Get motivated by this Gallifrey Guardian newsletter article about FCBD 2015:
On the first Saturday of each May, fans enjoy Free Comic Book Day—it’s like Black Friday for Comic Book stores! It’s great to find more folks outside of fandom recognizing our special day, especially having it mentioned by the media. The local National Public Radio station even ran a previously recorded episode of “Ask Me Another” from New York ComicCon, with Neil Gaiman as a guest. The episode featured a game in which participants had to combine the name of a fictional character and a disease, with one clue as “The TARDIS may be bigger on the inside, but you can still hear him wheezing from this lung infection.” The answer: Doctor Who-oping Cough.
For the past several years I have made a FCBD road trip to as many comic shops as possible; this year I made it to all ten shops on my itinerary, plus a bookstore.
I started at A Comic Shop, as they opened earliest—9 am. They allowed 5 comics per person, but if you spent $10 you could get 5 more free ones. There were buy 3, get 1 free deals throughout the store. Characters from Batman were present. The Geekeasy wasn’t open that early, but would be later—until 2am!
Next stop was Sci Fi City, GoG’s home base, which allowed 8 free comics and had Spiderman and his webcycle. They had 50-cent back issues and a 30% store-wide sale.
The Fashion Square Mall had a Cos-con, tying in FCBD and The Avengers movie premier with lots of artists and cosplayers and a costume competition. (Every mall with a comic book shop and movie theater should do it!). The Coliseum of Comics there gave out 4 free comics per person and had a great collection of Doctor Who standees. The artists’ alley outside the store stretched toward the center stage, where appropriate music played–including the theme to the Big Bang Theory. Inkburst Studio (InkBurst.storenvy.com) included Doctor Who art in their display.
Coliseum of Comics near the Mall at Millenia gave 4 free comics, had artists and cosplayers—Superman and the Black Canary. Kids loved the balloons all around the store.
Living Dead Comics gave out 1 free of EACH comic—FANtastic! There were tables and chairs in back, presumably for gaming, as the wall had a calendar schedule for D&D and other games. They sell snack food and sodas, and had DW bobbleheads!
Hudson’s Comics was running low by the time I got there, and so could only give 1 free comic per person; they advertised 10% off Star Wars items until May 5. They carry LOTS of collectibles and figures, LOTR, SW, etc.; large, quality genre items (with price tags to match), and have even larger costumes/props set up throughout the store. I met up with fellow Guardian officer Darren there, but we went our separate ways so he wouldn’t miss Living Dead Comics and the Cos-con at Fashion Square Mall.
Epic Comics allowed 5 free books and had artists on site, as well as wall art, door art, even Doctor Who art by Danny Haas (artofdanny.com). They carry Doctor Who artwork, figures, and comics, and they still have the TARDIS soda machine!
ACME Comics gave 3 free books, had 25% off most other merchandise, and LIVE MUSIC! I ran into another Guardian there: Edward as the Fourth Doctor. Artists and crafters were present, as well as our donated TARDIS (built by John Reid Adams), and a school bake sale. You could even win a movie ticket by donating blood. Their selection of Doctor Who merchandise included an iphone case and a lifesize K-9.
Comic Central gave out 2 free comics (more if you bought stuff) and had 20%-off sales. The carry sonic screwdrivers, Doctor Who boxers (!) and other small items, and the Who’s Who book.
Smash Comics and Games (formerly Coliseum of Comics) at Seminole Towne Centre gave out 4 free comics plus 1 poster, had a face painter and artists, and cosplayers–even a man wearing a comic strip suit. There was George Perez, “The Riley & Kimmy Show” podcast, and Doctor Who art by Ravenwolf (artofravenwolf.com). ‘Captain Jack’ stood guard over the Doctor Who merchandise: a tablecloth and card game, ‘crack in the wall’ stickers, The Impossible Set, and the 12 Doctors, 12 stories, 12 postcards Boxed Set.
Books a Million isn’t a comics shop, but it was nearby, so I stopped in to check out their Doctor Who items. Not as extensive as in December, but they did have a knapsack, the “knock, knock t-shirt, 11th Doctor jacket, Capaldi t-shirt, and DW books.
I headed back to ACME Comics to spend the rest of Free Comic Book Day dressed as a TimeLord. Info on local comic shops can be found on our website: http://www.GuardiansOfGallifrey.com. Support your local comic book store–every one I visited carried some Doctor Who merchandise, with a different selection at each store. If you missed Free Comic Book Day, let me know at the June Anniversary Party—I have extra copies of the free Doctor Who comic book!