[Note: I didn’t start this, Heidi did, way back in 2011. But it’s kinda my Nerd Name Day, because I get kinda embarrassed whenever someone makes a fuss over my birthday.]

Here’s the original citation, from the Beatrix herself!

While others celebrate Columbus, we will celebrate Torsten Adair, who’s become our regular weekend poster, keeper of the Coming Attractions, and master of the roundup.

Torsten has been commenting at the Beat as long as there’s been a Beat, and somewhere back in the mists of the Mesozoic Era we said “Hey, if you’re going to write all that you might as well post it.”

An Omaha native, Torsten studied Library Science at the University of Nebraska, before moving to the big city and eventually landing a spot at Barnes & Noble in 1999, first as a bookseller at the famed Lincoln Center branch, and more recently as a Data Analyst. Which is why he offers those insightful posts on bookselling. He’s a regular at just about every comics gathering on this coast, and always stands ready to supply some insights.

Torsten has been stumping for graphic novels long before they were cool, and he’s definitely done his part to bring them to the masses. Please give him a big thank you, because he’s a lifer, just like The Beat.

Wait…  for life? I can quit anytime! (No… that’s a lie… I can’t…  Comics are a gateway drug to reading, to thinking, to dreaming… it’s like trying to quit breathing.)

So, how does one celebrate the day?

Well, I do have rules, which are volitional. (Wait… “prevolition” is a word? Is that when you plan to make a choice or not? And BTW… “volition” scores 61 points in Scrabble! 49 points on Words With Friends!)

They are:

Rule #0: Ignore any and all rules, 

1. Recommend a comic book or graphic novel to someone, preferably someone who hasn’t read one before. You can gush about your favorite, or you can try to match a comic to what they like to read, or you can just let that person know that the local library has comics!

2. Help someone in need. Myself, I suffer from a Boy Scout Complex. If I see a bewildered tourist on the street, I always ask (from a comfortable distance) if they need help. That may be why I’m a librarian… but also part of why I’m a librarian is because…

3. Go online and learn something new and strange and bizarre. Let your mind wander and wonder. If you’ve got a smartphone with a data plan, immediately scratch that itch. Then share it with the world via Twitter or Facebook or G+. Be curious. Let your mind trespass into areas not normally spoken of in polite company. (Like questionable baby names.)

4. Have some food and drink with friends, and discuss the sorts of stuff you all enjoy. Doesn’t matter if it’s sports or comics or porn stars named after automobiles. Whatever keeps things lively is okay! (We are currently in a comics Renaissance. Let’s push it forward to the Age of Enlightenment, where we get to sit all day long, drink Viennese coffee all day, welcome the Green Fairy at night, and talk about comics!)

5. Read comics in public. (Yes, I know there’s a holiday for that, but you should do that every day!) Chances are someone will start chatting with you about comics…

6. Is there someone who makes your existence better, but isn’t necessarily prominent in your timeline? Let them know. Give them a shout out online, buy them a cup of coffee or a cold brew, give them a call. (That’s kinda what started this crazy day, back in 2011. I returned the favor in 2012.)

Me and amazing cartoonist Gene Ha, at the American Library Association Conference last June

7. NEW RULE Have fun. This year, New York Comic Con was suffering from the Zeitgeist (and I think that there is Lingering Dread from Hillary’s Election Night Let Down still suffused in the building). So, yeah, we need more joy, hope and fun in this world.How to have fun? Geez… that’s like explaining how a joke works… but here are some ways:

Escapism. Ignore, for a brief time, the Real World. Watch some fun cartoons or comedies. Find some classic stand-up videos on YouTube. Binge-read GoComics.com .

Play. Got a young niece/nephew? Be silly! Dress up! Take selfies! Tell awful jokes, and then, when an adult asks you at dinner “What did you do today?”, share the best ones! Play Calvinball if the weather is good, or Nomic if stuck in a car during a long trip.

Mock. Laugh at the blowhards, ridicule the tinpot dictators, satirize the hypocrites. Turn the tables on your tormentors!

However you celebrate my day, I hope your day is good!