Free Comic Book Day 2009 has come and gone, and once again, the event was a raging success. At Strange Adventures (more specifically, at St. David’s Church Hall around the corner—the event outgrew the store some years back), we gave away in the neighbourhood of 20,000 comics. Actually, we ran out shortly after 1 PM, which is definitely the earliest that’s ever happened. Cal and a small army of volunteers gave away the freebies, while Rachelle, Tiina, and myselft ran the store, and we were swamped as well—it seems that when people are given a bunch of free comics, they usually supplement them with comics and graphic novels that they have to pay for. This is a good arrangement for everybody. Anyway, here are some random observations about this year’s FCBD, in no particular order:
1. FCBD usually happens the day after a major comic book movie is released, and it’s usually the hot topic of discussion. This is a lot more fun when the movie is, say, Iron Man. When it’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there is a lot of shrugging and saying things like “I dunno, it was better than X-Men 3”. That right there, my friends, is faint praise indeed.
2. People are a lot more receptive to trying new comics out on FCBD, and not just the free ones. For instance, we sold a ton of random comics off the kids’ rack, lots of copies of recent buzz books (like Vertigo’s creepy new Unknown Soldier series, and tons of Green Lantern related stuff), and a whole lotta trade paperbacks and hardcovers. One guy even bought all four Absolute Sandman collections, after admitting that he’d never read any of it! That is a dude with no fear of commitment.
3. Funniest/Most Ridiculous Quote of the Day, delivered by some random gothy-looking kid: “Frank Miller’s comics are okay, but I prefer his movies.” Say what now?
4. When little kids show up in super-hero costumes for FCBD, it is not only adorable as all get out, but it makes all the hard work involved totally worthwhile.
5. When I have a few drinks in me, as I did at the FCBD after-party at the Seahorse (thanks again, Cal!), do not, I repeat, do NOT get me talking about how cool the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents are. If you do, you’d better get comfortable—you’re gonna be there awhile, trying to decipher my slurry ramblings.
Until next year…