Sunday, May 6, 2012


Free Comic Book Day 2012
I took the day off of work to spend with my son, and of course, get free comic books. We started out at Warp 9 Comics in Clawson, MI, because it is by my friend's house, and we could shoot the breeze while standing in line. 
Owner Lauren Becker gave the humans far too much credit, with a set of rules on the amount of free books available to each person and color coded red and black racks. I watched people stare dumbfounded, trying to count and match colors. I did take advantage of the FCBD sale, with 25% everything in the store. I snagged the just-released Jack Kirby Spirit World hardcover, and when you spent a certain amount, you received 2 free hardcovers out of a supply on the counter. I picked brand new, sealed, mint copies of Marvel Zombies: The Covers oversized hardcover and Stephen King's The Stand: Captain Tripps hardcover. This is the Marvel adaptation for you civilians out there. Wow!
Can you spot Ferjo Byroy?
We arrived at 10:30 AM, and the line was already the length of the building. By the time that we left, it wrapped around the corner. 
Next up was Detroit Comics in Ferndale, MI.
Free Comic Book Day this year happened to fall on Cinco de Mayo, and owner Brian Kelly and staff were in Three Amigos mode.
My 5 year old son Billy was loving it all. They gave away tattoos, official Free Comic Book Day suckers for the kids, and Brian even gave Billy a free copy of the New 52's Action Comics #1. It is like Christmas for geeks.
We cruised across town to work the west side of Detroit's comic book shops, starting with Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, MI. Owners Dan and Katie Merritt go all out, and had tents with creators and rows and stacks of free books.
They had everything still in stock by 12:30 except for the Mouse Guard hardcover, although I snagged one earlier. The place was a madhouse, and Billy was starving, so we split before too long.
We drove to Big Ben's Comix Oasis in Allen Park, MI, next.
Owner Ben Davis went all out, with the local chapter of 501st Legion Star Wars costume troupe there. Billy loved the Stormtroopers. 
My 5.5 year old hatchling, Billy. The heir to my collection.
There was even a 4 year old kid in a Stormtrooper outfit.
Like all of the stores, the place was buzzing. I hope that all of the generosity of the retailers results in some new readers, as this hobby desperately needs new blood. If we cannot reach the children, there will be no new old readers to complain about the state of the industry in the decades to come.
We broke for lunch at Burger King. I had a Whopper, no mayo, in case you were wondering. Also had a free refill on my Diet Coke. Billy ate his hamburger, but did not finish his fries.
Next up was Wonderworld Comics in Taylor, MI. The owner, Dennis Barger, Jr., is also the mastermind behind the Detroit Fanfare, our Fall comic convention. This October will be the third year, and it will be held at the Hyatt in Dearborn once again. The first one was held there and was exploding with energy.
Billy wasn't done, even though I had everything that I wanted to read. So, we drove through the forbidden zone (Inkster) and made our way north to Back To the Past Comics in Redford, MI. This place is, literally, a warehouse. Rows of everything. Pop culture stuff, old pop bottles, newspapers going back to the 1930s...if it is old, they have it. Their limit was one comic book per person, whether adult or child. 
Billy questioned Boba Fett why he didn't have his backpack. Yes, nitpicking OCD is genetic and starts young.
I was pretty fried and wanted to call it a day, but Billy was being so good that we kept on trucking. 
We hoofed it back uptown to Time Travelers in Berkley, MI. It was 4:00 PM by this point, and it was scraps. I grabbed a few Archies from past FCBDs for my 2.5 year old daughter. I grabbed her books throughout the day, as well. Her favorite is the Yo Gabba! Gabba! comic.
So there you have it. Seven stores, 60 plus miles, and 7 hours away from home. I spent a lot of quality one on one time with my son. All in all, a great day that neither of us will soon forget. I would like to personally thank each and every one of the retailers for their generosity in participating in this event. Can't wait for next year!
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  1. What?! No may on your burger on Cinco de Mayo? Tsk tsk... ;)

  2. 'DC has made strides in fixing the problem of their books not laying flat, but there is still work to be done.'
    DC has done all it can with trying to make their omnibuses lay flat. (This is a serious comment)

  3. Diet Coke has aspartame which turns to what amounts to wood glue in your system!