by Brittany Gamboa
Free Comic Book Day is amongst us, and the celebration of old school ink and calligraphy on that fine print paper is in the air. With this phenomenon spanning North America and even across the globe in select locations, hardcore comic book buyers recognize this day as if it were a religious holiday – although, for some newer fans, we are just beginning to get a feel for what this day is going to be like. In trying to find out more about FCBD, I was able to speak with various comic book store owners throughout Southern California. I was told what this day means to not only them, but for why they are in the business in the first place. What it means to their loyal, current, and reborn comic book fans. Once my investigation began, I started down at Meltdown Comics, located on Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, inquiring within. Francisco, the clerk working at the time, was more than happy to aid me in my quest.
Brittany Gamboa for Krypton Radio: What is your goal in executing FCBD?
Francisco (Meltdown Comics): Getting more customers (chuckles). But no, it’s to hopefully spread the interest of comic books into people again and to keep it alive. And to bring people together.
BG: What does FCBD mean to you as well as old and new fans of comic books?
Francisco: It means a bundle because we want to get comic books into people’s hands. Old or new fans. Especially new people because it’s new readers and it will spark an interest in comic books. We also want to spread the word that comic books are still alive and out there.
BG: What has been the impact of the new distribution media on your store and on comic book artists and writers?
Francisco: It’s good. It brings people in wanting to learn more about the movie or the show they just watched or the game they just played. They want to learn more. They want to see things that they can’t find online, like rare comics. Like the new Avengers movie that is coming out. Sparks interest into new fans and that interest leads them to my store.
Down at Emerald Knights in Burbank, I spoke with the the owner, Jason Enright, and he was able to clue me in a little further on FCBD.
BG: What is your goal with FCBD?
Jason Enright (Emerald Knights): The goal is to remind people that comic books are still being sold and they have been around for a very long time, and are still great to read! Even attracting people who used to read comic books, we want to bring them from the media’s attention back to comics and of course get new readers.
BG: What does this day mean to you, as well as your old and new fans of comic books?
Jason Enright: It means a lot, it means a great deal. You see, nowadays comics may be getting higher in price and people may be hesitant towards purchasing them. But with FCBD, it brings people together, in every comic book store. It doesn’t matter which one, and it’s a chance for people to hang out and meet new friends with the same interests and talk about them. Most importantly, it’s meant to spread the word, to meet people, and to just have a great time.
BG: What do you see has been the most significant impact of the new distribution media?
Jason Enright: Well…comic books are obviously not as popular as before and the media helps out a lot. Writers feel more motivated to keep it up. And when the Iron Man films and THOR came out, it created a new fan base and people wanted to learn more. They wanted to see rare merchandise. And it also helps the comic book industry a lot actually.
I ended the Q&A with Earth World Comics in Albany, New York to give me the final scoop on the subject.
BG: What will happen with comic books in their printed form?
(Earthworld): Probably nothing. Comic books are priceless and there is nothing like holding a book, rather than an electronic device. The battery can always run out, unlike a book.
BG: On that note, where do you see this event taking comic books?
(Earthworld): If anywhere, this is heading towards the longevity of comics books and them having more value than ever before!
It’s all seen differently in everyone’s eyes; as to why it is celebrated, where we see it headed with this plethora of technology, and what exactly is the deal with people giving out FREE comic books in the first place. But hey, who’s complaining right? We all come together to share the great legacy comic books have provided us as well as influencing those movies we see on Friday nights with friends. When Free Comic Book Day continues into the years to come, you and your children, along with your lifelong friends, will always have this day to pull you closer together. There will be memories to last a lifetime. Just like always.
|Brittany Gamboa writes about tech, video games and all things geeky relating to past, current, and future influences on modern society.|