The first thing you should know about Free Comic Book Day: it's far from "free". Oh, there are free comic books on Free Comic Book Day. But if you're anything like me, it ended up being a pretty expensive day.
If you're unfamiliar with FCBD, it's the first Saturday in May, when local comic shops give away specially produced comics with the goal of introducing comic fans to new books, new fans to comics and bringing in business they otherwise wouldn't get. My local shop, Buried Under Comics in Manchester, CT, had a 50% off sale on most items in the store, and whenever they do that, I go a little spend crazy.
My first trip of the day came around noon, when I went in to partake in the free comics and pick up the regular books I buy. The store was packed, and they were limiting everyone to three free comics, which was fine by me, since the free comics I wanted were the two Iron Man books (Iron Man/Thor and Iron Man: Supernova) and the Amazing Spider-Man Kraven tie-in.
I also took care of buying everything I'd missed in the last two weeks, including a bunch of Iron Man related stuff (I'm going a little Iron Man crazy these days. Can you tell "Iron Man 2" is coming out soon?). Also, since FCBD is about exposing fans to stuff they wouldn't normally read, I decided to pick up the Firestar one-shot from the Women of Marvel line. I'd liked Sean McKeever's stuff in the Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane series, so I figured it'd be pretty good, and, hey, it actually was. I may even dip into the ongoing series when that comes out in a few months.
The store was more packed than I'd ever seen it before, and the cool thing was people were buying stuff. They weren't JUST there for the free comics, even if that's what brought them in. I saw parents there with their kids, getting them into the hobby via the many kid-friendly titles available on FCBD, and there was even a girl dressed up as Black Widow (did I mention "Iron Man 2" is coming out soon), which I thought showed some serious dedication, since it was like 90 degrees and a black pleather catsuit isn't exactly summer attire (or so I've been told. I really have no experience with pleather in any weather... I swear).
As part of the FCBD festivities, Buried Under had a pick-a-card raffle, where you could win fun trinkets, trades, variant issues or even some high-end statues. I got the movie variant of Invincible Iron Man #25, so that made me happy. One of the FCBD giveaways was also a War Machine HeroClix figure, which is going on top of my fridge next to the Mystique HeroClix I got way back at Wizard World Boston in 2005.
When I left the store, I texted PooZ to let him now about the 50% off sale, since FCBD is also about spreading the word (I also tweeted it, so my dozens of faithful followers, most of whom live nowhere near the store, could know too... I guess...). I ended up going back to the store a few hours later to really partake in the 50% off sale. I made my purchase and then just started talking to people in the store. It was actually a really fun time, just having conversations with people I might otherwise have never met. Eventually, PooZ showed up and he bought a ton of trades. I ended up buying a few more books, including the Kevin Smith penned Spider-Man/Black Cat "The Evil That Men Do" story from a few years back. As I was checking out for the third and final time today, I saw a Black Widow bust behind the counter that caught my eye, and ended up getting that too.
My final tally for the day:
- The Amazing Spider-Man Grim Hunt: The Kraven Saga (FCBD Book)
- Iron Man: Supernova (FCBD Book)
- Iron Man/Thor (FCBD Book)
- Siege: Spider-Man
- Amazing Spider-Man #628
- Amazing Spider-Man #629
- Iron Man 2: Public Identity
- Iron Man Legacy
- Iron Man Iron Manual: Mark 3
- Invincible Iron Man #25
- Invincible Iron Man #25 (Movie Variant)
- Angel #32
- Angel: A Hole in the World #5
- Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #9
- Ultimate Avengers 2 #1
- Firestar #1
- Absolute Kingdom Come
- Buffy/Angel Figurine Collection #2 (Angel)
- Buffy/Angel Figurine Collection #3 (Spike)
- Buffy/Angel Figurine Collection #4 (The Master)
- Iron Man: Civil War TPB
- Iron Man: The End TPB
- Spider-Man and the Black Cat: "The Evil That Men Do" TPB
- Spider-Man: Happy Birthday TPB
- Iron Man: Iron Monger HC
- Iron Man: Deadly Solutions HC
- Black Widow Minibust