§ July 5th, 2004 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off on

Look at what we dug up from the back room…a pristine Walt Simonson Thor promotional poster, featuring Beta Ray Bill! Cool, huh?

Anyway, that darn Free Comic Book Day…in the week or so prior to the day in question, pal Dorian, Kid Chris, and myself divided up all the FCBD comics into age-appropriate packages (more or less how Laura split them up). We had several long boxes filled with these packages…and halfway through our day, we’d given them all away. We had plenty of spares of most of these books so we slapped together more packages…plus we had tables filled with some leftovers from previous FCBDs. Altogether, we had plenty of happy customers with armloads of free books…including several people I’d never seen before, which was the very purpose of FCBD, wasn’t it?

Traffic through the store was steady, without being swamped…and we had relatively few problems, aside from a kid who kept badgering whoever happened to be monitoring the FCBD tables for the “adult” bag of freebies (Dorian was about one nose-hair away from tossing him out), and there was a group of people at the end of the day that, while they seemed nice enough, had some…odd requests, but Dorian called dibs on telling you about them, so watch his space.

By the way, despite the fact that we did order it (I double-checked!), the FCBD book A Bunch of Baboons was a no-show for us. Apparently some stores got them (Joanna got her mitts on a copy which she reviews here), so I’m kind of wondering if they’re going to show up in a couple weeks…and if they do, we darn well better not get charged for them.

In other news:

  • I was taking a look through my girlfriend’s copy of the Amazing Spider-Man: 500 Covers hardcover book…it’s a nice, if slightly overpriced, overview of Spidey’s history, featuring clear color scans of all the issues, alternating between 1 to 4 images per page. Now, I can understand if the conditions on the earlier issues are a little shaky…after all, Marvel Comics of the period were printed on really awful paper. However, once you start getting into the 1970s, better-conditioned copies of the books should be a lot more common. If you’re going to be putting together an archival book like this, you’d make an effort to get the nicest-looking books possible, right? Again, I’ll cut them slack on the early issues…but if you get a chance, take a look at the copy of #159 (from 1976!) that they used. It’s a rag, with serious tears and flaking along the edges. So no one working on this book could find a copy of this comic in at least fine? Okay, maybe there were deadline issues that I don’t know about and they didn’t have time to go searching for a replacement, and I’m sure the people working on this book weren’t happy with the conditions of some of the comics either, but it’s still a shame.

    Oh, and I did spot a minor typo: it’s “Liz Allen,” not “Allan.” Also, in the cover credits section in the back, they indicate that the cover artist for #267 is unknown. You’d think Marvel would have records on an issue that recent…I mean, someone had to get paid for drawing that picture, right? Well, this site says it’s Bob McLeod, and that looks right to me.

  • Regarding John Byrne’s Doom Patrol…well, pal Tom relates his story about how, upon finding out from me that Doom Patrol #1 picks up from the recent Claremont/Byrne JLA arc, he couldn’t put it back on the shelf fast enough. And, unfortunately, that’s mostly been the case over the last few days…people pick it up off the shelf, briefly look inside, then put it back. That doesn’t exactly bode well. And before anyone in the Byrne fan forum claims it’s because I’m a bad retailer, let me counter the reasons they usually give in their retailer horror stories:

    1. I don’t badmouth comics or creators in the store. In fact, I happen to be a fan of Byrne’s comics.

    2. We ordered plenty of copies of Doom Patrol #1, and they’re prominently displayed.

    3. We even put the promo poster for the series right there above the new comics racks.

    4. I really like the Doom Patrol (I even own all the original 60s issues), and want to see a series featuring that team do well.

    Unfortunately, that first issue just isn’t grabbing people so far…perhaps, as I’d mentioned last week, it’s because it feels too much like part 7 of that JLA arc, and people may have had enough of that vampire story. Not kicking off with a brand new storyline may have been a mistake, and possibly the focus on the new characters at the very beginning of the issue may have turned off those people expecting more with the original members of the team. (And yes, I know, the original members dominate the last 2/3rd of the comic.) I’ve seen the solicitations for future issues of this series, and they sound much more interesting to me, but if people aren’t starting with issue #1, they’re probably not going to jump on with #3. (Though if there’s good word of mouth, it does occasionally happen…it’s happening right now with She-Hulk.)

  • Found via Chris Karath’s weblog: Toonzone has a list of forthcoming Justice League Unlimited episodes, which includes an adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s story from Superman Annual #11, “For The Man Who Has Everything.” I’m sure everyone else knows about this already, but hey, I’m excited!

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