesday was March 7, 2007.

I know because it’s the day Captain America #25, the Death of Captain America, came out, and someone called and spoiled it for me before we had even pulled a copy out of the boxes. It’s like coming in in relief during a baseball game and having Alex Rodriguez put the first pitch you throw him into the cheap seats.

The following titles are scheduled to ship on Wednesday, December 28th excluding some re-orders and providing nothing changes by the time the final invoice arrives on Monday:

  • 52 tpb #2
  • Action Comics #970
  • AD After Death #2
  • Aliens Defiance #8
  • Aliens vs. Predator Life & Death #1
  • All-Star Batman #5
  • Alter Ego #144
  • Assassins Creed #14
  • Attack on Titan tpb #20
  • Batgirl #6
  • Batman Beyond #3
  • Birds of Prey tpb #3
  • Black Panther #9
  • Black Widow #9
  • Bloodshot Reborn tpb #4
  • Blue Beetle #4
  • Bravest Warriors tpb #8
  • Brigada hc #1
  • Captain America Steve Rogers #8
  • Carnage #15
  • Civil War II #8 – penultimate issue!
  • Clandestino #4
  • Clean Room #15
  • Clean Room tpb #2
  • Cryberforce Artifacts #0
  • Dance Class hc #9
  • Dark Knight III Master Race #7
  • Deadly Class #25
  • Deadpool Too Soon #3 – penultimate issue!
  • Deathstroke #9
  • Detective Comics #947
  • Disney Darkwing Duck Comics tpb #1
  • Disney Manga Stitch tpb #2
  • Divinity III Komandar Bloodshot one-shot
  • Doctor Strange & the Sorcerers Supreme #3
  • Doctor Who 12th Doctor hc #5
  • East of West #30
  • Enchanted Tiki Room #3
  • Evil Dead 2 Dark Ones Rising #3 – final issue!
  • Exodus Life After Death #10
  • Extraordinary X-Men #17 – Inhumans vs. X-Men tie-in!
  • Flash #13
  • Frostbite #4
  • Future Quest #8
  • Generation Zero #5
  • Ghost Rider #2
  • G.I. Joe #1
  • Great Divide #4
  • Great Lakes Avengers #3
  • Grimm #4
  • Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #11
  • Harley’s Little Black Book #5
  • Harrow County #19
  • Hellblazer #5
  • Hulk #1
  • Image Plus #9
  • Infamous Iron Man #3
  • Intertwined #3
  • Invincible Iron Man tpb #1
  • Jade Street Protection Services #3
  • James Bond #12
  • JLA tpb #9
  • Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #2
  • Kings Quest tpb
  • Love is Love one-shot
  • Lumberjanes #33
  • Marvel Previews #18
  • Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-man vs. Sinister Six #6
  • M.A.S.K. #2
  • Max Ride Final Flight #4 – final issue!
  • Metamorpho Two World One Destiny tpb
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #10
  • Mighty Thor #14
  • Monstress #9
  • Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur #14
  • Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur tpb #2
  • Mother Panic #2
  • Munchkin #24
  • New Avengers tpb #3
  • Nighthawk tpb
  • Nova tpb #2
  • Over the Garden Wall #9
  • Previews #340
  • Princeless Raven Pirate Princess #12
  • Princeless Raven Pirate Princess tpb #3
  • Prowler #3 – Clone Conspiracy tie-in!
  • Rick & Morty #21
  • Rocket Raccoon #1 – written by We Can Never Go Home and 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank creator Matthew Rosenberg! Hoping it will be a little more hard-nosed than the previous few series.
  • Rom #6
  • Romulus #3
  • Rough Riders tpb #1
  • Saga #41
  • Sandman Mystery Theatre tpb #2
  • Savage #2
  • Scooby Doo Team-Up #21
  • Secret Six tpb #2
  • Serenity No Power in the ‘Verse #3
  • Seven to Eternity #4
  • Shutter #25
  • Sixpack & Dogwelder Hard-Travelin’ Heroz #5 – penultimate issue!
  • Snotgirl #5
  • Sonic the Hedgehog #290
  • Spider-man #11
  • Spider-man/ Deadpool #12
  • Spider-woman #14
  • Spider-woman tpb #2
  • Spidey tpb #2
  • Star Wars #26
  • Star Wars Legends Clone Wars Epic Collection tpb #1
  • Super Powers #2
  • Supergirl Being Super #1
  • Surgeon X #4
  • Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes #4 – penultimate issue!
  • Teen Titans #3
  • Thunderbolts #8
  • Titans #6
  • Totally Awesome Hulk tpb #2
  • Transformers Till All Are One #6
  • Uncanny Avengers #18
  • Uncanny Inhumans #17
  • Vigilante Southland #3
  • Warlords of Appalachia #3
  • Wayward #19
  • Witchfinder City of the Dead #5
  • Wolfcop #3
  • Wonder Woman #13
  • X-Files #9
  • X-Men ’92 #10

Also shipping next week:

  • Batman Animated New Batman Adventures Harley Quinn figures
  • DC Designer Series Flash by Francis Manapul statues
  • Saga Lying Cat Talking Plush dolls

New at Acme Comics Presents:

  • Batman Gotham City Police Department Previews Exclusive Knit beanies
  • Mopeez Nightmare Before Christmas Pajama Jack plush
  • Pop Batman the Animated Series Batgirl Vinyl figures
  • Pop Batman the Animated Series Batman Vinyl figures
  • Pop Batman the Animated Series Joker Vinyl figures
  • Pop Batman the Animated Series Poison Ivy Vinyl figures
  • Pop Batman the Animated Series Robin Vinyl figures
  • Pop Disney A Bug’s Life Heimlich Vinyl figures
  • Pop Monster High Draculaura Vinyl figures
  • Pop Monster High Lagoona Blue Vinyl figure
  • Pop TV Elvira Vinyl figures
  • Star Labs Logo Previews Exclusive Knit beanie
  • Voltron Legendary Defender Lion Figure assortments