Free comic books in Gwinnett this weekend
Kyle Puttkammer of Galactic Quest, a comic book store in Lawrenceville, displays the free comic books he's planning to give away on Saturday which is Free Comic Book Day.
By REBECCA McCARTHY
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 05/01/08
Zap! Bam! Pow! Retreat, recession. Flee, inflation.
Free comic books are here!
Gwinnett County comic book retailers will be giving away thousands of comic books on Saturday. All you need to do is ask, says Kyle Puttkammer, owner of Galactic Quest shops in Buford and Lawrenceville.
Free Comic Book Day is a national event, during which more than 2 million comic books will be given away by participating stores. The publishers have discounted the comics to the stores for the giveaway.
"We really want people who've never been in the store to come in with their children," Puttkammer said. "We're a family friendly store and can direct shoppers to appropriate comics. It's up to them what they buy."
Galactic Quest has been in business for 17 years. The Lawrenceville store recently moved to a new location on Pike Street. It has room enough for thousands of comic books, plus tables where budding artists meet to work on comics, including Galaxy Man, Puttkammer's creation.
With the Ironman movie opening on Friday, Galactic Quest has magazines, action figures and a large cutout of the red and gold Avenger throughout the store.
The Pike Street store will be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The Batmobile and a costumed Spiderman will also attend, as will local comic book artists Fred Torres and Sean Taylor.
owner shares passion for comics through exhibit
By Rachael Mason Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Puttkammer lives in an alternate universe where superheroes
reign. As the owner of two Gwinnett comic book shops, he’s constantly
immersed in a world of larger-than-life adventures.
Puttkammer, who has loved reading comics since he was a boy,
is more than a comic salesman, however. He’s also the creator
of two new superheroes — Galaxy Man and Cosmic Girl. They are
the stars of a new exhibit at the Children’s Arts Museum in
Duluth. “A Galaxy of Heroes” will be on display through Sept.
2 at the museum, which is part of the Jacqueline C. Hudgens
Center for the Arts. The exhibit not only introduces Galaxy
Man and Cosmic Girl, but also features original paintings, drawings
and sculptures of iconic comic book heroes such as Batman, Superman,
Spiderman and Wonder Woman. “The parents have just as much fun
with this as the kids,” said Nancy Gullickson, executive director
of the Gwinnett Council for the Arts, which runs the Hudgens
of Galaxy Man and Cosmic Girl stand in the middle of the gallery
at the Children’s Art Museum. These sculptures, which were created
by artist Eddie Wright, also ap pear in the drawing on the cover
of issue No. 1 of “Galaxy Man.” The comic was produced by Puttkammer
and a team of local artists and writers. “In creating the comic
book, we really put the time into the pages and the story,”
secret identity is Stanley Quest, an astronomer who lives in
Stellar City with his daughter, Suzie. What he doesn’t know,
though, is that Suzie is also the superhero Cosmic Girl. Quest’s
wife, an astronaut, has been missing since she went on a mission
to Mars. As Galaxy Man, Quest hopes to one day find his wife.
Each Galaxy Man story will end with a moral lesson. “As parents,
we want to send the right messages to kids,” Puttkammer said.
In the first book, Galaxy Man battles the evil doctor Ross Rex,
who brings dinosaur bones to life in a museum. “In the first
issue, the message is that violence doesn’t solve anything,”
run of 250 copies of the Galaxy Man comic was printed by the
Hudgens Center. The book is available at the museum gift shop,
as well as at Puttkammer’s two Galactic Quest comic book stores,
which are located in Lawrenceville and Buford. Puttkammer plans
to continue the Galaxy Man series. Preliminary drawings for
issue two are already complete. The next book will follow Galaxy
Man to outer space, where he meets a space monster. Though Galaxy
Man comics are only being sold locally at the moment, Puttkammer
dreams of bringing the superhero to readers across the country.
go national with the comic when I feel like we’ve got enough
material for six months,” he said. In fact, he’s already planning
to expand the comics with toy and game product tie-ins. Already,
a Galaxy Man coloring book and an activity book, which includes
cut-outs of all the characters, are available. But no matter
how famous Galaxy Man becomes, the comics will remain family
friendly. “I’m creating what I’d like to see and what I’d like
to sell,” Puttkammer said.
If you go What: “A Galaxy of Heroes”
When: Now through Sept. 2. The museum hours are from 1 to 5
Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Children’s Arts Museum at the Jacqueline C. Hudgens Center
for the Arts, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth Cost:
Admission is $5.
Info: Call 770-623-6002 or visit www.artsgwinnett.com or www.galacticquest.com.
Please visit http://gwinnettdailypost.com :: gwinnettdailypost.com.
Batman old news? Spidey getting stale? Just learn
how to create new superheroes
By JON WATERHOUSE
For AJC Gwinnett News
Published on: 01/20/05
owner of Galactic Quest comic shops in Buford and Lawrenceville,
is interactive about his geekdom. This is the guy who gave his
car a Spider-Man-inspired paint job and hosts 24-hour marathon
gaming tournaments at his stores.
And when it comes to comics, he doesn't just encourage customers
to buy them. He wants his readers to draw them, too.
Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Galactic Quest in Buford hosts comic art
classes. Wannabe cartoonists huddle together and learn the basics,
like how to draw a human head and putting a character in action.
It's Puttkammer, an artist in his own right, who heads the class,
teaching his students the power of the pen.
aren't confined to Puttkammer's comic shop. He has been making
his rounds at select Gwinnett County libraries for a series
of free classes. On Jan. 27, Puttkammer stops at Suwanee Library.
He'll visit six others, including Collins Hill, Lawrenceville
and Mountain Park, through April.
is a male medium, stereotypically, but 30 percent of the Galactic
Quest art class is female. An average of 10 to 12 students attend
each week at his shop. Most of Puttkammer's students fall into
the 10- to 15-year-old age range.
age, they've already decided if they're going to be productive
and creative," Puttkammer says. "And working on art projects
says a lot about their character."
curriculum varies, and Puttkammer keeps things basic enough
so each lesson is acceptable for first-timers. Students pay
by the class, which is $5 for each one-hour session, so they
can come as much or as little as they want.
15 minutes of a typical class finds each student going over
the art he or she has completed since the last class, and it's
opened up for critique. Next, Puttkammer spends 15 to 20 minutes
giving the class direction and working on goals. The rest of
the time is spent going over a particular assignment. A recent
topic was how to bring life to comic book baddies like the Joker
and Doctor Doom.
Shannon Roper, a home schooled student from Flowery Branch,
the drawing class is her weekly art fix. Roper says Puttkammer's
class differs from the typical art classes in schools because
it's more hands-on.
to sketch more than the teacher talks," says Roper, a fan of
Japanese comics. "And I like the fact he gives us positive directions
and tells us where we need to go with our art."
also get firsthand insights into the comic book production process.
Puttkammer, along with fellow artist Allen Belk and writer Patrick
Gallagher, are working to create an original comic titled "Galaxy
Man." As Puttkammer and his cohorts approach each step of comic
creation, from rough sketches to inking to shading, he's able
to share the evolution of the "Galaxy Man" project with the
who studied at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and
the Art Institute of Atlanta, often is approached by clients
looking for artwork, ranging from logo design and illustration
to mural paintings. To help pass on some experience, he sometimes
recruits his top students to lend a hand or take on a project
is to get students in the mind-set that they can achieve their
goals," Puttkammer said, "and give them an inspirational starting
point for what they want to do in the future."
Comic book store owner celebrates superheroes
By Rachael Mason Staff Writer email@example.com
Kyle Puttkammer, left, stands beside his “Spider-Man” car in front
of his Lawrenceville comic book store. Two of Puttkammer’s friends
pose as Spider-Man and Doc Ock.
Somewhere high above the earth, Galaxy Man flies through space,
searching for his lost wife. She disappeared while exploring Mars
on the same day a meteor hit Stellar City and gave her husband,
astronomer Stanley Quest, super powers. Blinded by grief, Galaxy
Man doesn’t realize that Cosmic Girl, who accompanies him on search
missions, is his daughter Suzy.
to the universe of Kyle Puttkammer. It’s a place where heroes
rule and secret identities are the norm. Batman, Superman and
Spider-Man coexist peacefully here and sometimes they can even
be found side by side.
look for Galaxy Man on the shelves of Puttkammer’s Galactic
Quest comic book stores yet. Puttkammer, 36, is still working
on the first Galaxy Man comic, along with Patrick Gallagher
and Allen Belk. The three have already started selling Galaxy
Man drawings at comic book conventions, but they’re still working
on the details of their superhero’s story.
back at his Lawrenceville headquarters, Puttkammer, who also
owns a store in Buford, is working hard to sell other comic
books. He is evangelical in his devotion for the art form. “Comics
are an American art form that we created,” Puttkammer said.
“There is at least one comic for everyone out there.”
was 9, he started out reading a Spider-Man comic. At age 10,
he became a fan of Star Wars comics. He came to Georgia at age
22 because his sister lived here. He started selling comics
part time in Lawrenceville while working at a convenience store.
soon grew into a full-time business. Puttkammer even met his
wife Cynthia at his comic book shop. The two have been married
for a decade and have two daughters, Anna, 3, and Andrea, who
will turn 6 on Monday.
release of the “Spider-Man 2” movie, this week has been particularly
exciting for the comic book shop owner. On Wednesday, Puttkammer
bought tickets for an entire screening of “Spider-Man 2” so
that he and his customers (who paid him back for the tickets)
could watch the movie together. “That movie is everything I
love comic books for,” he said.
two friends who appeared as Spider-Man and the movie’s villain,
Doc Ock, at Discover Mills. Puttkammer has been known to pull
on a Spidey suit himself and especially enjoys visiting his
daughters’ school in costume. He also drives a red Toyota Celica
decorated with Spider-Man webs and wears a red-and-black sports-style
jersey that depicts Spider-Man.
an especially exciting day at Galactic Quest. First of all,
it’s free comic book day, so every customer who comes into the
store will receive a comic. Then, this afternoon, Spider-Man
artist Mark Brooks will visit the Lawrenceville store. Brooks
draws the character for comics like “Marvel Age: Spider-Man”
and “Amazing Fantasy.”
couldn’t be happier about seeing Brooks again. The two first
met at a comic book convention. “Mark Brooks is living the dream.
He draws comic books for a living,” Puttkammer said.
if Galaxy Man takes off, Puttkammer is not prepared to give
up his comic book shops to become a full-time artist. Producing
comics will have to remain a hobby, because Puttkammer has already
found his calling. He sells comic books.
Hooked on comics
Store owner teaching art of creating, selling
Rebecca McCarthy - Staff
Friday, April 23, 2004
For Kyle Puttkammer, comic books are serious business.
As the owner of two Galactic Quest comic book stores in Gwinnett,
Puttkammer, 36, watches the bottom line and knows how to move
merchandise --- lots of it. His wife and business partner, Cynthia,
is equally astute.
In their Lawrenceville and Buford stores, shelves and counters
are crowded with comic books, both vintage and current; action
figures from various decades; books for role-playing games like
Dungeons and Dragons; collectible card games like Magic, Pokemon,
Yu Gi Oh and Dualmasters; and fantasy costumes.
are linger-for-hours kinds of places for anyone who ever fantasized
about having super strength, the ability to fly or a spider's
sense of danger.
Puttkammer seems almost as intent on making friends as on making
money. He's been trading with some customers since he opened
his first comic book business in a flea market 13 years ago.
Kids, teenagers, adults, older people, they all come in, and
most of them come back.
sits behind the counter of the brightly lit Lawrenceville store,
located in a Publix shopping center, and greets everyone who
walks inside, offering to help if assistance is needed. Someone
may call wanting to unload a childhood comics collection or
to find out when and where a weekly gaming tournament occurs.
10-year-old Sam Marshall, a "Star Wars" buff, wandered into
the store to buy his first "Star Wars" comic, Puttkammer quizzed
him on movie trivia, specifically the odds of successfully navigating
an asteroid field. Sam answered correctly: 3,720 to one.
bearded Brian Little bragged about his custom-designed deck
of Dualmasters playing cards, Puttkammer cleared a counter,
shuffled his own cards and settled in for a game. He won.
get to do this every day for a living!" he said with a smile.
certainly beats the first job he had when he moved from Milwaukee
to Atlanta 15 years ago: working in a convenience store.
Puttkammer clearly enjoys all the stuff in his stores, his first
love remains comic books.
toys are cool, the games are cool, but I just love comic books.
Superman is the No. 1 most recognized fictional character in
the world," he said. "People know him as well as they know Santa
Puttkammer collects comic books. He studies comic books. He
sponsors 24-hour draw-a-thons whose end result is an individualized
He has even come up with his own character, Galaxy Man, who
soon will appear in a self-published comic book. And now he
is teaching people how to create their own comics. Again. After
an eight-year hiatus, Puttkammer has returned to the classroom,
taking on about 15 students at the Buford store. They will meet
there every Tuesday night for the next several weeks.
daughter Andrea asked me if I could paint," Puttkammer said.
"So I've started painting with my daughters and I found that
it's a lot of fun. I realized that I could have fun and share
with people some of the business acumen I've developed over
the past eight years."
of those enrolled in the class is Lawrenceville resident Mac
King, 41, who is retired from the Navy. He decided to accompany
his soon-to-be-stepson, Tyler Shope, to the class so that the
9-year-old would feel more comfortable. Comic books have helped
them bond --- Tyler's bedtime stories usually involve Marvel
Comics' Wolverine character, King said.
did a really good job of talking about the history of comic
books and why it is that some people just have to draw them,"
said. "It's certainly not as easy as everyone says it is. If
you think you're going to have the next big thing, you better
think otherwise, because it takes years of practice."
said he used to sketch and doodle while he was at sea, adding
that he also used to read comic books. "Reading and working
out, that's about all there is to do," he said. "Reading comic
books sure as heck helped pass the time."
has amassed a personal collection of comics dating to the 1960s,
when he became a Superman fan, said King, who now works for
Comcast. Each issue is encased in protective wrap, "and they're
all hermetically sealed," he said. "I'm going to leave the collection
to my kids."
student, Marcus Kellum, works as a landscape architect for the
city of Duluth. He joined the class "to have an open forum to
come to, without restrictions, and just to draw with people
of different ages."
graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York
City, Kellum, 33, said the class teaches the basics of comic
book drawing, character development and page layout. He plans
to continue attending.
wants the class to learn not only the process of creating a
comic book, but also the mechanics for marketing and packaging
an incredible amount of fun," he said. "I was inspired by the
people in the class. I'm looking forward to seeing what this
time around brings."
Comic book geeks star in this galaxy
WHY IT'S COOL: It's
a home away from home for comic book geeks and gamers. Windows
of its Buford store, painted with images of Superman and other
characters, call out to the ridiculed masses. New and old comics,
rare toys, character T-shirts, collectible card games, superhero
busts and other fan necessities are sold inside. Looking for
a Conan the Barbarian figure from 1992 or a Batman bowling shirt?
Not to worry. Life-size models of Yoda, Spider-Man and The Tick
stand guard as shoppers browse the aisles. And tables offer
space for gamers to roll dice or duel at cards.
PROMO-MAN: Owner Kyle Puttkammer, who opened his first
store in Lawrenceville 12 years ago, is the P.T. Barnum of the
local comics and collectibles scene.
In 1999, with the hype of the first "Star Wars" prequel at a
fevered pitch, Puttkammer suited up in jedi regalia, becoming
the "Star Wars" correspondent for WAGA-TV Fox 5 and Star 94
FM. When "Spider-Man" swung in to break box-office records in
2002, he parked his Spider-mobile (a '91 Toyota Celica with
a Spider-Man paint job) in front of his store. And at a recent
private screening of "The Hulk" for Galactic Quest customers,
Puttkammer introduced the film dressed as the Hulk's alter ego,
Dr. Bruce Banner. After losing his cool to a heckler in the
audience, he hulked up, re-emerging with torn clothes.
With its Buford store in its fifth year and the Lawrenceville
location in a new high-volume Publix shopping center, Puttkammer
is always brainstorming another promotion.
TREND MASTERS: The ebb and flow of trends in the comics,
gaming and sci-fi industries can be a challenge. Knowing what
to sell and when is always an issue. "Star Wars" dominated for
a while, but the torch has been passed to superhero movies.
Pokémon was hot, now it's Yu-Gi-Oh. "As far as trends go," Puttkammer
said, "we've been able to get in at the right time and out at
the right time. It's been a blessing."
GAME BOYS: Weekly gaming tournaments take place at Galactic
Quest, with Friday and Saturday nights being the most popular.
In the past, the Buford store has done 32-hour gaming marathons
for serious players of "Magic," "Lord of the Rings," "Hero Clix"
and other popular games. On July 11, Galactic Quest-Buford plans
to stay open until 3 a.m. for die-hards. Gamers are welcome
anytime for impromptu competitions. Some local teens, including
18-year-old Nick McCullar, hang out with friends at the Buford
store two to three days each week. "It's like being in a cult
without killing people," McCullar said with a laugh.
COMIC RELIEF: Galactic Quest's added attractions, such
as gaming marathons, movie tie-ins and imaginative promotions,
keep Puttkammer happy. "It's really satisfying seeing my creative
efforts rewarded in a way that allows me to support my family
with something as underestimated as comic books," he said. --
on-line poll of gamer's favorite store.
- Galactic Quest in Buford!
Comic Book Store
Readers' Choice Winner. Best in Gwinnett 2000
A geek's dream. Need a Spider-man
vol.1 No. 13 (and who doesn't)? Then Galactic Quest is the
place for you. Just walking in transports you back to childhood
and that's not a bad place to be.
The following article was featured in the Gwinnett Daily Post
- Thursday June 29th, 2000
QUEST OWNER PLAYS COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME AT THIS YEARS DRAGON
- Imagine battling Darth Vader or Jabba the Hut from the Star
universe. Lawrenceville resident Kyle Puttkammer takes them
all on, but
not in his imagination.
32, slices through Darth Vader using Luke Skywalker's or
lightsaber or overpowers Jabba the Hut with Ewoks in the
card game Star Wars.
"It's a lot of fun to compete," Puttkammer
First, he selects a deck of 60 cards
to use against his opponent. That
takes him about an hour because he has
collected all 1,500 of the Star Wars
Then, using the directions listed on
each card under a picture of the
individual, such as Luke's Uncle Owen,
or another part of the Star Wars
Universe, he can stage a land battle
on Tattoine or space battles near the
"It's just as competitive as a good
game of chess," Puttkammer said.
Last year, Puttkammer opened a sealed
deck and played the best games of his
life at the world's largest science
fiction and fantasy convention called
Dragon Con. He still gets a satisfied
smile just thinking of the thrill.
His deck contained key cards, and Puttkammer
knew how to use them well
enough so he won four consecutive games.
He believes he would have won the
tournament if he stayed to finish the
"It was getting late so I had to go
home to wife," Puttkammer said.
Puttkammer plans to play card games
again at this year's Dragon Con Thursday
to Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta,
the Atlanta Apparel Mart and the
Atlanta Merchandise Mart, but not too
many because he will be selling
comics and Star Wars collectibles at
two booths to represent his Galactic
Quest stores in Lawrenceville and Buford.
Dragon Con involves more than just merchandise
from science fiction and
fantasy. The convention also includes
horror, comics, art shows, games,
costume contests, lectures, animation,
science, music, television and films.
Well-known writers, artists, and actors
also come to the convention,
including David Prowse, Jeremy Bulloch,
David Carradine, Ted Raimi, Brad
Dourif, Terry Brooks and Kevin J. Anderson.
For more details, check out
www.dragoncon.com or call 770-909-0115.
"It's a good time for adults," Puttkammer
What Puttkammer likes about the card
gaming is that games can run from 10
minutes to hours.
What Puttkammer likes about Star Wars
card gaming is Star Wars.
"Everybody can relate to Star Wars,"
Puttkammer said. "It brings me back to
Puttkammer saw the first movie in the
theater when he was 10 years old.
"It was just this huge adventure. It
inspired me to draw comic books," said
The Star Wars universe also inspired
Puttkammer to start his business. He
began with $300 worth of Star Wars merchandise
and $300 in cash. He sold at
flea markets on the weekends for a year
and then opened up a store in
Lawrenceville to sell comics, figurines,
posters and collectible cards.
Puttkammer hopes to expand his own collection
at Dragon Con next week when
the next set of Star Wars collectible
cards, "Death Star II," is released.
Then, he can battle the Emperor who
will make his first appearance in the
GALACTIC QUEST WINS STAR WARS INSIDER DISPLAY
Diamond Dialog July 1999 -
Quest of Lawrenceville, Ga used the Force's wide-reaching powers
to artfully create an all out media campaign promoting Star
Wars Insider magazine and Star Wars Episode I the phantom
Menace, making it the Grand Prize winner of the Diamond
and Star Wars Insider's Star Wars display Contest.
in advertising clips, a video depicting its advertising campaign,
and numerous photos, Galactic Quest impressed judges with an
extra-ordinary media onslaught that effectively endorsed Star
Wars Insider magazine to new readers.
the Grand Prize winner, the store will receive a beautiful bust
of the Star Wars saga's best -known and most feared bounty hunter,
Boba Fett - a collectible treasure.
Galactic Quest also took second place in the Dark Horse Star
Wars Display contest. (Contest rules dictated that the
same store could not win both contests)