Free Comic Book Day 2018 is over, but someone tell my legs and hands that.

§ May 7th, 2018 § Filed under free comic book day § 7 Comments


It’s done, it’s done, and as you may have seen me announcing on my Twittererers, it was quite the successful one. Gave away more comics, had more people come in (swamped pretty much from opening ’til the late afternoon, and even after that we still had a good crowd), and, as far as actual cash/credit business goes, it was my biggest Free Comic Book Day yet at this store of mine…a 65% increase over the business I did my first FCBD here four years ago!

Here are a couple of shots of how my store looked that day…once again, I was pretty busy at the register and couldn’t get out to take too many photos, but I took this one right after we opened the door:


…which is the photo I’ve been using on the store Facebook page and Instagram and whatnot. This second photo I took has a better look at the Free Comics Table, as well as a shot of someone’s reading glasses on the counter that he has to use because of his aging eyes who is definitely not me:

Anyway, this is my 17th go-round on FCBD, which means I’ve been doing it since it was unleashed nearly a couple of decades back, and every year, both at my previous place of employment and now, it’s been a resounding success. Lots of folks of all ages got their free comics, and because I order extra for future use, I’m still giving them away now to those folks who weren’t able to make it in to the event. Saw lots of new faces, too, many of whom went out of their way to tell me it was their first trip to my shop and how much they liked it, which was nice to hear. I know we go around and around about how much good FCBD actually does, in regards to return business etc., but it never hurts to remind people that 1) your shop is there, and 2) your shop is pretty awesome, if I may switch my own-horn status to “TOOTED.”

No real problems or inconveniences I noticed this time…you know, the guy who always wants to look at all the dirty comics while the store is filled with kids, that sort of thing. I was a little bummed when a comic saver customer that I’d long given up on came in to ask for his pull, after not responding to any of my phone calls for months. Er…sorry, pal, gave you plenty of chances. But, you know, that was pretty much it.

There was one other very minor annoyance that I mentioned on the tweeters:


And of course, the internet and that platform’s search function being what it is, I quickly got this response:


Well, at least they know about it! But boy, those paper trimmings just got everywhere.

The most popular giveaway this year was the Spongebob book…ordered lots of those, and ran out of them right quick. There were a couple books that appeared to fit into the “not even for free” category, which I won’t name here so that people will be fooled into thinking I’m nice. But that’s the one downside of letting folks freely pick what they want off the tables versus what we used to do at the old store (create prefilled bags for different age groups, containing all the comics)…some customers just plain will not want what you’re offering. Now, the comics this happened to I didn’t order very high on, but still, it’s a little disappointing to see an unloved book just sittin’ there while its free comic brethren and sister-en fly off the tables.

Pal Dorian (who helped out again this year, along with my dad, and my girlfriend Nora – big thank to all of them!) pointed out that Marvel “left money on the table” (you know, relatively speaking) by not doing a straight-up Black Panther freebie. Apparently we were getting lots of requests for such a thing, and yeah, that seems like a missed opportunity.

I gave away that DC Nation comic, which threw a few folks off by the fact that there was as 25-cent price tag on the cover. “No, it’s free, honest!” I reassured everyone.

And as usual, I sold a lot of new comics off the shelf as well…yes, “sold,” we were making sure nobody thought those were free, too. The big surprise was selling all the available issues of Doomsday Clock, but not as surprising as moving a bunch of that Jean Grey lenticular cover from a few months back that, um, I may have still had a few copies floating around. And I had a few of each issue of that Action Comics “Mr. Oz” storyline with the fancypants covers…moved quite a few of them as well. Speaking of Action, that #1000 just keeps selling and selling. Sold a bunch on FCBD, and I have a constant cycle of reorders on that thing.

Overall, like I said, it was one heck of a good day. Everyone was happy, I made a little scratch, and I gave away a lot of comics, making for my 17th consecutive successful Free Comic Book Day. And I owe it all to being visited by the GUMBY OF SUCCESS the Friday prior, as I was setting up:


Remind me to speak further on this someday.

7 Responses to “Free Comic Book Day 2018 is over, but someone tell my legs and hands that.”

  • Casie says:

    I was so excited to finally visit your store. Mike’s store! Yay! What a lovely place you have. I was overwhelmed by all the good feels, comics and beauty of your place. It was nice to see your face, the support you had with you and the Sluggo and Swamp Thing pictures above your register area. What a fun day. I can’t wait to go back! I’m so happy for you, friend. See ya soon!

  • Argh!Sims says:

    You are a true class act, Mr. Sterling. Glad to hear you had such a successful FCBD! Thank you, Gumby!

  • Brad says:

    Did you carry CBLDF’s Defend Comics? I visited 3 shops and couldn’t find it.

  • Mikester says:

    Brad – I sure did! I carried all the available FCBD books, as I do every year.

  • Andrew Davison says:

    Congratulations. I miss browsing in a fun comic shop.

    BTW, not many kids in the pictures.

  • Mikester says:

    Andrew – I assure you, there were TONS of kids that passed through the shop! I wish I’d had more time to take more photos, but fans of all ages made their presence known.

  • Signal Watch says:

    I do not live in California (sorry I couldn’t drop by being a half-continent away), but as a regular plain consumer of comics – this was the first year I noticed that people seem to actually know about FCBD as a thing, that they may only show up once a year like some people do for church on Christmas or Easter, but they know about it and spend money when they’re at a comic shop. That seems good, right? And yesterday my neighborhood’s “Little Library” announced on fb that they’ve got all the FCBD offerings – and people seemed to know what that was. Pretty far off from when this whole thing got started.

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