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Free Comic Book Day 2099.

§ May 7th, 2012 § Filed under free comic book day, grimjack § 8 Comments

Oh man, I almost forgot to tell you about the coolest shirt one of our customers wore to our Free Comic Book Day event. I wish I had taken a picture of what he was wearing, but instead I’ll have to settle for images borrowed from this eBay auction:

Yes, that’s right, I had a customer sporting a Ravage 2099 shirt. And no, it wasn’t an old, ratty shirt he’s been wearing since the early ’90s. He’d picked it up off the eBay still sealed in its original package, much like the auction I’ve linked to.

Okay, the exact value of “coolest” may vary depending on your opinion of Stan Lee’s finest creation, but this was the last thing I expected to see a customer wearing, particularly in this Year of our Lord, Two Thousand Twelve. It gave me a good, surprised laugh, and thus, my most sincere kudos to that customer of mine.

The other side.

§ May 6th, 2012 § Filed under free comic book day, pal casie § 5 Comments

Well, this appears to have been our biggest Free Comic Book Day yet, giving away thousands of comics and easily making back all our expenses, and then some. In fact, it seems as if we’ve finally come close to wiping out our reserves of some of the leftover FCBD books from previous years. That giant box of Avatar Robocops — gone at last!

Things did go pretty smoothly, aside from some frantic setting-up in the morning, hefting boxes around and just generally getting the store ready. No weird problems, no complaints, no people asking to go through all the boxes of the porn comics…it all went great. I ended up pulling a twelve hour shift instead of my planned ten-hour stint, so I’m plenty tired, but it was worth it.

The only bit of difficulty we encountered was our usually adequate-for-the-business single register getting desperately backed-up at one point early in the day, requiring the creation of a temporary “cash only” second checkout line at the front counter. I suppose as problems go, “too many customers wanting to give us money” isn’t a bad one, but I don’t like having our customers have too much of a wait time. The situation resolved itself soon enough, but I’ll consider that a lesson learned and we’ll plan accordingly next year.

Big Bad Matt Digges, artist of everyone’s favorite comic about an awesome hospital, Awesome Hospital, announced his intention on the Twitter to pop by the shop for FCBD as part of his weekend birthday celebration, which prompted me to declare:

He did indeed come by on Saturday, and, as promised:

Gentlemen, I do not make idle threats.

Plus, pal Casie, she of this swell green drawing, came by the shop and gave us cookies and cupcakes in this lovely decorated box:

A rear view, just to show off the Swamp Thing pic:

Wasn’t that nice? And anyone who claims I ate all the cookies and cupcakes is a big ol’ liar, and besides, they can’t prove anything.

In all, it was very busy and a lot of fun, and I saw a lot of new faces and a bunch of happy kids, so what the heck, I guess we’ll do it again next year. We just have to remember to (gulp) order even more Free Comic Book Day comics than we did this year. …I guess we better start savin’ up for it now!

Once more unto the breach, my friends.

§ May 5th, 2012 § Filed under free comic book day § 7 Comments

See you on the other side.

Comics blogger? I prefer the term “Panelogical Onanist.”

§ May 4th, 2012 § Filed under free comic book day, pal plugging, sir-links-a-lot § 2 Comments

Don’t forget that tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, and I’ve written about it plenty in the past, so click on that “free comic book day” tag on this post (or just click here) to see what I’ve said in previous years. I’ve been spending the last few days preparing for this Saturday, sorting out our comics into the prepackaged age-appropriate baggies (you can read about that particular strategy here) and planning out whatever sales and such we’re going to have that same day.

This year we ordered even more comics than in previous years, particularly since we had really upped our orders last year and we were still mostly through our FCBD stock halfway through the day. I’ll let you know how we did this time around!

Oh, and formerly employee Aaron and his lovely wife (and part-time employee) Kempo will be gracing us with their presence and helping out at the shop that day, since I guess this year they’ll be able to make it. I mean, they claim they had something more important to do on Free Comic Book Day last year, but pffft, whatever.

So, Free Comic Book Day…get yerself to a funnybook emporium and help yourself to some freebies. I recommend the Donald Duck Family comic from Fantagraphics…I think that one was my favorite from this year’s batch. For reviews of most of this year’s offerings, I pass you along to pal Dorian.

• • •

In other news:

  • Andrew isn’t just a pal and a fellow Bureau Chief and one of my co-writers on Write More Good(still available, still funny!), but he’s one of my favorite comics ‘n’ pop culture commentators as well. He’s celebrating the sixth anniversary of his weblog Armagideon Time this week, and he’s still one of the best writers in our particular cultural niche. …That’s a “damning with faint praise” compliment if ever there was one, but he is darned good, and if you aren’t reading him yet, get started already!
  • Hey, Daniel Butler, artist of Copernicus Jones and my swanky new Twitter icon, now has a t-shirt shop. With monster shirts. You like monsters, right? Of course you do. Go check it out.
  • PALS LOOK AT PREVIEWS: Dorian has his monthly installment of Previews for Gays, and Dave has his own Previews overview as well, and I’m glad Dave tackled that “NERD? I prefer the term Intellectual Badass” t-shirt, because frankly, my brain locked up pondering the damned thing.
  • And what the heck, here are more plugs for books: Matt Wilson‘s Supervillain Handbook is out and totally orderable by clicking on this thing here:

    I read his self-published version a couple of years ago, and it’s a hoot.

    Also, She Died in Terrebone, the excellent year-long webcomic by Kevin Church and T.J. Kirsch, is now available in a single volume, and it’s a bargain at only ten bucks.

  • Bully flips for Batman. And let’s be honest…who doesn’t?

Please do not block the manga rack.

§ May 8th, 2011 § Filed under employee aaron, free comic book day § 7 Comments

So yesterday I witnessed the joining in holy matrimony of Employee Aaron and his former-fiancée-now-wife Kempo. Yup, it’s finally done…the two of them are hitched but good. And I saw it with my very own eyes. Now they’re off on their honeymoon, and I hope those crazy kids have a good time.

Yesterday was also Free Comic Book Day…and “Spoil the Post-Credits Scene of Thor for Mike” Day, but let’s not get into that…which, as I’ve mentioned before, meant that I had to take off for an hour or two to witness the wedding shenanigans. Which also meant shedding my usual in-store fancy dress for even fancier dress, and if you were lucky enough to pop into the shop in the late afternoon after my return from the ceremony, you were greeted by this handsome bastard:

Yeah, that’s right…drink it in. (Thanks to pal Kevin for taking the pic and working his halftone ‘n’ caption magic upon it.)

As for the FCBD event itself…it was certainly wall-to-wall people nearly the entire day (including the couple of hours I was gone, I’d been told), and the prepared prepacks of freebies, of which I’d put together a lot, and I thought would easily last us ’til I got back to the shop about 3-ish in the afternoon…were entirely gone by the time I’d returned. We ordered huge numbers, and still we were run nearly dry of the 2011 offerings. We had leftovers from previous years that were put back out, plus I ended up grabbing some of the recent $1 reprint books from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and others to throw on the freebie tables as well.

If you want to check out some of our set-up, pal Andres (who helped out most of the day, and stood in as Fake Mike while I was gone) took a few pictures of the prepping-in-progress. …And yeah, we had a handful of mighty stacks of a few freebies from previous years, for some reason. Ah, well, it happens. At least those stacks are somewhat smaller now.

Ultimately, once again, assisted by a small in-store graphic novel discount sale, we made back the money spent in purchasing the FCBD books, and pulled in a profit besides. Plus, I got to see a handful of old customers I haven’t seen for a while, lured in by the siren call of the free funnybook, and that was nice.

I don’t know that I have any specific “FCBD Report” beyond this, given that when I was at the shop, I was mostly fielding question from folks looking for back issues or graphic novel recommendations, while Andres and a few other brave souls handling the distribution of the freebies. No problems, no hassles, just a lot of comics given away and a lot of happy customers.

Of course, like every year during FCBD, there’s always somebody who wants to go through the porn comics. Doesn’t it figure.

But anyway, the Free Comic Book Day madness is over, and now I can look forward to a nice, relaxed Sunday at the shop, where we’ll just be having…a Magic the Gathering prerelease tournament?

Free comics and no-longer-free men.

§ May 6th, 2011 § Filed under employee aaron, free comic book day § 2 Comments

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, you may have heard, so drag your carcass into your local participating funnybook store and ask for…nay, demand…your free comic books!

Pal Dorian has his annual report on what’s hot and what’s not for FCBD, and Chris “The Simsinator” Sims picks the best and worst for this year.

I mentioned before that my favorite this year was probably Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse from Fantagraphics, featuring some classic newspaper dailies by Floyd Gottfredson. And Drawn and Quarterly’s John Stanley’s Summer Fun reprints a nice selection of Stanley’s work, including a Tubby story and a Nancy story (but alas, no Sluggo aside from an appearance on a puzzle page).

Bongo Comics Free-for-All includes Simpsons stories by Sergio Aragones and Evan Dorkin, so already you’re in for some good readin’. Plus, it leads off with a Ralph Wiggum story, and I know you guys like the Ralph Wiggum. Pretty sure this is all reprinted from previously-published comics, too, but it’s a solid assortment.

Marvel provides an all-new story featuring Captain America and Thor, by the Thor: The Mighty Avenger creative team of Roger Landridge and Chris Samnee. Cap and Thor fight Loki over the Holy Grail, and it’s fast-paced, light-hearted, and a lot of fun.

Elric: The Balance Lost from Dark Horse (by Chris Roberson, Francesco Biagini, and Stephen Dowler) isn’t really for me, since I’m fairly indifferent to the character, but I can recognize this as a nicely done effort. The story gives a brief overview of just what Elric’s deal is, and the back-up material presents a look at Elric’s funnybook history, along with some sketchbook pages.

If you’re looking for this year’s Owly freebie, he’s featured in one of the stories in Top Shelf Kids Club, along with a short Johnny Boo story by James Kochalka and other kid-friendly strips. Worth a look.

The Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Predators/Top 10 Deadliest Sharks flip-comic is a bit peculiar, but I’ll bet kids will love it. Bloody shark attacks and fightin’ dinosaurs? Of course they’ll love it. Anyone over the age of 10 might not be quite as into it, however.

Pal Ian gets his own FCBD flip-book, with Darkwing Duck and Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, featuring his scripts, being this year’s freebie from Boom! Studios. If you wanted to see what Ian’s been up to since he stopped blogging and started doing something productive, here you go!

Dark Horse went the flip-book route as well: one side has Criminal Macabre, which doesn’t really do anything for me, but the other side, Baltimore (another of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola’s supernatural suspense properties), is a short and pleasantly-creepy vampire story.

While I’m glad Archie does a FCBD book every year, it seems like the art in this year’s installment is a bit…rough-hewn? I guess? I’m not a regular Archie reader nowadays, given my preference for Archie material from the ’60s and earlier, but do current Archie comics usually look like this? I mean, it’s bright and colorful and I suppose it’s appealing enough, but it’s not really a patch on Dan DeCarlo’s work. But then, what is?

DC’s Green Lantern Special Edition is a bit unfortunate…one chapter from the Green Lantern “Secret Origin” storyline, and a brief preview of the Flashpoint event that doesn’t make it look very appealing. DC’s other book this year, the Young Justice/Batman The Brave and the Bold sampler, is better, more due to the Batman half than the Young Justice half. Though, given the apparent popularity of the YJ cartoon, this will probably go over well with kids.

The Tick comic for this year is 7 pages of comics, and the rest text-heavy encyclopedic entries for the cast, which seems like an odd choice to make. But who knows, maybe someone will be intrigued enough by one of the entries to ask for more comics featuring that character. And there is that portion of the comic-reading audience that loves detailed character rosters like this.

Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics 2011 – once again, point of the day successfully missed. Lots of people writing about things that I don’t know anyone coming into shops to get free comics is going to care about. But again, you never know what’s gonna trigger someone’s interest in comics.

Anyway, that’s just a few of the FCBD offering coming out this year. Like I noted above, check out Dor and Chris for more detailed overviews. And if you want to read more about the actual process of Free Comic Book Day, just read my posts tagged “Free Comic Book Day” and watch history unfurl before your very eyes!

• • •

Reminder: employee Aaron and his lovely fiancée Kempo are getting married tomorrow as well, necessitating my brief departure from the shop and my fervent hope that nothing disastrous happens during that time. At the shop, I mean. Not at the wedding. Though I hope nothing disastrous happens there, either. However, former employee Jeff will be at the wedding, too, so who knows.

Everyone out there, please give Aaron and Kempo your best wishes for their wedding day, as I certainly do. Also, I totally plan on calling Aaron repeatedly during his honeymoon to ask him ridiculous work-related questions. “Hey, do you remember what Superman’s secret identity is?” You know, stuff like that.

We could use shredded copies of Deathmate for wedding confetti.

§ April 20th, 2011 § Filed under employee aaron, free comic book day § 7 Comments

So I’m pretty sure we’ve got the majority of the Free Comic Book Day comics in our hands by now…huge stacks of boxes awaiting my sorting into age-appropriate bags (explanation here) once I have some free time the shop.

Sorry, had to pause for a moment while I laughed. And then cried. A lot.

Anyway, I think all we’re waiting for now is the Darkness freebie and some of those Green Lantern Heroclix I was poking fun at a while back. Hopefully they’ll pop up on the invoice for next week’s shipment, and not on the invoice for the shipment the week after Free Comic Book Day.

For those of you who don’t know, Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May, which, by the way, also happens to be the day Employee Aaron marries his lovely significant-other Kempo, despite my efforts and substantial bribes to get Aaron to change the date. And since neither he nor Kempo want to move the ceremony to the shop, I’m going to have to leave the store for a while to attend the wedding.

Not sure of how I’m going to have this worked out, exactly, but the wedding is relatively close to the store and I should only be away for a couple of hours. During that time I will be calling upon the talents of pal Andres to be Substitute Mike and handle the comic-related inquiries and requests in my absence, so that the other employees at the shop who are more familiar with the games end of the business will have at least one comics expert on hand to keep things running smoothly. (Well, Ralph should be around, too, hopefully.)

Regardless, this will the first Free Comic Book Day where I won’t be in attendance the whole time, and thus I expect to find only a smoking crater in the ground where the store used to be upon my return from the wedding.

As for the comics themselves…I may do a little more comprehensive overview of this year’s FCBD offerings a little closer to the actual day, but so far I think my favorite book is Fantagraphic’s Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson. Yes, a collection of comic strips from 1935 is my top pick for this year. Go figure.

• • •

I would like to note the very sad and untimely passing of actress Elisabeth Sladen, who was best known as the loyal companion Sarah Jane Smith from Doctor Who. Her performance of the character spanned decades and Doctors, originally appearing with the 3rd and 4th Doctors in the 1970s, and returning for the 21st century revival of the series. Eventually Sladen and her character spun off into The Sarah Jane Adventures, a popular adventure show aimed at younger viewers.

She was a woman in her 60s starring in her own sci-fi action-adventure show, and that’s pretty awesome.

So long, Elisabeth.

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?

Oh, right, Free Comic Book Day.

§ April 30th, 2010 § Filed under free comic book day § 5 Comments

Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow, and I realize I haven’t said a whole lot about it this time around. I’ve said plenty about it in the past, and I just spent a few minutes creating a “free comic book day” category so you can click on that and see my many posts on the topic. But, as always, we’re one of the stores that does Free Comic Book Day right, and I’m reasonably certain that we’ll give away lots and lots of comics and we’ll still make a profit while we do it (thanks to concurrent in-store special sales), like we do every year.

As for the actual comics themselves: Pal Dorian has once again presented his comprehensive review of this year’s offerings, which you can read at the Bureau Chiefs site.

Personally, my favorite free book this year is probably Weathercraft by Jim Woodring, but then I’m already a huge fan of Woodring’s work, so this is sort of preaching to the choir, here. It may be a little too much on the weird side for your average “I’m here for your free comics, give them to me” FCBD attendee, but I’d much rather give someone something weird than something boring.

Other good’uns: the Incorruptible/Irredeemable flipbook from Boom! Studios is a solid introduction to Mark Waid’s superhero universe; Yow! from Drawn & Quarterly is a great sampler for John Stanley’s classic kid comics, like Nancy and Tubby; The Tick #1 – a reprint of the very first, very funny issue of the spoof superhero series by creator Ben Edlund; Bongo Free-for-All presents more funny Simpsons comics, and you can’t really go wrong with these; and Fraggle Rock/Mouse Guard…the Fraggle Rock comic is nicely done, very children’s storybook-y.

Other titles:

War of the Supermen #0 didn’t come with that cover people were getting the vapors over, but the actual comic in question felt…a bit disappointing, to be frank. A little too dark and strangely violent for a Superman comic that we’re supposed to be giving to potential new readers.

Library of American Comics – Can’t help but think they should have gone the same route that Fantagraphics did with their Unseen Peanuts freebie a while back, and put out a Unseen Bloom County comic. Well, maybe not an entire comic of just previously unreprinted Bloom County strips, but a sampler focused mostly on BC with a few sampler pages from their other books might have been more of an attention grabber. (There may be contractual things preventing this I don’t know about, but still…it would have been neat to have an actual Bloom County comic book, don’t you think?)

Overstreet Guide to Collecting Comics – I will concur with my colleague Pal Dorian on this item. Free Comic Book Day is about comics as a storytelling medium, not as a collectible investment.

Iron Man/Nova and Iron Man/Thor – I wonder if there’s an Iron Man movie coming out soon? Anyway, they’re both okay, but it would have been nice to have, say, a Captain America comic to remind people that there still is such a thing, after the very publicized “death” a few years back.

Sonic the Hedgehog – I know these are popular with kids, but I swear to God, showing me a Sonic comic is like trying to get the dog to look at something on a TV screen. It’s just…my mind can’t even wrap around it, you know? This must be what it’s like to be a Newsarama commenter trying to read a Grant Morrison comic.

Anyway, that’s just me. Your mileage may vary, so go to your local comic shop and pick up a few. If you’re lucky enough to be near a store that’ll happily give you all of the FCBD books, get ‘em all! What the hell, they’re free. And if you don’t like some of them…pass them on!

• • •

Speaking of the Bureau Chiefs, which I was several paragraphs ago, you may have missed this entry I made just prior to my End of Civilization post, with some weekend convention news involving some of my fellow Chiefs.

In which Mike discusses Free Comic Book Day with italics, bullet points, and numbered lists.

§ May 7th, 2009 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off

Okay, let me finally say a few things about your comments re: Free Comic Book Day.

I should note right off that I’m not going to get on any store’s case about limiting the number of books each person gets. With the economy as it is, and the comics industry in particular taking a pretty good hit, I can’t really hold that against anyone. Yes, we did do our usual “everyone gets every comic” deal (with only “age-appropriateness” restrictions – details here) like we have for every previous FCBD, but also like in previous years, an in-store sale on the same day more than made up for the cost. But I realize not every store can do this, and so as long as 1) they gave away comics for free (i.e. not “only with purchase,” which is totally against the spirit of FCBD) and 2) made an event of it (instead of just dumping the freebies in the box by the door with a tiny sign that says “FREE”), I’m not going to give anyone any grief.

Now to specific comments:

  • Anonymous wrote

    “Some stores will give costumers the available comics free,
    but then charge TWO CENTS per comic in SALES TAX!


    I honestly have no idea. Maybe there’s some local tax ordinance requiring it or something? That barely seems worth the effort unless they’re legally required to do so…or think they’re required to do so, which could also be the issue here.

  • Old internet pal Lankyguy asks

    “I’ve always thought the point was to bring in NEW customers, so I stay away. I’m already buying the few comics I want.”

    Well, it’s a little o’this, a little o’that. Yes, we want new customers to try out comics…I’ve said before that the goal in some cases is simply to make people aware that 1) comics are still being published, 2) there might be some comics they’d actually like, and 3) hey, if you ever need any comics, well, here we are! But FCBD is also useful for getting the already-converted to try out new and different titles. Sales on comics like Queen & Country and Courtney Crumrin, for example, bumped upward quite a bit to our regular customers following the FCBD exposure.

  • Eric L comments

    “My local store was neither terribly exciting nor terribly disappointing. It was pretty crowded, but if the guy in line in front of me was any indication (he took way more than his allotment of freebies but only actually spent $2) I’m not sure how much good it did beyond attracting free loaders.”

    Well, I try not to think of it as “freeloading,” as such. We went into this with the thought that “we’re going to give away all these comics for free.” If people came in, got free comics, and left, that was pretty much that. Free Comic Book Day means “free comics,” and no one who came into the store was obligated to do anything more than pick up the free stuff. So, you know, we knew what we were getting into, and that’s okay. That we had a sale that encouraged people to look around the store at least briefly, and got several people to spend lots of money…that was simply a bonus.

    “How do most stores handle handing them out? At my store you could grab 2 FCBD freebies and 2 more from a box of surplus comics they had laying around. It sounded alright to me until I heard of stores just letting people take one of everything.”

    It sounded like a lot of stores only let customers take a limited number of the FCBD books, like 2 or 3 out of the 40 different titles available. In our case, where we gave away one of each (again, per age requirements) to everyone, we handled things a little differently.

    We had tables set up at the front of the store, with the pre-bagged age-sorted assortments of the free books behind it. We also had extras of all the books laid out on the tables, so if people didn’t want the whole enchilada handed to them, they could just pick out the ones they wanted. We limited folks to one of each comic per customer, but we were pretty good about letting even that limit slide if they needed an extra copy or two of something for anyone back home, or for a friend who couldn’t make it in. We’re lucky, in that most of our customers are pretty cool about it, and don’t get greedy and try to make off with a pile of Owly or anything.

    This particular FCBD was much busier than in previous years, so it became apparent part way through the day that the continued pre-bagged distribution of the freebies was going to run us dry right quick, so we debagged the comics, laid them out on the tables with the other extras, and just let people pick and choose in order to stretch the stock out a bit. Still, at the end of the day we had less than one Diamond shipping box of leftovers, from the dozens of FCBD boxes we’d originally received.

  • Bully, the little stuffed bull what loves the funnybooks, asks

    “What sort of free comic would you produce if you were making one for FCBD? What would you like to see produced that maybe isn’t being done?”

    Specifically, this year I would have liked to have seen a Star Trek comic from IDW, given the current excitement over the impending release of the new film. Ah, well.

    But in general? …I think more self-contained stories, rather than books that lead into continuing sagas. Granted, most of the FCBD books are pretty good about this. However, you’re not going to “trick” or coerce a new reader into coming in and buying all the follow-up trade paperbacks because you gave him or her 2/3rds of the first issue of Ultimate Spider-Man (which Marvel actually did for the first FCBD, if I remember correctly). If the comic is good, that’d be enough to get the reader back in, and a self-contained story I think would leave the reader a little more satisfied than something without an ending.

  • Mike Z. asks

    “Would you happen to have an Owly copy left?”

    Alas, we did run out. Owly is a popular title every FCBD. This reminds me to note, however, that we did just reorder more copies of Blackest Night #0 yesterday, since we’re getting a lot of after-the-fact requests for that comic.

    We also have a lot of people looking for the Aliens/Predator comic, but there are no more to be had from the distributor, unfortunately.

  • Jonboy has this to say

    “Ultimately, I’ve had mixed feelings about the FCBD books in the past. They are either not kid friendly (which all FCBD books should be, IMO), or they are some oddball book that no LCS orders enough of.”

    This year the books were intended to be, if not outright kid friendly, at least not filled with swearing and naked people, to avoid any legal hassles should one of the wrong books get into the wrong hands. There’s nothing wrong I think with having some FCBD books aimed at older readers, so long as there’s some discretion on the part of the retailers in distribution. Again, there wasn’t anything too objectionable this time around, but, for example, it didn’t seem likely to us that any 6 year olds were going to be terribly interested in William Shatner Presents, so we didn’t put any of those in the kids bags.

    And we always try to order heavy on the oddball books, as invariably those are the ones that grab the most interest!

  • Philip sez

    “My shop was limiting guests to two of the Free books, but the clerk also shoved about eight other free non-FCBD books in my hand while I was standing there, but then chastised me for taking an FCBD book because ‘You already have a ton of books in your hand.’ Wha-?”

    I think that clerk violated my “don’t be a dick” rule for FCBD. If the limit was two FCBD books, then you should have been allowed them, regardless of how many other non-FCBD freebies were forced upon you.

  • J Joyce wonders

    “…Should not the books be free to the shop?”

    It’d be nice, certainly, but if they were entirely free, I can see some stores totally abusing that and ordering thousands upon thousands of everything and letting the publishers eat the whole cost. By putting a nominal charge on the books, it still allows large orders for low costs, but requires retailers to order realistically within a budget, and not just place crazy go-wild orders for all the freebies with no cost risk to themselves.

  • David says

    “Saturday was my first FCBD. The store I went to let me have 4 free comics with a $5 purchase from the 50-cent bin. The guy in front on me in line bought $80 of new comics and back issues. They let him have five free comics.”

    If they’re tying FCBD distribution to purchase levels, that store is doing it wrong. It’s free period, not “free with purchase.”

  • Juisarian tells us

    “I ended up spending $92 on Free Comic Book Day. Now that’s a promotion.”

    Amen to that, my friend. Like I said, purchases aren’t required to get your free comics, but brother, nowadays they sure as hell were appreciated.

Overall, it sounds like most people were pretty happy with Free Comic Book Day, and that they found some books to enjoy. I know our event was even more successful than last year, with more comics given away and more money spent at our sale. It’s a long tiring day, requiring lots of set-up and planning, but it’s always worth it.

In other news:
  • Well, gosh darn it, I was going to link to Matt Maxwell’s contest giveaway for his great graphic novel Murder Moon, but I didn’t realize the deadline was last midnight. So instead I shall link you to his site where you can learn more about his work, and to the Robot 6 archives where you can read his book Strangeways: The Thirsty for free, with new pages posted regularly!

  • If you like the Diamond Previews overviews, like my own End of Civilization posts, then perhaps you may be interested in pal Dorian’s Previews for Gays, in which he rightfully admonishes the straight people, and in pal Dave’s own overview, where he praises what needs to be praised, and scorns what is deserving of scorn. What more can any man ask, I say.
  • In case you missed it, I was interviewed for the Kirk-centric Star Trek podcast with the greatest name ever, “Look at His Butt.” You can listen to me babble incoherently to two very kind and patient women right here.

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