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Free Comic Book Day 2011

IMG_0454Today was the 10th annual Free Comic Book Day–a day that’s been organized in the comics community to celebrate comics, and provide a very specific event for comic shops to promote themselves and what comics have to offer. After all…maybe a sale will draw in some people, but a free comic will draw in more.

Offhand, I’m pretty sure I’ve been out to (a) comic shop(s) for all 10 years so far. The first two years I would have gone to JC’s Comic Stop in Toledo, OH. I really don’t remember any specifics from that one–I may have gone alone, though I suspect I at least had my friend Drew with me.

In 2003, I remember heading out with Drew for the 2nd annual event, and getting held up when we bumped into folks who needed some help setting up for a social event on-campus, though I’m pretty sure we just made it to the shop before they closed.

In 2004-2006 I would have gone to Sports ‘n More and probably Comic Heaven–alone, unfortunately–to snag whatever I snagged those years.

In 2007 I recall making the rounds of the comic shops with my friend Hillary. In 2008 we reprised the trip, with our friend Andrew along.

2009, went out to several shops with my friends Michael and Bridgett. In 2010 we had an abbreviated outing to a couple nearby shops.

This year, we were able to get our friend Earl into the mix, and made it out to 4 different shops in 4 cities.

IMG_0457The group met up at my place. Day started off really nice out–not hot, not cold, and good ‘n bright.

We went to Kenmore Komics & Games in Akron first. There the shop had a number of bins of loose action figures for $1-$2/ea, some priced a bit higher, and a handful of in-package figures, including some old DC Direct figures. I’d seen the Hellblazer/John ConstantineIMG_0456 figure on Wednesday, and passed it up in favor of Electro-blue Supes, Kyle Green Lantern, and Black-Angel-Wings gold-oval/black costume Batman all from the JLA 1990s figures. Constantine was still there, so I snagged that. In honor of FCBD, the $10 Marvel hardcovers were buy-2-get-1-free (essentially 3/$20). I was going to buy the 3 Death of Cap premieres, but they only had 2 & 3, and I couldn’t find a 3rd book that I actually wanted, so opted to pass on those. Wound up just getting the Constantine figure and the allocated ~5 comics–passing on the Archie issue, knowing we were to hit 3-4 more shops.

IMG_0438Our next stop was JC Comics in Cuyahoga Falls. There the shop had a display at the back of the store with a large selection of official FCBD comics: Take 1 of whatever you want, whether just a couple, or one of everything; but watch the kids–the top couple shelves’ books aren’t really for the younger crowd. So…one of everything it was. They also had someone dressed as Batman, and the store owner was dressed up as the Joker. Batman was tossing random baggies of Heroclix minis to folks. IMG_0439There was also a flat 20% off collected volumes sale, as well as other store product on sale for various discounts.

Next we headed north, to my old stomping grounds growing up, and hit Comic Heaven. There we found a handful of books on sale, though the primary draw was an artist and several costumed characters–“Super-Chimp,” a couple of Storm Troopers, and Boba Fett. Alas, no Darth Vader this year.

[Our next stop was my parents’ house–Tomorrow is Mothers’ Day, and I wanted to stop by to wish Mom a happy one, and give her a card I had for her.]

IMG_0443Our fourth and final comic shop was Comics & Friends in the Great Lakes Mall. Craig Boldman of Archie Comics was there signing. I bought an Archie All-Stars: Best of Jughead volume, and got it signed.

Upon our return, we decided to grab a late lunch/early dinner at Taco Bell, and then on a whim went across the street to Borders, where we utilized this weekend’s 33% coupon. I was going to get Captain America: The Captain tpb, then Civil War: The Underside hardcover, but finally opted instead to pick up The Lost Hero novel instead.

IMG_0441So all in all…I’d consider it a rather successful day–I enjoyed it, and my friends seemed to, as well. Particularly enjoyable for me was the opportunity to involve 3 friends who don’t frequent comic shops the way I do, and see them snag some cool stuff from the sales and freebies…and snag some freebies myself.

The ONLY real disappointment? 4 comic shops, one with an Archie creator doing a signing…and I got home to discover that I had NOT ever obtained a copy of the Archie comic for this year’s offering.



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