Monday, October 08, 2018

Time for a Fun Pak

Had a birthday recently, which brought me back to an old tradition that has roots in my college days.

At my undergraduate college, we had a convenience store near the campus, easy to walk to, called the  Tinee Giant.  It is part of a chain in that part of the country.  I always assumed that they were connected to the Giant supermarket chain, but I don't know for sure if that is true or not.  Anyway, a typical convenience store, selling bags of chips, candy, snack cakes, some groceries, lots of beverages  (as a senior I remember buying a 6 pack of malt liquor there for me and a friend to share with a professor at the end of the semester), self serve hot dogs and condiments (50 cents), and other stuff.  A rack near the front window had an assortment of "fun-paks" as they were called- small bagged with a cardboard header, dime store quality items, or things you might win with a visit's worth of tickets from a boardwalk game.  I remember one called "candy and water weapons" which had really cheap candy, and something almost like a water pistol (unlike the ones I knew, this had no trigger, just soft plastic gun shape that could hold some water, and you squeezed the whole thing to get water to shoot out the nozzle), some very cheap amusements.

One of my art school buddies was my friend Dave (the malt liquor friend above) and we adopted a form of the "Fun-Pak" for ourselves, often sending each other birthday gifts of stuff we made or picked up for free (artist post cards, etc).  Got one from Dave a few days ago.

Being a comic book artist, often the content of his packages is comics related.  This time it included a complication of recent short comic strips, a preview issue of an upcoming graphic novel about the Georgetown Steam Plant (funded by the city of Seattle), stickers, and a t-shirt that he helped design for a convention in Hot Springs, Arkansas (who'd have thought he's have a connection there?), plus a card.  Got it Friday, had time over the weekend to finally read everything. Fun, as expected.


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