Free Comic Book Day 2009

I have a confession to make. I have never cared about Free Comic Book Day. I have never been to a comic book store during FCBD. It is not that I have any kind of hate for FCBD. It is a great idea and a fantastic way to promote the minty fresh goodness of comic books. The reason that I never cared or thought about FCBD is because of the local comic book shop that I used to patronize.

First, the store looked like a cross between a porn shop and my abuelita’s attic. It was dirty and had stacks of random crap, merchandise and boxes stacked all over the shop. The place looked like it had last been cleaned some time in 1976. The door to the store was painted white; however it had turned black from all the finger prints that had not been washed off over the decades. The owner of the comic shop made my skin crawl. Greasy hair, bad teeth and constant butt crack showing over the top of his ever drooping pants. It was so bad that mi esposa would refuse to even step one foot into the store.

My old comic shop’s festivities for FCBD included…well… nothing. That’s right. Nothing. NOT EVEN FREE COMICS!! Yeah, for some reason the guy who ran the comic shop would either not care to promote the free comics or he would never bother to set them out. You would have to actually ask the guy for the free comics. Sometimes he had some and would bring them out from the back. However, most of the time he would tell people that he did not have any free comics at all. That is the sum total of FCBD at my old comic book shop.

Luckily, the coolest damn comic book shop opened up in my neighborhood just several months ago. I saw the place out of the corner of my eye as I was heading to the bank on a Friday. I saw a cool looking sign that read “Local Heroes” with a nifty super hero logo. I nearly wrecked my car out of shock and excitement that there would be a new comic book store in my neighborhood. I quickly did my banking and then came back to Local Heroes to give it an inspection.

I walked into the store and was blown away at how nice it looked inside. The store had a cool trendy urban look to it. There was a sitting area in the front with two leather chairs, a leather sofa and a coffee table. The books were neatly and pleasantly displayed. The entire shop was very clean and orderly. The store had an interesting old tin tray ceiling. And on the back wall was a flat screen HDTV that is always playing either Venture Brothers or a comic book movie like Batman or Iron Man. There were several speakers situated around the store with music playing. And it is usually some good alternative music.

I was greeted by the owner, Greg, who was a really great guy. I found out that Greg had just opened Local Heroes a day before. Greg did a great job selling himself and his store. And it took me all of two seconds to cancel my pull at my old comic shop and start getting my comics from Local Heroes. Since then Greg has continually impressed me with how he runs Local Heroes and how he services his clients. Plus, Greg is just a cool dude to hang out with and shoot the breeze with.

The thing is that Greg “gets it.” Seriously, many comic shops do not ever get it. And what I am talking about is that something special that makes the comic shop something much more than just a place to quickly grab your new comic books on each Wednesday and then leave. It ranges from little things to looking out for his customers and trying to make good recommendations to big things like how when the Watchmen opened, Greg bought tickets to the movie for all his customers who had pull lists with Local Heroes. Greg then held an after-movie party at the shop and supplied us with plenty of beer. And then an Absolute Edition of the Watchmen was raffled off.

So, for the first year, I am actually excited about Free Comic Book Day. Local Heroes has plenty in store for us tomorrow. In the morning there will be free coffee and bagels. In the afternoon there will be free pizza. There will be giveaways and door prizes throughout the entire day. There will be a raffle for the Wolverine Omnibus. There is also a discount on all trades and graphic novels. And, yes, there will be free comics.

So, for the first time, I will actually be going to a comic shop on Free Comic Book Day. Tomorrow should be fun. I hope everyone else has a great time at FCBD even if you are not as lucky to have as cool of a comic book shop in your area like I do!

2 thoughts on “Free Comic Book Day 2009

  1. Wow. That sounds like a great comic shop. I hope his efforts pay off with strong business.

  2. Let me ask you – judging by the photos on the store’s website, do they have a back issue selection? It does not appear so. It has been my belief that back issue sales are not a driving force for comic retailers, at least not as much as they used to be.
    In my dream store that I often think perhaps one day I’ll open, I would likely do away with a standard back issue selection, or perhaps have them set off “behind the scenes” and off the main sales floor.

Comments are closed.