Monday, May 03, 2010

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Does Whatever A Comic Book Store Owner Can

He says he only did it so he could get mentioned on this blog, but, frankly, I don't believe him.  The one day I miss Free Comic Book Day at the Adelaide Comic Centre and it all kicks off.  First thing in the morning a fairly well known thief around town (indeed I have reason to believe that he knocked a few books off from me at a record fair here a while back) skulked into the store, shoved people aside and promptly knocked a fairly expensive book off (for those who keep track, it was the Astonishing X-Men Omnibus, a $130 volume here, thanks to the exchange rate and postage costs).  My good pal, and store co-owner, Michael Baulderstone (that's him on the right - he looks like a hippy but he's a tough nut), went into action and caught the silly old fart, but even Michael didn't expect it to go as viral as it has.  From newspapers and on-line sites as far away as the BBC, through to Pearl Jam forums, through to being parodied in the Advertiser, through to the utterly hilarious scenes of Mikey bouncing about like a dickhead on the local news networks, it's all there.

Here's how The Advertiser wrote it up, on page three of the fish wrapper no less!

Spiderman traps thief - for real
IT sounds like a comic book plot - Spiderman foils a would-be thief as Star Wars Jedi Knights block the escape route and superhero The Flash looks on.

But this was the scene played out in a city shop on Saturday, when a business owner dressed as Spiderman stopped a man shoplifting an X-Men book worth $160.

Adelaide Comics Centre owner Michael Baulderstone, 45, spotted a man "behaving suspiciously" at the back of his Rundle Mall store, before discovering he had put the valuable book in his backpack.

"We had about 40 people dressed up as their favourite superheroes to celebrate International Free Comic Day, so he didn't have much of a choice but to hand the X-Men Omnibus back after a little bit of a scuffle," he said.

"I've had a look at the security footage and it shows Spiderman running down the corridor of the shop, grabbing this guy, hauling him off.

"Everyone in the store thought it was a play, that it was street theatre of some sort. It wasn't until I said `call the police' that people started to realise."

Police confirmed they attended the comic book shop just before 10am and are continuing their investigation into the incident.

"One of the funniest things about the incident was that I called for people to stand near the door and it just so happened we had people dressed as Jedi Knights there blocking the exit, the Flash was there at some point too," Mr Baulderstone said.

"It was a bit serious at the time, but now we're looking back laughing at what greeted police."

Right now Mike is fielding calls from all over the world.  The BBC World Service, the New York Times, The Pakistani Newspaper, the Kyvi Post - they all want a bit of the lads. Last I heard Joe Quesada was in contact with Mike, and notorious public thumbsucker Peter, with the view of the guys writing a series about the REAL exploits of Spider-Man.

But seriously, I had to chuckle, really I did, and it's good that the dirtbag in question has finally been nabbed once and for all, and I hope that he gets a lovely fine and banned from shops around the state.  But I'm more annoyed that I missed out on it all.  After dressing up like a fool for the past three years, the one time I miss it, it all kicks off.

Now, if you want an autographed photo of Mike as Spider-Man, then feel free to drop me a line and I'll arrange it for you.

Take a bow, Michael Baulderstone, the real life hero in a baggy Spider-Man costume!!  Welcome to your own personal Warhol Time!

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