Actually, come to think of it, I would like boxes of candy year ’round.

§ May 9th, 2018 § Filed under free comic book day § 4 Comments

Longtime ProgRuin-ite Andrew noted on my last post:

“Congratulations. I miss browsing in a fun comic shop.

“BTW, not many kids in the pictures.”

Like I said to him in response, yeah, I didn’t get much of a chance to get away from the register and take too many photos. It was literally a challenge to find enough time to pull out coin rolls to replenish the drawer, I was so busy. But I did have plenty of children pass through the shop that day, as particularly evidenced by my much-depleted shelves and racks of kids books and comics from which I sold throughout the day. All those Raina Telgemeier books…whoosh, out the door they went. I had to pull comics out of the back issue bins to refill the new kids comic rack, that stock got so low. And I’m still getting kids into the shop for FCBD…there were plenty of people who couldn’t make it the day of, but I still have comics laid out for folks to take, and take ’em they are.

Turns out my dad did get a photo or two of the goings-on that day from his perspective at the front of the shop, so here’s a pic showing more young’uns awaiting the gift of free comic books than my photos did:


Okay, I didn’t get a photo as iconic as this one from 2016:


…but rest assured, I had plenty of customers of all ages who left the store happy and with handfuls of free comics!

The Signal Watch buzzed by with

“…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.”

I explained Free Comic Book Day once as “like Valentine’s Day for the See’s Candies stores,” (or Easter, or Christmas, yes) which is sort of like what you’re saying. Okay, some people don’t need boxes of candy year ’round, but when that special day comes, they know where to go. And when Free Comic Book Day approaches on the calendar, folks know they need to seek out Ye Olde Local Comick Booke Shoppe. And yes, a whole lot of ’em do spend money while they’re on the premises.

Yeah, I think there’s a lot more awareness of Free Comic Book Day now…it helps that it’s been around over a decade and a half, and it’s consistently put on every year at around the same time (except maybe that once). Local event publications made sure to note the day, I heard ads on a couple of the comedy podcasts I listen to (plugging the Starburns FCBD comic). It’s become just an “it’s that time of year again!” thing versus “hey, get this, people are giving away free comics, isn’t that weird?” I mean, sure, it’s not achieved 100% awareness across all demographics, but just from personal experience, when I ask people new to my shop (or any comic shop) if they’d heard about Free Comic Book Day, lately the answer is more often “yes, yes I have.” And hey, that’s good. That’s just one more positive thing for the general public to associate with comic book stores, which as a whole can use all the good press it can get.

4 Responses to “Actually, come to think of it, I would like boxes of candy year ’round.”

  • Andrew Davison says:

    Photo No. 1: how’s the kid on the left going to reach the porn comics on the top shelf?

    Photo No. 2: a great picture. Is he shouting “cocaine”?

  • King of the Moon says:

    Andrew, he’ll get them the same way we all got our copies of Lady Death. A helpful customer will hand them down off the top shelf.

  • David Oakes says:

    You get boxes of comics every week.

    Now imagine you ran a (literal) candy store.

  • philip says:

    The shop my daughter and I went to (the same young lady I brought into your shop in December who kept knocking things off the shelves–sorry about that) had a line out the door, which was pretty awesome for them.

    Sadly, we had a limited window to partake so she said, in so many words, “eff this” and I took her to a bookstore for some manga. Bummer because I was very ready to spend my dollars at this shop, but I guess I can still do that any time I want.

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