I know, I know, Free Comic Book Day was more than a month back (or a few short weeks ago, depending on which FCBD you’re referring to) but there always seemed something else to post about. Still, better late than never, so here are some photos and impressions of FCBD 2009 at Comic Odyssey Galleria and at Fully Booked High Street.
The line in front of CO was unbelievable. Sure I knew there would be a lot of people, but I didn’t expect it to look like an Episode 1 camp-out line.
Then again, it helped that many of our comic book and komiks luminaries were on hand to meet their fans, sign some books, and generally lend their aura of artistic cool to the occasion.
In the end though, it was all about the comics–as it should be. The Free Comic Books were at a table in front of the store, strictly policed by black-clad CO operatives. I’m pretty sure there was a limit to how many comics each person could get, but honestly from the number of bulging black plastic bags I saw people holding, it seemed to be a quite generous number.
Free comic books are really about promoting the books you actually have to shell out for, and it seemed to be doing wonders for CO, as customers still craving for more comic book goodness gravitated towards the back issue rack with their winnings clutched firmly in hand.
Fully Booked delayed their FCBD to late in May for reasons I cannot quite fathom, but in the end that works to the benefit of comic book and freebie lovers as it obviates the need to be at two places at once.
The long line was quite noticeable, especially given that most of the other High Street stores wouldn’t open until an hour after Fully Booked opened its doors. It was quite amusing seeing confused morning walkers/joggers puzzling over what the fuss was all about.
Again, no photographs could be taken within the premises of the bookstore for a reason I cannot understand, so here are a few shots of the line, as well as the storefront. Seriously though, if you hold a promotional/marketing event, you undermine its very purpose by not allowing any photographs.
Free Comics were limited to one per person (which I assume is why so many Dads were dragging their clueless toddlers towards copies of “Blackest Night”) but the line was shorter and more orderly than CO so I was actually able to nab a few spoils. The comics themselves were also arranged in more orderly piles (although CO’s might have already been picked through by the time I laid eyes on it.) Graphic Novels and Comics that cost moolah cost you only 80% of normal moolah that day, so many made the trip to FB’s magical basement level and came up poorer but happier.
Advice for FCBD 2010: If FB still maintains its maverick FCBD scheduling, go to both. Otherwise–get to Comic Odyssey. Early.