Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dreading Free Comic Book Day

As the countdown to Free Comic Book Day nears it's conclusion, I feel a heavy sense of dread rather then relief. Paired with the Iron Man movie, non-comic reading fans will go to our local retailers to get a free comic. Saturday, May 3 should be a good day for the most part.

So what am I dreading?

My local retailer doesn't put on the dog so to speak. They wear the shirts, they give out the books, but there isn't any spirit behind it. Where there is an opportunity to sell trades and comic books, they will roll their eyes as they pass out a comic and pray that somebody buys their used DVD's and videos.

That is just the way it is.

I always fantasized that my retailer would get a comic book professional to come in and do a signing, while putting on an amazing special on comics for the day. Artist Clayton Crain hails from our neck of the woods, and we would always welcome him back. We are also close enough to Portland and Seattle to get creators from those areas. Unfortunately, we will do neither. It isn't a priority. I would love to get some enthusiasm going, but I know I don't have the time to do it right. Therefore, I defer to the powers that be and sigh deeply as another opportunity goes by, not taken.

What does your local retailer do? I am hoping to hear some happy, uplifting tales, but feel free to be deadly honest in your disenchantment as well.


Carl said...

Hmmmm, not sure about this year, but the past ones have been great! My dealer got the Heroes Alliance costumers to come out for the kids and local as well as a name artist or two have come out. I believe Bob Layton is returning (who lives in Brandon or did anyway) since Iron Man is hot right now. I actually have a few pictures from the last one in my myspace pictures under FCBD/Spiderman 3/Tampacon Weekend. Strangely enough, it's also my 21st wedding anniversary too, so after I take the kids out to the shop, then it's around to Applebee's or similar for take-out. So, I'm really looking forward to it myself...

Unknown said...

Well I have to admit I haven't been able to make it in previous years to the shop on FCBD, but I know one thing they do that is kind of neat I think is that last year and this year they've made a deal with a local theater to arrange a special screening of whatever movie FCBD has attached its self too. Now the passes are for the shops regular file customers which I think is a nice reward of loyalty, and then they set up in the lobby of the theater with comics and t-shirts etc for sale which I think does a nice job attracting the attention of people who might otherwise not go into the shop free comics or no.

I'm hoping to make it in on the day its self and if I do I'll check back in and let you know what my impressions were.

Nick said...

I'd like to be upbeat....really...but my old comic shop generally just laid out the free comic books for FCBD and a jar of suckers....that was pretty much it. No big hooplah or anything...least none that I can remember.

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, that is pretty interesting. Congrats on your wedding anniversary!! Fantastic!

I will check out your MySpace for details.

Heidi Meeley said...

Toriach, that sounds like a wonderful treat for customers! That almost brings a tear to my eye, in fact. :-) You will have to let me know how it goes this year, as I am very curious!

Heidi Meeley said...

Nick, sounds really similar to my retailer. Bummer! Let me know if they do anything different.

Swinebread said...

they do it all here! The many stores in the Portland area go all out. It's a holiday in the comic world so celebrate it!

I think your local retailer it out to lunch... at a not a very healthy restaurant.

James Meeley said...

I think your local retailer i{s} out to lunch... at a not a very healthy restaurant.

If you seen how heavy he is, you'd know just how right you are.

Actually, what it all boils down to is this: He's the only place in town to get comics from (outside of a spinner rack at Borders and Fred Myers, respectively). He has no reason to do anything special, because where else are you going to go? Besides all that, he's more interested in buying up property in town and going to city meetings with the city brass, over making the comics sell better or promote the product right. The business is just a means to an end (i.e. buying up more property). He only wants to keep the status quo, until he goes to sell the business off. Then, it'll be someone else's problem. I used to work for him, I know how he operates.

Just one of the many reasons I want to move out of this shithole of a town.