Saturday, July 03, 2004

My First Free Comic Book Day

For one reason or another I've always had to work on FCBD, and when I do it has usually been for 10 hours meaning I miss the entire day. When I had to work again today I thought "Oh well business as usual." Yet I went in early, and got off at 4 so knew I could finally make it to one.

Now the point of Free Comic Book Day is to showcase comics to people who aren't regular customers, to give them a free sample in hopes that they'll come back for more. This gets new people into the comics shops, so hopefully the shops can put on their best face.

I used to be a regular customer at comic shops, until the behavior of my retailers eventually drove me off with their lack of quality service. Yet with FCBD I was willing to give them one more shot.

Too bad once again I was let down by them. The first store I went to had to have the weirdest thing, and perhaps shows the folly of putting FCBD so close to a national holiday. For on its doors was a "Closed for the 4th of July Holidays" which left me scratching my head.

So it was off to the only other shop in my area, which was open thankfully. Yet I've never cared for it because it looks like a teenage boy's room in regards to what's on the walls and the way things are just stacked everywhere.

I wander in and the place is empty, the shop owner looks at me and nods, which is more than I used to get. So I wander around looking, looking and can't find the free comic day stuff anywhere. The place is just as much of a mess than it used to be, except for some newer "babes with little clothes bending over" posters on the wall.

I finally ask him about it and he looks up annoyed because I've interrupted his reading to go "Oh yeah that" and points me towards the very back of the store. Where buried underneath a box are the Archie, Teen Titans Go! and a few of the others very basic offerings that I knew FCBD had.

I thought about getting the Archie one, as the others Star Wars (not into it), Image (yuck), Teen Titans Go! (waiting for digest) and Marvel Age Spider-man (no interest) just didn't interest me. Yet was so put off by the experience, which should have been fun, but reminded me of what I quit going.

That I just left it there and went out of the shop. I love comics, and know that at least these shops are just some poor representatives of the larger comic shop whole.

I've been in shops that I've loved, Richmond Comix, and if I lived in the area I would be a constant customer at. Yet I wonder about those who for them this FCBD is their one shot at comics? What kind of impression does this lead them?

Of course maybe I'm being too pessimistic, after all after I left the shop I went to the mall, where I was pleased as punch to find the first volume of the SGT. Frog Manga I've been looking ages for. Which I'm really looking forward to covering here once I get a chance to read it.

I'm hoping others around the country have had a better experience during their FCBD though.


Shawn Fumo said...

Yikes.. I'm feeling luckier and luckier as I read experiences from other people.

The funny thing, though is that the first shop I went to also was closed today. The second was open but wasn't participating in FCBD. It took until the third try before I found them, though I was on good footing after that. But I feel bad for those that might be in this area without a car and just walked to the closest shop around...

Anonymous said...

Weird sounding day!

James Schee said...

Yeah it was a weird day.

Shawn, I was really glad to read yours and then this morning Johanna's takes on the day. It helped remind me that for the most part my area is the exception not the rule.

Sounds like I missed ount a ton of stuff that might have convinced me to come back to regular comics again. Yet oh well.