So today is Free Comic Book Day! Which in itself is a great thing. If you have a local comic shop that’s participating you should go pick up your free comics. Basically if you haven’t heard, free comic day is when many comic publishers get together and print out special free comics to be given away at independent comic shops across the country. This is to increase interest in the comics medium as well as help out the local comic shops by getting traffic into the stores.

It’s honestly a great idea and a wide range of comics are available. Probably my favorite is Mirage comics reprint of TMNT #1 which is a 40 page epic and a must own for all Ninja Turtle fans. Of course most turtle fans have probably read this comic before, but it’s a nice treat and could get new fans into the franchise. DC is offering some kids comics with stylized versions of their characters and under 10 age safe stories, as well as for the adults the #0 (Which is a stupid numbering system) of their big summer long storyline, Blackest Night. The big battle of all the Lantern corps. Cool stuff. Marvel has some Wolverine comics and junk as well.

TMNT #1 Reprint FOR FREE!

Honestly, it’s a great promotion and it worked to drag me out to the local comic shop. This is my first year partaking, but I must say it’s a great idea. It also worked, because I bought some GI Joe comics while I was there. Great job on that front. Maybe reading some of these others will get me into some new comic series.

HOWEVER, I want to rant a bit about my local comic shop. Since today is free comic book day you’d think they’d have a sign outside, right? Nope. Well at least when I enter the store they’ll tell me it’s free comic day… Nope. Instead when I enter the store I’m greeted with the sight of about 15 nerds gathered at long tables playing Magic: The Gathering.

See this is the problem with the comic industry. The belief is that comic books are dying out and that shops are having to do new things to get fans, but I offer with a counter claim. Here on the ONE day of the year that should be focused on comics and my local comic shop could give two craps.

Free Comics… An afterthought on Free Comic Book day, in a comic shop.

In fact I can’t even get to the comic racks because there are fat sweaty, unbathed greaseballs playing stupid card games. Did these kids buy anything? And by kids I mean 35 year old losers with pasty skin, acne and no sexual history. I couldn’t get to the new comics because of these guys.

What about the old comics? BURIED in the back on shelves in boxes that only Mr. Fantastic could reach. I tried looking for some vintage TMNT comics to fill in a couple gaps in my collection, but couldn’t see to read the titles. All the new shelves were blocked by the Magic nerds. Just about the time I’m fixing to leave because of the stench of Magic nerds and the annoyance of having to hear them play their Elf Level 4 cards, I see the free comics sitting on a desk.

Right there for the taking. Have as many as you want. And yet, I still had to wade through more of these losers to get to my comics. How the hell is having kids playing a game increasing business? I can tell you how, it’s not. In fact while I was in there I saw several other people come in, some of them KIDS, kids who could easily get hooked on comics and they couldn’t even make it to the free comics because of the fat losers playing Magic.

Comic book stores need to be about COMIC BOOKS. If you want to have other nerd sessions, great, but don’t convert your whole store, which is FILLED with nothing but comics be crammed full of these guys. It’s such an insult to go into a comic shop and have the comics be an afterthought. Instead of Free Comic Book Day making me want to visit my local comic shop again, it made me realize why I prefer to buy comics online.

In my day comic shops catered to lots of audiences. Baseball card collectors, magazine enthusiasts, action figure collectors and even often times model trains and such. Yet we could all get along and enjoy each others hobbies and interests. Because each area had a section in the shop. Now it’s all about card games (And seriously is Magic really popular still?) and filling up the whole shop with video games. Where’s the COMICS!? Where’s the READING?! I’d been amused if they were playing D&D, but this was just annoying.

Kudos to the industry who came up with a great idea to get people to read comics. Big thumbs down to comic shop owners who’d rather kowtow to Pokemon and Magic instead of you know, something that people actually pay for. I wrote a paper once in college about how people shouldn’t be afraid of comic shops because they aren’t really nerd havens, but this store proved me wrong offering nothing but the nastiest unwashed nerds in full blown idiocy and would have scared off anyone who may have had a casual interest in free comic book day.

Oh and the comic shop owner? Never told me about the free comics. I found them, I took them, walked out with them, but he never said ONE word to me about them. Great way to advertise your free comics.

5 Responses to Free Comic Book Day…

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah, my stores where i’m from didn’t advertise as heavily at the store level. It is located on a major road, but they couldn’t get someone to put out a temporary sign or banner, or someone with a sign out there to get people to check it out? no. they had the small sign on the door. But they did cough up the cash for a few TV ads during adult swim.

    But yeah, it’s free comic book day. No magic or whatever games they are playing for the day, dedicate that space to pushing the free comics and try to drum up more business.

  • Gregg says:

    No doubt! Sometimes my shop hosts stuff like Magic parties or video game days, but on Free Comic Book day they should be trying to get you to buy comics and enjoy the freebies.

    The fact that they never told you about the free comics even when you were obviously looking for them shows a real lack of connection with the store owner.

  • Maybe I’m just pissing in the wind, but to me it’d make sense if when I walked in they told me about the free comics. Since there was no sign or advertisement.

    If I ran a comic shop I’d immediately say, “Hey today’s free comic book day, just for coming in you can pick up some of these free comics” or run a promotion with it, like “Any two of these comics are free and if you buy another comic int he store you can have some more free ones!”

    It was just a miserable experiance in that respect. Not just failing to advertise the free comics, but me having to SQUEEZE by to barely look at the new comics is just wrong. Three long tables with tons of chairs set up in the middle of the store took up the whole store. Heaven forbid I wanted to get to some of those new releases.

  • cloud says:

    Just to let you know it’s not just across America. FCBD is an event taken part by many comics stores that sells American comics. Comic shops in Canada, UK, Hong Kong,etc all take part as well. So yeah actually US comics have made way outside of US.

  • Anonymous says:

    What a vivid memory this was. There was one girl in there playing Magic and she was most likely the only one who had bathed in the past week. I believed the comic book shop owner to be a complete d-bag, as he over described some figure to this plump woman, who was clearly not interested, nor asked for his input.

    Also, and I know I told you this, but I was fairly sure they had gotten you, because I looked up from looking at the comics and you were no where to be found. I thought they ate you. Turns out you were just bending down.

    – Beth

Leave a Reply