And so ends another Free Comic Book Day.

§ May 2nd, 2010 § Filed under free comic book day § 20 Comments

So there I was, in the midst of Free Comic Book Day at the shop, processing more comics for distribution to the teeming masses and feeling the rest of my hair go gray, when up comes Matt Digges, the artist fella from the world’s greatest webcomic about an awesome hospital, Awesome Hospital. In his hands was an envelope which he hands to me, saying “this is in appreciation for all the hard work you put into Free Comic Book Day.” I said “uh, thanks!” perhaps a bit hesitantly because 1) what was in the envelope? Whaaat? 2) I actually didn’t recognize Mr. Digges, as it’d been a while since the last time I’d seen him, and when it comes to faces, I have the memory of a goldfish that’s been smacked in the head with a crowbar a few times.

Anyway, here is what was in the envelope…a piece of original Matt Digges art, which looks a little something…like this:

In case you need a little context, here you go.

A big thanks to Matt for this great piece of art! To think that before I came along, hardly anyone had thought about any kind of conjunction between Swamp Thing and the Nancyverse. And now, here we are.

What a world.

As for the rest of our Free Comic Book Day…in past FCBDs, when we opened our doors in the morning, sometimes it would take about an hour or so for the crowds to really start pouring in, which would make me nervous for a few minutes: “oh, man, nobody’s coming in, we’re doomed.” But yesterday, as soon as kicked the door open, the store was almost immediately filled with people. And it pretty much stayed that way ’til the late afternoon, with the exception of one ten or fifteen minute lull where the store was strangely empty.

Ultimately, we gave away a ton of comics, sold a bunch of product, and once again made back our costs and then some. And, most importantly, made a bunch of folks very happy!

I had this conversation more than once:

(Customer with bags of free comics in hand) “So, wait, these are free?”

(Me) “Yup. All free.”

(Customer) “Wait…all them? All these here, that I’m carrying.”

(Me, looking to make sure there aren’t any non-FCBD books): “Yes, those are all free.”

(Customer) “Whoa. Far out, man.”

Very special thanks to Employee Aaron’s girlfriend Kempo, who was a trooper, hanging out all day and running Free Comic Central, the tables from which customers picked up their free books. And to Andres, who stuck around for a couple of hours and helped me process some of the FCBD books into age-appropriate bags for distribution. And to Official Store Cook Dana, who brought us cookies, and to Jorean, for filling in for Kempo briefly so the poor girl could get a break. And to Sam, who performed the occasional miscellaneous store duty so we didn’t have to.

A big thank you goes to customers Rob and Dave, along with known child associates Spenser and Morgan, who made the trip from the far-off and nigh-mythical land of Bakersfield just to enjoy FCBD at our shop. That’s quite the trip, and I certainly appreciate their business. (Yes, “business.” They bought stuff!)

So that was our Free Comic Book Day…nothing unusual (well, aside from that pic above), just busy busy busy.

How was your FCBD experience?

20 Responses to “And so ends another Free Comic Book Day.”

  • Gbob says:

    A story of two FCBDs.

    In Buffalo, there were 2 stores I took my kid to. One was packed. We were handed bags, we were greeted at the door. The owner saw my son and handed him a Flash ring and a Green Lantern ring. He asked my boy what comics he liked, and made sure that my boy walked away happy. He was greeting every customer as they walked in, and had asked his friends to pitch in and greet folks. Queen City Comics in Buffalo is a great place, and I made sure to plunk down some change there.

    We then went to another store. It was dead quiet. The cashiers were talking to each other about the bad writing in Thundercats. There was no display, and I had to interrupt them to ask about free comics. One of them sighed, and pointed to a table where very few comics were laid out. New customers, obviously, did not excite him. Having a child at the store seemed like trespassing. Needless to say, I spent no money there.

    Moral? If you don’t do customer service, don’t do FCBD.

  • Pal Cully says:

    I love that House of Secrets Nancy and Sluggo cover!!! Genius!!

  • Nat Gertler says:

    Me, I rounded up five five-and-unders and three other parents (with only two of the kids and myself having been in a comics store before) and headed to a nice shop where they each got a big pile of comics in a bright yellow bag, and I got a similarly-sized pile in a black bag. Would’ve/should’ve talked longer to the gal handing out comics about the comics she does, but was incompatible with kid herding. Got a lot of “Ooh, Star Wars comics!” and “Can I have a Scooby-Doo?” Little Allison ended up with a Powerpuff Girls book and a Power Pack collection and some stickers, Addyrose with some stickers, a Betty & Veronica, and whichever comic had Archie smooching a Pussycat, Miguel with a Star Wars cartoon-style TPB and a Scooby-Doo, Devin… I’m not sure what Devin and Cole ended up with. And one of the parents ended up with Buffy Season 8 book 1. I managed to top the usual “I remember when all comics were a nickel” by discussing one old acquaintance who marveled at the color in today’s comics, because when she was a kid they could only afford the black-and-white comic books… ran into a couple of friends there (arranged for one to babysit the baby so my wife and my five year old can come to my play, very convenient), and then headed across the corner for donuts. All in all, a fine time was had, money was spent that probably at least approached balancing out the retailer cost of the comics, some kids got their first comic books and some parents were made aware of where they can get more.

  • Rich Handley says:

    House of Nancy #92–my favorite issue!

  • Brett says:

    This year was my first really disappointing Free Comic Book day, but I half expected it to be. I went to a game store that does comics as well and they completely ignored Free Comic Book Day. They are a good game store, but they do comics so poorly that I have always been a bit surprised they bothered. I was hoping against hope they would prove me wrong, but in the end they are an excellent game store and I spent the day playing games rather than reveling in my free comics. I may grab my son this afternoon and see if the real comic store nearby still has any all ages stuff he can get. Anyhow, FCBD a bit of bummer for me, but only because I committed myself to a gaming event so my own fault I guess.

  • Andres says:

    I thought she was holding an ice cream bar! You can blame my mistake on the fact I just finished reading Nancy Eats Food.

  • Sean says:

    I was able to visit three comic shops on FCBD. I only took free comics from my regular store, but found some nifty items at the other two.

    Mike, I just realized I have been following your blog for months now and have no idea where your store is located. You should have some sort of link on this site so people can find you (apologies if you do have it but I was unable to find it).

  • Todd says:

    Slug Thing! Righteous!

    Also, glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that Nancy was eating that hairbrush.

  • Rob March says:

    When Mike told me that FCBD was pretty pricey for the store to actually run, I feel compelled to drop a chunk on graphic novels in a show of solidarity. The 25% discount (a FCBD special) doesn’t hurt either…I got some pretty interesting titles.

    So, well done guys! It looked swamped yesterday at about 11am, and I hope it was the usual success for the store.

  • Rocco says:

    Since the comic shop about an hour away closed, I’m fairly certain there isn’t a single comic book store in all of Upper Michigan. I don’t think we even have a tabletop gaming store any where either, a few baseball card shops that sell Magic the Gathering, but that’s as close as it gets. I really need to get out of the mid-west..

  • Nik says:

    Great fun down here in New Zealand, our store had a big sale and I took my 6-year-old with his superhero cape on. The free comics were, as usual, a mixed bag, but it’s great to see such a huge crowd turn up and people excited about comics again.

  • Cory Landon says:

    I have a friend who runs a bookstore that carries comics on the side. To celebrate FCBD he opened a new room in the store just for comics. I went to visit and found myself employed for the day, sorting back issues and greeting the customers. The store had live music, a costume contest for the kids, and Batman, Robin and the Joker out on the street to attract business. The store was packed all day and everyone seemed very happy. The funniest thing was that his bookstore had more choices for free comics than the comic shop that just opened in town a couple months ago. All in all a success for the store and the customers.

  • The first store I went to, Carol & John’s in Cleveland (, made me think of Mike Sterling because each employee there was wearing a sombrero. Turns out, that was because this year’s theme was Cinco de Mayo, and the main event was a three-round boxing match between Captain America and Iron Man, dressed as luchadores. I haven’t seen any pics of the event show up on the internet yet, but here’s a video of last year’s event, where Superman and The Flash raced around the parking lot, to give you an idea of what Carol & John’s on FCBD is like: link.

    I also made it to the local store, Comic Heaven, where there was Darth Vader, two tables worth of free comics, and a lot of kids. Finally found a copy of Tales From the Bully Pulpit!

    I didn’t get to go, but the local Class A baseball team was giving away to kids a specially produced comic by Thom Zahler–article about it here.

  • bradmikeshaw says:

    Bizzaro Wuxtry Athens, GA. FCBD was great. About five kids were in line waiting for the store to open. Can’t remember the last time I saw that one. Free comics plus 30% off back issues if you went to see the midnight showing of The Rocketeer at the local art house theater. Killer

  • My friend was telling me about a shop she went to, the first FCBD comic was free, but if you wanted more than one you had to pay for them! WTF! I understand limiting the number you’re going to give out, but charging for them seems against the spirit of the day.
    She went to another store that let you have more comics instead.

  • Heli says:

    I envy you guys with awesome shops. I went to two and heard about another. The first one I hit had the dreaded “limit 3” on FCBD stuff, and was entirely kid-free. (I also later found out that they had a special deal going on, but nobody bothered to tell me about it, and there was no kind of poster or advertisement; way to promote, guys!)

    The second shop I hit (primarily a game store) had a great spread and a ton of 50 cent back issues in boxes all around the FCBD table. There was even a kid or two floating around, looking for Tiny Titans and whatnot.

    The “heard about” store had a limit of one FCBD comic. WHY? “Why?” I ask you. So lame.

    FCBD is so well-advertised around here that I mentioned it to a geeky friend at work, and she’d never heard of the event at all. Boo, local shops.

  • Nimbus says:

    For the first time ever, I actually went to a comicbook store on FCBD. Forbidden Planet in Manchester UK didn’t seem to be doing much though some of the staff were dressed up (the black Spiderman scared my daughter!). Managed to pick up a few books – DC Kids (okay), Incorruptible (quite good), Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock (nice art), Iron Man/Nova (haven’t read yet), and my daughter got the Simpsons comic (she really likes the Simpsons). Many of the others comic books had already gone by 11am when I got there.

    Oh and I bought the Nextwave: Agents of HATE ultimate collection TPB (for probably twice the price I could have got it online. But what the heck!).

  • De says:

    Had to miss FCBD this year because I felt awful (blast you, hay fever!). However, I was able to snag the FCBD books I wanted from a dealer at the DC Comic-Con the next day. He had them all in a couple of long boxes and was making sure anyone who walked by took some.

  • Alan Bryan says:

    The store I go to every week, House of Pop Culture, in Waldorf, MD had displays out front with discounted hard covers and Action figures.
    Even a Lemonade stand (.50 a cup).
    The owner had plenty of Free Comics and I arrived at opening.
    I got all I wanted AND spent nearly $40.
    Later that day I returned with the wife and she spent nearly $30 more on action figures (2 big Godzilla’s for ME! and a Poison Ivy Hush for her) plus something else.
    A GREAT DAY and Bret said it was good. I saw a lot of people each time and all bought something while getting free books too….

  • remolay says:

    My local comic store limited to 3 comics, and they were already out of The Tick by the time I got there. So I grabbed the Sonic one, Fractured Fables, and a Spiderman Sketchbook.

    I also bought me Deadpoll corps #1, I love deadpool, so that made it awesome despite missing out on The Tick. I am really glad that it proved to be a popular one