Memnon Vanderbeam may have been the captain and curator of the galaxy's finest starship museum, but starships aren't the only place you and I can find treasures.
Half Price Books is a family-owned chain of bookstore in the United States where you can buy and sell new and used books, DVDs, CDs, video games, computer programs and more. The state I live has a few of their stores within not that far a driving distance, including one outlet store. At the outlet store this weekend, everything was half off, and this is the branch where prices are already heavily discounted, such as books for $2 or DVDs for $4. My trip there netted me about three dozen books, movies and music CDs for about $65.
But it was about a month ago that I found an even better treasure. I like the books about the artwork that goes into developing the look of animated movies, such as The Art of Frozen, and while skimming that section, a couple of other books on a nearby shelf caught my eye. I think I passed by them the first time, then realized what I had seen was "Starslip Crisis". That brought me to a halt and I immediately picked out all three that were available.
I usually wind up buying more books than I'm intending to, and sometimes I have to reign myself back in. Sometimes one or two others I have in my stack get put back on the shelf if it looks like the total might be too high for that trip. I don't remember if that's what happened when I spotted these, but one look at them and I would have put all of the others back if I had to.
The books were Volumes 1, 3 and 4, and the last two were autographed by Kris with a character drawing. All three are in really good shape. Whomever had them before they decided to part with them kept the books in very good shape. They look brand new, and obviously the signed books were purchased directly from Kris.
The Chainsaw Suit store shows that Volumes 1 and 3 are sold out for the printed versions. When I looked at that last year, I had thought I wouldn't be able to get the printed versions. Now the last three in the set (including The Starslip Companion) are within my reach.
Of course, I could have just purchased the PDF versions of all of those, but there's something about having printed books that I prefer. Sometimes it's because the resolution in an electronic version is reduced to keep the file size smaller. Other times, it's because of what can't be contained in those ones and zeros. Like the drawing in Volume 3, showing Memnon sitting with his eyes closed and a smile on his face, thinking about a cup of tea.
I may have missed out on getting these books when they were first published and Kris had a Starslip booth at conventions like Emerald City Comic Con, but thanks to the person who did, kept good care of them, and decided they would part with them, it's almost like I did.
It was pure random chance that I was in that HPB store on that day and happened to glance at the humor section next to the performing arts section I was originally interested in. But sometimes random chance favors you and you find a treasure you weren't expecting.