Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Wrap Up.

This wasn't our best Free Comic Book Day.  Normally we are up early and spend the day hanging around the comic book shop.  This year no one in our family was feeling great, so we only went to one shop, and it wasn't until late in the afternoon.  Fortunately our neighborhood comic store - Arcane Comics - still had a great selection of kids' books available.  It was an especially exciting time for Kitty, she's gone to FCBD every year since she was born, but this is the first year that she's been old enough to "get" it.

Kit and her stash.
We went over to the free comics rack and I told her that she could pick out three comics to bring home.  The picture to right shows what she actually wound up taking (with the shop owner's permission, of course).  My littlest geek did me proud by not being able to pick out just three.  Proclaiming "But If get the Dinosaur one, the Mickey Mouse one, and the Beronica (what she called Betty and Veronica) then I can't get the Green Lantern.  I've wanted to read Green Lantern for my whole life!"  Needless to say that at that point she could have taken whatever she wanted as the entire shop was overtaken by her adorableness.

She "read" Green Lantern in the car on the way to school this morning.  Her verdict:  "He's Green and he wears a ring.  It's pretty cool."


Unfortunately we missed the in-store appearance by Nate Simpson, creator of Nonplayer, but I picked up Locke & Key, which I have been meaning to read for my whole life, or at least since it was released in 2008.

One of my favorite parts of Free Comic Book Day is hanging out at the comic shop (where I get to help out sometimes) and seeing people come in to get their first comic books.  I love introducing new people to awesome comics and I encourage you to use Free Comic Book Day as a non-intimidating, no  cost way  to check out current offerings.  That being said, after seven years of watching newbies nervously creep into the shop I have a few words of advice:
Super-Dad Checks out the Steampunk Bible after choosing his free comics.
  • Don't be afraid to ask where the free comics are.  We know why you're there, don't be embarassed.
  • Respect limits. Comic shops have to pay for the free comics they give out.  Most stores have a limit of two or three free titles, respect that.  If there's a fourth comic you are dying to check out or if you are planning on making a purchase in the store it doesn't hurt to ask if you can grab an extra, but be reasonable.
  • Make sure the comics you are getting are actually free.  This is pretty easy since they are all marked with a big blue "Free Comic Book Day" logo. Also, show the cashier what you are taking before you leave. My local shop had the free books on one side of rack and graphic novels on the other side.  An embarassing moment with a customer would have been avoided had he checked with someone at the shop before trying to leave with a $30 copy of Blankets.  Also, if something is marked $30, there's a good chance they aren't giving it away.
  • Check out the stuff for sale.  We know you came for free books, and we're totally cool with that, but if you take a minute to see what your local shop has to offer you may be pleasantly surprised.  Arcane carries toys, collectibles, trading card games, clothing and whole bunch of other stuff you never knew you needed.  You don't have to buy anything on Free Comic Book Day, but it's a great opportunity to get to know what the shops in your neighborhood offer.
  • Talk to the special guests.  Comic book creators are usually super excited to talk about what they've done.  If you haven't heard of them, ask them what their book is about.  They aren't there to sit in the store and stare while people awkwardly walk past their table.

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