Sunday, May 07, 2006

Was Your Free Comic Book Day Good?

I got a big kick out of Joe Rice's story here about his outing with his class of students to Rocketship for Free Comic Book Day.

How about the rest of you? Anyone else have a good Free Comic Book Day story?


Blogger paperghost said...

Sadly no, cos it doesn't look like we get it here in the UK :(

5/07/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Vitamin Steve said...

I was very let down by free comic book day this year.

I usually don't go out of my way for it, because, usually the books are either reprints of things I already have, or stuff I will be able to get during the convention season. But then new Runaways and Scott Pilgrim offerings were enough to get me to head down to a store. So, on my way to work this afternoon, I stop by Forbidden Planet on 13th St in here NYC. Now, FP isn't my usual store, but it was the only one on my way to my destination, so I decided to stop by. I see they have a table set up outside, with two emplyees handing out the free comics. So, I approach the table, and say "Can I get Runaways, Scott Pilgrim, and Owly?" The guys give me a "You'll get whatever we give you look." They then hand me a bag, and explain everything is being randomly handed out (much to the chagrin of the two people who only really wanted a Scott Pilgrim who showed up right after). The employees refused to look through the bags, and help people out. Luckily, my bag contained a Scott Pilgim, Mr. Jean, and a Funny Book. I make an offer to trade for a Runaways with anyone standing there, and one employee said "I've only seen one Runaways given away all morning." So, a little angry, I head off, and remember that the Virgin Megastore on 14th St was also doing FCBD. So I wait in line, and see that they have everything in individual stacks behind the counter. I explain I'm looking for the X-Men/Runaways one, with Wolverine on the cover. After 5 minutes of looking, the dude pulls one out and hands it to me.

So in the end, I received better service from a giant retailer than from the comic book shop.

Also, I noticed that with FP's random bags, people were just getting anything rather than things that would seem interesting to them. The hipster art people could walk away with a JLU#1, while the 6 year old could get a Fantagraphics Funny Book. Sounds like a failure on all levels there, and also, potential lawsuits.


5/07/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

That is just way too stupid on Forbidden Planet's part, if that's how they did it.

5/07/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Kris said...

I spent FCBD putting carpet in my basement and mowing the lawn.Because my LCS closes every year on the big day! I guess they'd rather lose sales than give anything out for free.Which explaines why their dying by inches and I buy most of my comics on line these days.

5/07/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous DubipR said...

FCBD has come and gone.

At Meltdown Comics (1 of the 2 shops I buy at) had a huge success as they blew out of all of their Free Comics and were giving out older quarter bin-ny type of books for free, along with their back up Super Manga Blasts and Shonen Jumps. None the less, Free Comics were distributed to the fans. Lots of kids jumped on the free mangas like it was candy. When talking to the owner, he was shocked at the line waiting outside of the store before opening.

Also in attendance is recent LA transplant and white hot comic writer Brian K. Vaughan, signing copies of Marvel's Free X-Men/Runaways (with art by Scottie Young). By the time I got off work, the line was next to nil but Brian signed anything you pushed on him. Tons of issues and trades of Y:The Last Man, Runaways and Ultimate X-Men were Sharpied. I brought my issues of the Hood, a 3 parter Batman story he did, and my issues of the Escapist. I had a nice conversation about his projects (comics and film). What a sweet guy he was! Also be on the lookout for an interview with Brian either at CBR or Newsarama.

I had to say goodbye to Brian and Meltdown and hit the freeway back to my side of the valley for tip-off to watch the Lakers lose (YES! Go Clippers, baby!) and watch the Golden Boy beat up on the Matador, I stopped off at a local shop where I picked up the Free Comics I wanted from the smaller press companies.

A good day all together. I worked, got paid, met BKV, read some incredible free comics from Oni, D&Q, Top Shelf, Gemstone (always my favorite), and Fantagraphics.

5/07/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous thekamisama said...

I actually located a local store for an internet friend in the UK, so I know a few stores did actually participate. They had to pay some sort of fee or embargo on the books, so that hurt a good sum of stores who wanted to participate.
I cannot believe that Forbidden Planet did that! Given that there is a comics retailer facing possible legal problems over last years FCBD... you would think they wouldn't want to do a random "grabbag" that might contain materials that could offend any younger readers on thier parents....
I hope this policy did not end up biting them in the ass.
Here in Nashville, most stores seemed to be participating. But we only went to the downtown Great Escape in the afternoon. They only seemed to have the "Gold Level" books this year, which was a dissapointment. I got all the indy ones last year, and none of the mainstream ones. So I was looking forward to seeing something new I had not seen before.
Instead we just got one of everything for my son.

5/07/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Apodaca said...

My local shop, "The Comics Factory" in Pasadena, CA, made sure that anyone who came inside had an awesome Saturday and an awesome FCBD.

I came home with somewhere around 10 or 11 free comics, and I could have gotten a whole lot more if I wasn't so picky. They also had Tone Rodriguez and Mark Dos Santos there giving free sketches to anyone who was interested. I had no idea all this time, but it turns out that Mark Dos Santos is the very same "Mark" that I've been buying comics from for a while now. Nice guy, and talented, too.

The coolest thing was seeing how many kids were pulled into the shop by FCBD. It really warmed my heart.

5/08/2006 02:37:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Wow. I now wish I'd hit Forbidden Planet during my NYC run, so I could have written a scathing and hateful review of them in my blog.

5/08/2006 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

Gonna have to jump in on the FP hating. I admittedly got a terribly late start on the day, but by the time I got there, I saw no bags containing the FCBD offerings, just random back issues of stuff they apparantly couldn't sell in the first place.
St. Mark's Comics also had a random "you get what we give you" policy. You could pick "all-ages" or "action-adventure" or whatever, but beyond that it was totally random. I wound up with the Image sampler, which was crap.
At this point I was too dissapointed/hung-over (thus my late start) to hop uptown to Cosmic Comics or Midtown Comics.
Wish I had thought to go to Virgin.
Shame on you FP and St. Mark's

5/08/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Cheeseburger said...

My FCBD lasted a good two hours. Elfsar, my preferred comic shop in the Vancouver area, always makes Free Comic Book day a huge event. I went last year right at opening and there were only a few people there. This year though, I arrived at the same time and the place was packed!

As someone else mentioned, the turnout of kids was impressive - anything to get kids to read is a good thing.

They had all the comics setup on a table with a buffet-line going around. You were allowed as many titles as you wanted, but only one of each (which I think is reasonable). I feel sorry for the poor employee who had to supervise the table to keep things orderly and in nice stacks. A downside was a few jerks who didn't understand why they couldn't just take huge stacks of the free comics.

They also had several creators in such as Darren Davis and Diana Greenhalgh of Victoria Secret Service fame, the owner of Arcana studios, Sean O' Reilly, and Todd Demong, a Star Wars Artist.

There were also free heroclix demos and the best part was the storewide sale. Prett much anything in the store was buy 2 of something, get the third free. For example: if I want 2 Grant Morrison New-Xmen trades, I get a third trade free. I took advantage and bought 67 bags/boards and got 33 free. I also picked up 3 issues of Robotika. As well there was a back issue sale where you buy one, get 10% off, 2 and 20% off, etc.. up to 50% for 5 and up.

All in all it was a successful FCBD for myself and the store (I was in again on Sunday and they said they had at least 500 people through in the day) and props to Elfsar for promoting it so well.

5/08/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

This was the first Free Comic Book Day where I actually noticed and tried to enjoy "festivities."

In honor of it, I hit a shop I'd never tried before, Geoffrey's Comics in Gardena, CA. As I drove up, a big smile hit my face--a small band was playing in the parking lot, there was a line out the door, and--gasp!--there were ten-cent comic boxes in front!

i spent over an hour just digging through the ten-cent boxes and got some choice fill-in material. by the time I actually made it into the store, there was no line, and the free comics were gone. but the place was still mobbed by the great sales...50% off dollar bin issues meant getting some current issues I needed for VERY cheap.

they also roped in the weird dude who looks like christopher reeve and wears his superman costume outside grauman's chinese in hollywood, which creeped me out, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

i was very pleased with my experience. saw lots of kids, including many digging through the dime boxes for stuff that looked cool. one little kid even showed up dressed in his Thing costume from halloween.

my regular LCS wasn't quite as festive. i swung by on my way home to get their freebies, and got most of the gold-level stuff...but NO indie stuff, which sucks. and no good sales. they've had the same dollar bins by the register for months. jeez, maybe make these a quarter and clean them out a bit, guys?!

5/08/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Pól Rua said...

Last year, we had a signing with local artists and a bunch of locally made stuff along with the Diamond distributed FCBD stock.
This year, alas, with FCBD coming on the heels of two major conventions (a gaming con the previous weekend and Brisbane's largest pop culture con the week before), we were pretty much run off our feet.
Still, it was fun working the counter, handing out free comics to people.
Basically, we had two rules - 1 copy of each comic (no taking a handful of Scott Pilgrims no matter how good it is!) and don't take anything JUST because it's free. If you're pretty sure you're gonna chuck it in a bin unread, leave it for someone else.
We had a busy day, made a lot of sales and saw a lot of people walk out happy.
So yeah, a bit more low-key than last year, but good nonetheless.

5/10/2006 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Vaklam said...

My FCBD was pretty disappointing. I went to three different comic stores in town and none of them had the comics I wanted.

I was really looking forward to Owly and Scott Pilgrim but they were both from Silver donors. The local stores only carried comics from the Gold list. Grumble.

I really liked the Tokyopop sampler and the Bongo comic, though.

5/10/2006 08:33:00 PM  

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