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The preop postmortem.

§ May 6th, 2019 § Filed under eyeball, free comic book day § 2 Comments


PICTURED: artist’s rendering of the what the Free Comic Book Day logo looks like through Mike’s left eye


So I’m going in first thing the morning for what we can only hope is my final eye surgery for the time being, and as such I’ll try to keep my Free Comic Book Day report relatively short.

And in short…it was yet another highly successful FCBD event at my shop, the most recent in essentially an unbroken chain of successful FCBD events for me since their very beginning. We gave away lots of comics, saw lots of new faces, and did plenty of actual business of the coin-of-the-realm type. In fact, I had in my mind a certain amount of monetary expectations, and we easily blew right past that. Once again, Free Comic Book Day paid for itself many times over.

I didn’t do it alone…as always, my dad and pal Dorian were on hand to help out…especially needed this year since 1) my eyes still aren’t up to snuff given the last year’s travails, and 2) I was told by the doctor not to exert myself or really lift anything, so hefting boxes of comics and moving tables around was verboten. However, one of my very longtime customers, Deon, dropped by the store the day before offering his services if I ever needed them, as he had left his job to go back to school and was looking for the occasional odd job if I had any available. “Boy, do I,” said I, and that’s how Deon made the set-up and break-down of the store for FCBD such a breeze.

(Also, my girlfriend Nora had, and is still recovering from, some form of hideous plague and could not also assist, though she really wanted to come in!)

Speaking of set-up, here’s a look at the giveaway tables prior to the onslaught:

And here’s a pic I took of the back issue tables that were pushed together near the front of the shop and provided sale signage:

And here’s one of the very few crowd photos I took when I had a moment:

We were slammed from the moment we opened our doors — I knew we were probably in for a big crowd at opening judging by the huge number of phones calls and in-store queries asking when the event would begin. Before we opened, we had a line stretching across the strip of businesses I’m in, and when the doors did open, we literally had more people than could fit inside the shop…crowds were building up at the front anxiously awaiting entrance.

Nice mix of folks coming in, from preschoolers to grandmas, all taking advantage of the giveaways. And, once again, my policy of not restricting the number of different books one could take worked out just fine…as I’ve said before, when given the choice, only a few people take one of each, while others are happier voluntarily taking a smaller selection. Either way is fine with me! I did have to reassure some people that they could take more than a couple if they so desired, such as in this tweet I posted that day relating one conversattion:

“So all of these comics are free?”

“Yes!”

“And we can take one of each of them?”

“Yes!”

“And we can just walk out the door with them?”

“Yes!”

I think that poor girl still thought she was gettin’ away with something when she left.

Anyway, I said I was going to keep this short and failed miserably, but there’s not too much to tell, really. Like I said, lots of customers, lot of new people, gave away lots of comics (still have a few in a short box on the counter for anyone who couldn’t make it that day), and lots of sales. No real problems during the day…did have one fella who didn’t quite get that Free Comic Book Day was not the day to ask me to go through his collection and buy it, when, like, the store was at one of its busier points and I had a line at the register, but What Can You Do?

One odd thing…the exclusive Funko Pop for FCBD this year was John Constantine, and I ordered a small pile of them, as previous years’ exclusives went right quick. But ol’ Johnny just kinda sat there for most of the day…I was wondering it the Pop fad finally ran its course and it picked FCBD to start pushing up daisies, but suddenly in the late afternoon they started selling, thank goodness. Think I have one left…well, two, if you count the one that somehow maybe made it back to my house.

Eep. This isn’t short at all. Sorry about that. If I don’t get to bed soon, I’m going to be asleep the entire time the doctor is poking sharp objects into my eyeball, and I certainly don’t want to miss that! Thanks for reading, pals, and let’s do all this again next year!

Free Comic Book Day is today!

§ May 4th, 2019 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off on Free Comic Book Day is today!

Get yourself to the funnybook emporium of your choice (preferably mine!) and grab up some free comics to enjoy! And don’t forget to maybe drop a dollar or four while you’re there to help support the kind retailer (preferably me!) offering up the goodies.

Have fun, and I’ll see you all on the other side!

The only Free Comic Book Day t-shirt I can find in my closet is for the May 1st, 2010 event, which means I should clean out my closet more often.

§ May 3rd, 2019 § Filed under eyeball, free comic book day, sterling silver comics § 6 Comments

The Free Comic Book Day, she is coming tomorrow, so I hope you’re all ready to get out there and get your mitts on some free comics. Also, don’t forget to drop a dollar or two or a hundred while you’re there to support your local shop, as those free comics ain’t free to us, friends! I’ve been involved in the FCBD event every year since it started, and as a result, have written a whole lot about it, if you care to check out the Free Comic Book category on this here site.

I’m pretty much ready, though at the moment I am medically precluded from tossing boxes of comics around for the time being, so my job Friday night will be pointing at where I want stuff to go while others who are kindly devoting their time to help me do the actual labor. I mean, I can still unload comics out of the boxes and fill up the display tables, so I won’t be entirely useless. But still, kind of a bad time to be told “DON’T OVEREXERT YOURSELF, DON’T MOVE OR LIFT HEAVY STUFF” when one has to, you know, rearrange one’s entire store.

Speaking of my health, Chuck V. asked in response to Monday’s post:

“You know, I don’t want to get too personal and I realize it would take away from the supposed theme of the blog, but have you considered sharing a bit more about what caused this? Kind of a public service announcement.”

Well, if I had to sum up my problems in a public service announcement, it would be “Don’t Be Like Me — Don’t Be An Idiot about Your Health.” I wasn’t taking good care of myself, I wasn’t eating properly, I was drinking way too much soda, I had enormously high blood sugar and high blood pressure, I was overweight…I was a mess, basically. I felt fine, so of course I didn’t think there was any problem, until there was.

What’s causing the problem in my eyes is neovascularization, where new, weaker blood vessels started forming as a result of my poor health and circulation and blood sugar levels. Because the new vessels are so fragile, they can burst easily, especially when one’s blood pressure was crazy high.

Now, the good news is, I’ve basically been Scared Straight. I’ve lost weight, my blood pressure is normal, my blood sugar levels are where they’re supposed to be, I’ve changed my diet (no sodas for a year now!) and I’m doing a lot better than I was. But, the damage I did to my body is still there, especially in my eyes, and needs to be dealt with. Those injections in my eye I’ve mentioned over the last few months? Those were to keep those new vessels sealed and prevent new bleeding. The surgeries I’ve had in the right eye removed (or at least reduced) those vessels, so I shouldn’t have a recurrence of that problem there.

Now the left eye had been doing fine…there was no bleeding there, despite also having those weak vessls. A couple of injections were given to keep that situation stable while work was focused on saving the right eye. But, eventually, despite improvements in my overall health, the vessels in there burst as well. My eye doctor says it could have been just a random spike in my blood pressure that broke those vessels, like maybe exerting myself a little too much, or even just a bad dream could have done it. But whatever the reason, I got bleeding in my left eye now, and I am going back in or surgery on Monday to have that blood removed.

The overall health of my left eye is significantly better than my right, which had some tissue damage. As such, the surgery should be relatively easy and result in quick healing and restoration of my sight back to about as close to normal as we can hope for. And yes, those extra vessels will be expunged as well, and with any luck my new health regime will prevent them from coming back.

So that’s probably more than you wanted to know. I should probably add an “eyeball” category to my site here.

“It wasn’t bio-restorative formula, was it?”

After the last surgery, my right eye was about as red as Swamp Thing’s eyes, so you’re close!

Okay, enough Eyeball Talk….I hope everyone has a fun Free Comic Book Day! And remember, if anyone makes buying something a requirement to get a free comic, give ’em the ol’ bra’s d’honneur and march on outta there. Then come to my store, where I won’t make you buy anything to get your freebies…but I may make sad puppydog eyes at you until you do buy something. THAT’S MY PROMISE TO YOU.

And speaking of my store, I got some paperwork the other day regarding the nomination of my shop for the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. Clearly some kind of terrible mistake has been made. Anyway, more on that later.

Thanks for reading, and have a good Free Comic Book Day, pals!

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.

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.

It’s Free Comic Book Day!

§ May 5th, 2018 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off on It’s Free Comic Book Day!


Today’s the day! Get yourself out to ye olde local funnybook emporium and get your mitts on some free comics! And maybe help said shoppe out by buying a thing or two while you’re there! And most of all — have fun! If you happen to be near my store — like, on the same continent or in the same hemisphere — drop by! I’d be happy to see yoU!

Pal Dorian has posted his picks for the comics of note this year, so be sure to pop over there and see what he has to say.

“I’m free / and freedom tastes of reality.”

§ May 2nd, 2018 § Filed under free comic book day § 3 Comments


Okay, this is a little earlier in the week than I usually post my “hey, Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday” reminders…I try to drop ’em the Friday before, but I’m not 100% sure how much bloggin’ time I’ll have Thursday night, so there you go. Also, longtime customer Mike W. told me he’ll look to my blog here for his FCBD reminder, so…hey, Mike W., see you on Saturday!

Anyway, like the last couple of times I’ve posted here about FCBD, I’ll tell you I don’t know what else to add that I haven’t already said over the last near decade-and-a-half. Just remember:

1) No purchase is required to take FCBD comics…if the store is making you buy something to take free comics, they’re doing it wrong.

2) That said, if you can, maybe do buy something while you’re at the shop…retailers do have to pay for the free comics which, while individually aren’t that expensive, can add up if you’re like me and ordered a whole lotta them. Also like me, many stores will probably be having special deals that day, so take advantage of them! Please!

3) But if you can’t buy anything and just want some freebies…that is perfectly fine. I want people to take comics and enjoy them! I mean, take the Free Comic Book Day comics, not the early 1960s Detectives I have in the case.

Also, once again I’ll not have limits on the number of different comics you can take. That’s been a successful and non-problematic strategy in the past, and I expect it will continue to be so, despite the occasional naysayer that turns up in my comments to tell me I’m doing everything wrong. Given the option, not everybody takes a copy of every single comic…sure, some people do, and that’s okay, but in my experience, a lot of people will only take a half-dozen different titles, or maybe only one comic, and that’s okay too. (And just SO WE’RE CLEAR…I’m not down on stores that do limit things for financial reasons…I UNDERSTAND. I just hope most stores can offer each customer more than, like, two different freebies.)

I’m pretty much ready to go…at this point, all that’s really left to do is rearrange the store Friday night for the festivities the next day. All the freebies are in neatly-stacked boxes in the back room, I’ve got the roll of “I Got A Free Comic Today!” stickers ready to go, and I’ve got suckers family and friends ready to help out. So, now, all I can do is wait.

Speaking of said friends, pal Dorian will be on hand on FCBD to help me control the madding crowd, and, once again, he should have his overview of this year’s offerings posted on his site that Saturday morning. I don’t know how I manage to get him to do those reviews every year, but I’m glad he does ’em!

Oh, and before I forget, let me point you to this article on my shop’s participation in Free Comic Book Day that ran in the local town paper, which also featured a couple of my customers. Nice, right?

Okay, if I don’t talk to you again before the day, everyone have a fun and safe Free Comic Book Day, and I hope you all find some new comics to enjoy! Also, maybe buy a couple things! A suggestion, not a requirement!

Maybe Dr. Manhattan can work on the Marvel Universe next.

§ May 15th, 2017 § Filed under free comic book day, publishing, watchmen § 1 Comment

Well, all I can figure is that Free Comic Book day took a lot out of me, as I didn’t really have the energy during the past week to generate that award-winning [NOTE: not actually award-winning] Progressive Ruin content the entire comics industry depends on [NOTE: nobody depends on it]. But I’m well-rested [NOTE: mostly] and in fighting trim [NOTE: nothing about Mike is trim] so let’s see what trouble we can stir up today:

I had a couple of comments in response to my FCBD post-mortem I wanted to address. First, Dave Carter of Earth points out, in response to customers (and me) wanting a Sonic the Hedgehog freebie this year:

“Archie appears to have lost the Sonic license, or at least they aren’t publishing any Sonic comics any more.”

Well, by cracky, that appears to be the case, doesn’t it? I guess I hadn’t really noticed…when you’re slogging through 500 pages of Diamond Previews, it’s easy to overlook the fact that maybe something that should be there isn’t. And, a quick check at the distributor’s website shows nada forthcoming from Archie Comics involving any sort of spiny mammal content. I did a quick buzz about the Internets and saw a lot of discussion on the topic, so I guess I’m just not looking in the right spots to have had this particular bit of information at my fingertips. It’d be a shame if the Sonic comic book franchise did vanish from the stands…especially since Archie still has that prime grocery store placement.

Dean wonders

“Mike, as a retailer, what’s your opinion of Marvel’s HYDRA FCBD promotion?”

Hoo boy. The Secret Empire event comic is the wagon Marvel is hitching all its chickens to for the next several months, so of course Marvel is going to want one of their FCBD comics to be a plug for it, like their Civil War 2 freebie was last year. Now, by and large, a lot were given away, and a handful of conversations I overheard seem to be at least intrigued by the concept — “whoa, Captain America is a bad guy!?” It’s yet another “how does our hero get out of this one?” story, designed to unfold over the next several months and keep readers in suspense. No one really thinks Cap is going to stay a bad guy, and that everything will be fixed. How it will be fixed is naturally the hook for the event.

But.

I suspect a number of people are coming into this fresh, and haven’t encountered the online brouhaha and the somewhat controversial “Hydra makeover” promotion and the whole “so is Hydra the same thing as Nazis or what?” debate. Without all that baggage, this one-shot could have been fine as a come-on for Marvel’s big event. A bit overwrought, maybe, but what superhero crossover event isn’t, really. However, that baggage does exist and there’s a tone-deafness in the responses to the online anger regarding this series, its promotion, its timing, and the defense of it by those involved. Basically, it’s turned into a huge mess and a public relations issue for Marvel, to the point where they had to put out a press release to tell fans “look, Cap’s gonna be fine, we promise.”

That’s a lotta typing around Dean’s question, so let me see if I can narrow it down a bit. For folks coming into the “Secret Empire” event fresh, the FCBD giveaway may be have been an intriguing introduction to the event. For folks who are more aware of the historical context and of the current reaction to said event, the FCBD book was probably just digging that hole a little deeper.

Personally, I feel like this is a bit like the Spider-Man Clone Saga from the ’90s. If they told the story, were in and out and done in, like, six months, it would have been fine. But dragging it out like this, particularly in the face of increasing consumer rejection, isn’t doing the company any favors. The Clone Saga almost killed the Spider-Man franchise, leading to a more-or-less still ongoing series of relaunches and reboots. Not that Marvel’s been shy about relaunching/rebooting any of their titles lately, but I suspect Cap may need some serious refurbishing after this to get readership back.

On the other hand, Secret Empire sales in the shop have been ticking upward in the last week or so, so what do I know.

• • •

In happier news:

…I hope this never, ever stops.

A few pieces about Free Comic Book Day.

§ May 8th, 2017 § Filed under free comic book day § 5 Comments


And that was your 16th annual Free Comic Book Day, completed this past weekend at your local funnybook emporium. If you’re a fan, hopefully you had fun at your shop and got the comics you wanted. If you’re a retailer, hopefully you had plenty of happy folks come through your doors.

Not much to report from my end, aside from a nice increase in business over the previous year, making this once again a huge success, not just in terms of profitability, but in getting lots of free comics into the hands of an enormous amount of people. Didn’t have a special guest this time, but that didn’t seem to quell the crowds. We had a full house from the get-go, and I could barely turn away from the register for more than a moment for at least the first couple of hours. I only managed to snap a couple of photos this time around, and only after the initial rush slowed just slightly, which you can see on the store site.

Other notes/observations:

  • Saw lots of little boys and girls picking out comics, including one four-year-old girl who told me her favorite character was Swamp Thing and thereby became Sterling Silver Comics’ #1 Customer.
  • Had a couple of folks visiting from out of town thank me for not putting a limit on the number of different comics they could take. Longtime readers know that I prefer no restrictions, though I have learned to be sympathetic to stores that place limits if, like for financial reasons, they don’t have a lot to go around. But these folks told me their store only allowed two FCBD books per person, and, hoo boy. That’s not “Free Comic Book Day comics are free with purchase” wrong, but man, that seems awfully stingy. I mean, who knows what that store’s particular situation was, but if things were that tight, I’m surprised they participated at all.
  • Related is the fact that despite the fact that I had no limits, the nightmare scenario that I’ve had thrown in my face in the past by people objecting to this particular policy did not come to pass, and all my FCBD comics didn’t disappear into the hands of the first customers through the door. Yes, some people did take one of each, and that’s totally fine, but a lot more people were a little more selective this year versus previous years. Many voluntarily took only two or three comics, despite constant reassurance that yes, you could take whatever you wanted. Despite having more people come into the shop for this year’s FCBD (and more people spending money!) the actual free comic stock didn’t diminish quite as quickly.
  • The most popular books for me this year were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spongebob and Rick and Morty. There were many requests for a Sonic the Hedgehog freebie, and perhaps Archie should have gone for one of those again this year, given the somewhat lackadaisical performance of their Betty and Veronica and (surprisingly) Riverdale comics this time around. The Marvel/DC titles did fine, with Guardians of the Galaxy being the big winner, which should come as no surprise given the timing. (Also sold a bunch of the regular GOTG issues, from all dozen or so current series, off the new comics rack.)
  • Saw a few faces I hadn’t seen in a while (“Hey, didn’t you manage Ralph’s Comic Corner?” I heard a couple of times).
  • No real problems this time. One person did try to hold up the line at the register a bit by asking me about pricing and grading his old comics, and, uh, yeah, maybe right now isn’t the time for that?
  • Nothing to do really with FCBD, but I did open up a coin roll for the register at one point, and it was filled entirely with Bicentennial quarters. I took that as a good omen.
  • It was a tad rainy that morning, which I thought would curtail my usual FCBD plans for having a table of bargain comic boxes in front of the store for perusal. Thankfully, rain wasn’t a problem…though it did get pretty darn windy later in the day.
  • Alas, Batman only made a cameo appearance this year (as opposed to last year). He was clearly in stealth mode, since I didn’t even notice him come in…I just looked up and there he was!
  • The one downside for a having a big in-store sale on FCBD…having to restock everything. Not that my shelves are bare or anything, and some things I’m glad to see the tail end of, but the racks are a tad bit leaner than what I prefer.
  • Despite not having discounts on toys, I did seem to move a few…especially the Funko Pops which are still going strong after all this time. Amazing the lifespan these Funkos seem to have.

So, Free Comic Book Day…it’s done, it paid for itself, and now everything’s back to normal until…what’s next? Wonder Woman Day? I think that’s right. Had some people ask “why don’t they do FCBD every month?” and I believe my answer to them was “because it would kill me.” But once a year is enough, because I’ll forget how much work it is by the time the next batch of free books pop up in Previews. Anyway, thanks to my girlfriend Nora, my dad, and pal Dorian for helping out, and thanks to everyone who came into the shop…and to all of you for reading all this. Let’s do it all again next year!

Free to be…comics and me.

§ May 5th, 2017 § Filed under free comic book day, pal plugging Comments Off on Free to be…comics and me.


So this will be the 16th year of the industry-wide Free Comic Book Day event, and I’ve participated givin’ away all those free funnybooks each and every time. It’s hard to imagine I’ve been doing this for just over half the time I’ve been working in comics retail, but time flies when you’re having fun, I suppose. It’s even harder to imagine that this year will be the third time I’ve hosted FCBD at my own shop. (You can see how it went the last couple of times, if you’re interested.)

I’ve talked about the event a whole lotta times in the past, and I don’t really have much to say beyond what I’ve already said. I’ll set up the tables, put out all the comics, let folks take what they want (I mean, don’t grab the entire stack of a certain comic or anything, but help yourself to one of each if you’d like), set up the special in-store deals that help pay for everything, and let those comic book hijinks ensue. Anyhoo, this post from last year goes into a little more detail re: the hows, the whys, and the wherefores if you’re curious. And if you’re still curious, you can feel free to ask me whatever you’d like in the comments here. I don’t mind!

Plus, if you’re wondering, yes, I did talk pal Dorian into doing his Free Comic Book Day reviews again this year, though he says he’s just going to focus on recommending what he thinks are the better releases, and not spend time slamming the stinkers. That specific post isn’t live yet, so just keep refreshing postmodernbarney.com over and over again ’til the reviews appear very early Saturday morning. EDIT: They’re up!

I’m sure I’ll report back here on Monday about how things went. Every single year, I get the jitters about things not going well, nobody showing up, me still stuck with carton upon carton of leftover freebies…and every year I discover my fears are unfounded as nice, sizable crowds fill my store and happily gather their free goodies. Let’s hope the same thing happens again this year! And you, reading this…if you’re in the area, come by and see us! Me, my girlfriend Nora, my dad, the aforementioned pal Dorian, and the possibly-returning Batman will be glad to see you!

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In other news:

  • Pal Andrew celebrates the 11th anniversary of his site, Armagideon-Time. He’s one of the best writers, and one of the smartest minds, that we’ve got in our virtual neck of the woods here, and you should do yourself a favor and follow his work, if you don’t already.
  • Ken Lowery of Fake AP Stylebook fame — and with whom I helped write a book— has written a brand new comic book available on Comixology: The Night Driver, illustrated by Gavin Guidry. G’wan, get a copy…it’s only $1.99. That’s almost free!
  • Blogging sister Tegan presents…the Last Star Wars Essay. It’s good. Really good.
  • A reminder: Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Electric Current, is still offering up 365 Days of Resistance.

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