Tag Archives: New Hampshire

Obstacle Race Review: Stampeding With Twinkies

Post Hula Hoop

Father-Son-Nephew-Girlfriend: The Garnick Contingent in the Manchester Stampede Challenge!

Last weekend, my son and I competed in The Queen City Stampede, a 5K scavenger hunt race criss-crossing nearly every crevice of Manchester, NH. The race lived up to its billing as parent-child friendly version of “The Amazing Race” reality show with a lot less pressure. In the end, we probably wound up covering about 10 miles — much of the excess devoted to finding an elusive rock sculpture in front of the New Hampshire Institute of Art. There are at least four different NHIA buildings spread out through Manchester, and we scurried to them all.

My father-son team was called “The Inators,” a reference to the wacky inventions created by mad scientist Hans Doofenschmirtz (note the brown shirts) from the cartoon “Phineas and Ferb.” My nephew and his girlfriend teamed up as “Darwin’s Disciples” with homemade shirts featuring the bearded scientist and his evolutionary Jesus fish-inspired logo.

The Stampede involved following a series of clues to famous and not-so-famous parts of the city and completing a challenge at each stop. Some of the challenges were ridiculously easy, such as this hula hoop twirling exercise in which one teammate spins it on his or her arm for three minutes and has to transfer it to the partner’s arm without stopping. Continue reading


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The Leaning Tower of Tupperware… and Other Tourist Attractions Coming Soon?

The Leaning Tower of Tupperware — Click on the cartoon to see what those wacky tourists are trying to do. (New Hampshire Magazine illustration by Marc Sutherland).

The New Hampshire tourism bureau just spent $130,000 on a slogan (“Live Free And…”) that I would have sold them for half that price.

But we don’t need any more coffee mug mottos to lure more visitors. We need more tourist attractions!

Luckily for state officials, I’ve laid out the perfect economic development plan in the June issue of New Hampshire Magazine (“Tourist Attractions We’d Like To See“).

Cash Cow Idea # 1: The Leaning Tower of Tupperware (Berlin, NH)

Plastic bowl tycoon Earl Tupper doesn’t generate the same reverence as NH native Franklin Pierce, but what did our 14th President ever do to preserve sandwiches? An unstable tower of Tupperware containers, simulating how they never stack right in the cupboard, would become a must-take tourist photo at the inventor’s birthplace. (Inspiration: JELL-O Museum in Le Roy, NY)

Take a look inside NH Magazine’s crystal ball for some other roadside attractions hopefully coming to a highway exit near me!

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I’m flattered, but sorry, I am NOT legendary actor Burt Ward!

Comic book writer Darren Garnick (left) chats with a young reader about the nuances of the 1966 Batman TV series during “Free Comic Book Day.”

Ever try to (deliberately) give away your creative work?

As strange as it sounds, there was still competition during “Free Comic Book Day,” the publishing industry’s savvy national promotion to get young kids to put down video games long enough to read a few cartoon panels printed on real paper.

Children of all ages recently got to pick up to 8 free sample titles, including “Yo Gabba Gabba,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “SpongeBob,” “Superman,” “Green Lantern,” “Peanuts,” “Star Wars,” and “The Simpsons.”

Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, NH

So generating interest in “Burt Ward, Boy Wonder,” my time travel adventure story about the actor who played “Robin” in the 1966 Batman TV series, required an enthusiastic sales pitch.

Luckily, I had help from some people in high places to promote the Bluewater Comics release this July:

The Dark Knight explores his sitcom past!

Oh, and there were more character endorsements from heroes who simply can’t wait to see how the Boy Wonder thwarts an evil Plutonian plot to take over the Earth — and a madcap scheme to alter the course of the Revolutionary War by supplementing British forces with robots!

As required by the Comic Book Constitution, the dialogue includes lots of exclamation points!

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My interview with Bigfoot

Bigfoot scales New Hampshire's Mount Monadnock -- Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles Doyle

If the buffoon park rangers at my favorite hiking spot were bright, they would be selling souvenir t-shirts instead of kicking Bigfoot off Mt. Monadnock.

Read my exclusive interview with Bigfoot in this month’s New Hampshire Magazine and find out why his eviction might be a civil liberties issue in the “Live Free or Die” state.

Bigfoot, usually spotted prowling the Pacific Northwest, makes an occasional cameo in Jaffrey, New Hampshire -- Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles Doyle

In other Bigfoot news, check out “Quatchi Watch,” my friend Steve Mandich’s tribute to the cute cuddly Sasquatch mascot of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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