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DRAGON'S BREATH

The Official Newsletter of Heroes and Dragons

http://www.heroesanddragons.com

 

Issue # 8.1 — May 26, 2003

CONTENTS


Dragon's Breath Returns!

Hello again, comic and game fans!

It's been a while since our last issue of Dragon's Breath — a full five months, in which there have been major changes at H&D.  We'll get to all of them over the course of this newsletter (including the gossipy stuff), but first let's take care of business with these quick announcements:

Memorial Day Delays
& Store Hour Adjustments

New Comics will be one day late this week, arriving on THURSDAY, MAY 29 because of the Memorial Day holiday.

Because Wednesday, May 28, isn't a New Comics Day, we'll be closing at our regular time of 7:00pm instead of keeping extended hours.  We will be open for our regular New Comics Day extended hours (11:00am to 9:00pm) on Thursday instead.

For a complete list of what we're expecting, visit New This Week at heroesanddragons.com.

H&D Comics Club:
Golden Age Graphic Novels Are Here

One of our exciting new programs is the Heroes and Dragons Comic Club (HDCC).

HDCC is a great opportunity for you to read new or classic graphic novels and get together with other people to discuss them.  Like any "Book of the Month" club, we require you to read one graphic novel per month and come prepared to talk about it.  There's a $20 annual membership fee, but we'll offset the expense by giving you 20% off ALL graphic novels and trade paperbacks you purchase at the Dragon!  Just flash your membership card when you make purchases.

In our first meeting, we talked about Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  In our second meeting, we'll be discussing The Golden Age, by James Robinson and Paul Smith.

Golden Age graphic novels are now in-stock and waiting for you at the front counter of Heroes and Dragons.  Just tell our counter staff that you need a copy of The Golden Age for Comics Club.

Our next meeting is Thursday, June 5 at 7:30pm.  If you're interested in comics, be there.

To learn more, visit Comics Club > About the Club at heroesanddragons.com.

Classic Comics Inventory in the Online Store

The Online Store is back!

Even during its long renovation, when there was nothing for sale, the Online Store averaged 100 visitors per week.  Now we've put together a brand-new inventory especially for the web, and we're inviting you to check it out.

We've scaled back from the last version of the Online Store, listing only a few hundred items this time around.  There will be more as we grow our inventory, but we're more comfortable starting with a small, manageable stock that's targeted to our customers.

The Store is divided into four sections:

Golden Age | Silver Age | Bronze Age | Non-Comics Items

... with a quick-and-easy order form for your convenience.  (Nothing fancy, just a simple web form that will allow us to contact you once we've processed your order.)

You'll find all this under the Buy & Sell menu at heroesanddragons.com.  We expect updates every other week throughout the summer.

June 2003 Previews Files Now Available

June 2003 Previews files are now available in the Subscriptions section of heroesanddragons.com.

The print version of Previews catalog will be available for sale this Thursday at Heroes and Dragons.  This month's orders are due Saturday, June 14.

Personnel Department:
"Hey, Everybody O.K.?"

Before X-Statix made him a superstar of the new millennium, Pete Milligan wrote a charmingly off-kilter super-hero strip called Paradax!  When Paradax came bursting through a wall or broke up a bank robbery he'd ask, "Hey, everybody O.K.?"  It became his unlikely battle cry.

It's a question we get a lot these days, in various forms:  What's will all the changes?  What happened to Scott and Tracy?  Is there ever going to be another issue of Dragon's Breath?  Here, in one place, are all the answers!

We began a revamp of heroesanddragons.com back in February, but the economic slowdown forced us to reconsider our plans for this business year.

Faced with uncertain market forces, Chris decided to play it safe and cut costs at the Dragon, bringing us back to a leaner, more-responsive business model.  This meant cuts in our enormous labor budget — a move that left Scott and Tracy looking for new jobs.

"Uncertain" can mean a lot of things, however.  By the time Tracy and I were officially looking for work, we'd both been contracted to work part-time for the Dragon.  Tracy's spending a few hours a week in the store, helping out with merchandising and office work, while I'm managing heroesanddragons.com as an independent contractor.

Neither of us are full-time Dragon employees, but we're both continuing our involvement with the store.  If Paradax stuck his head around the corner, I'd give an enthusiastic thumbs-up and say, "Yep, everybody's cool!  When are you gonna show up in X-Statix?"

* * * * * * * * * *

Anyone who needs a good webmaster (or a list of Paradax appearances) should contact Scott immediately.  I'm still looking for full-time work and will happily send you a link to my online résumé.

* * * * * * * * * *

On an unrelated note, we'd like to bid a fond farewell to Josh Gehling, who graduates from high school this spring and is now moving on to bigger and better things.  We're proud to have been Josh's first "real" job, and we wish him all the best in the future.

What's the (New) Deal with Dragon's Breath?

Our popular e-mail newsletter is back — in a big way!

Welcome to Dragon's Breath Volume 8, issue # 1 ("issue # 8.1" as we number 'em).  This electronic issue marks the start of a new direction for our newsletter — and the beginning of our tenth year of publishing Dragon's Breath.

The very first edition of our newsletter was handed out in the old North store in May of 1994!  A lot has changed since then.  For one thing, there's no more paper newsletter.  We've used e-mail to reach our customers for the past five years, and we're still amazed by how far-reaching our mailing list has become.

As part of our 10th anniversary celebration, we're switching Dragon's Breath to an HTML-rich format.  This allows us to send links, colors, and images to you via e-mail.

We've used HTML-rich e-mails before — in Volume 6 of Dragon's Breath — but there's a big difference in sending individual e-mails to a few dozen people and developing a multi-platform newsletter that will work for AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Lycos, EarthLink, RoadRunner, BellSouth, and a dozen other ISPs.  We're feeling bold this year, so we're giving HTML e-mails another shot.

Not only are we adding quality to the newsletter — we're adding quantity, too!  Effective immediately, Dragon's Breath will be coming to you once a week — look for it in your inbox on Monday mornings.

(This issue is running a little late due to problems with the new format.)

Question of the Week: "New This Week"

New This Week is a perennial favorite of our visitors.  During the site renovation, we tried to keep New This Week up to date, lapsing for only a couple of weeks during the final phases of the change.

With Dragon's Breath moving to a weekly schedule, here's our question to you:

Do you want to see the New This Week list
right here in the Dragon's Breath newsletter,
or do you prefer to visit the list on the web site?

ALSO:
Do you want to see the return of cover
images to the New This Week list?

Visit this page to share your opinions with us.  We'll post your decision and comments in a future issue of Dragon's Breath.

Coming Events

This Saturday (May 31) at noon, we're having a sealed-deck pre-release tournament for Warhammer CCG's "Winds of Magic" expansion.  Buy a sealed deck and two boosters and you've got a chance to win great Warhammer-themed prizes supplied by Games Workshop.

Wizard World East is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this weekend.  The convention starts this Friday, May 30 and ends Sunday, June 1.  Look for our booth.

The Lord of the Rings CCG League meets every Tuesday at 4:00pm.  If you're interested in joining, contact Ben.

H&D Comic Club has its monthly meeting next Thursday, May 5 at 7:30pm.  Be at the front door at 7:30pm.

In the News

Marvel Comics released some tantalizing teaser images relating to Neil Gaiman's mysterious eight-issue 1602 mini-series.

Amazing Spider-Man will return to its original (pre-relaunch) numbering in October, when Spidey # 500 will come out instead of # 59.

Marville # 7 included complete guidelines for submitting projects to Marvel Comics' revamped Epic imprint.  Fanboys, wannabes, and H&D employees are coming out of the woodwork with scripts in hand ... .

Our pal Marc Nathan (from Baltimore Comic-Con) is putting together a nifty-looking fall anthology called More Fund Comics that will benefit the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Our other pal Rob Allstetter (we've got two friends!) has posted extensive previews of August-shipping comics from all the major publishers at his web site, Comics Continuum.

Rumor king Rich Johnston is freshly returned from the Bristol Comic Festival, with lots of DC news this week.  Swamp Thing and Firestorm are mentioned, along with good news for fans of Sandman Mystery Theatre and Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol (more trades at last!)

Site to See

Here at Dragon's Breath headquarters, we have a massive file of web sites you should see.  Sites that are just too cool, too weird, or too nifty to ignore.

This week's Site to See is the Wayback Machine:

Click to Go Back in Time

This is the search engine of Archive.org, a web site dedicated to preserving internet history.  By entering web addresses into the Wayback Machine, you can visit sites exactly as they appeared in the past.

For example, their archive of heroesanddragons.com allows you to visit our site as early as July 2, 1998 or as late as May 28, 2002 — one year ago today!

If you know a site we should profile in Dragon's Breath, tell us about it.

 

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Dragon's Breath is written and administered by Scott Simmons.
Copyright © 2003 Heroes and Dragons.
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