Friday, January 24, 2014

Pinball Coast to Coast!!!

When Jon came to visit me last July, we headed back to the East Coast together, to teach some of the summer workshops at the Center for Cartoon Studies.  We had one weekend off between two week-long workshops, so you know we put that free time to good use!  One guess where we headed... Yup! Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, NH.  Does this guy look ready to play some pinball or what???

I've been to a lot of good pinhalls, but this place is right up at the top of the list.  The machines work great, the space is clean and inviting, the staff is helpful, and they have a TON of quality machise.  Bask is the glory that is the PWA!

My pal Liz Prince had recently moved to Ipswitch which is pretty close by, so she and her boyfriend Kyle met us there to hang out and play some pinball.  Here Liz is schooling us on Tales From the Crypt, which is her favorite pinball machine.

PWA also had a brand new Wizard of Oz machine that Jon was really looking forward to playing (I don't think he had played it yet!)  Unfortunately, the machine was having some trouble with its LED system, so none of the playfield inserts were working.  They actually had this machine turned off, but since Sarah St. John is an old friend of the zine (featured in DTZ #4!) she booted it up just for Jon, and even put a credit on there for him.  Class act!

I remember playing a lot of Space Shuttle on this trip.  There is something about this era of machine (mid '80s) that I love.  Not so much stuff going on that you can't figure it out and just enough shots that it's challenging.  But if you spend an hour with it, you'll hit every shot and run the machine through its paces.  I'm not sure if 132,920 is a score worth bragging about, but I'm assuming I wouldn't have taken this photo if that wasn't my best game.  Side fact for our cartoonist friends out there: this is James Sturm's favorite pinball machine!

I flew back to Oakland, only to return to Vermont about a month later to teach a class, before heading down to the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD.  Naturally, Jon and I squeezed in a few games of T2 at C&S Pizza in White River Junction while I was in town!

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