Free Comic Book this Saturday!I go a little crazy on Free Comic Book Day.  It’s pretty rare that I only run to one comic shop.  In fact, because of poor selection, in recent years, I’ve run to more and more comic shops every year.  Last year, I even came across a comic shop that wasn’t participating.  It was kind of a sad, sad day.  To this day, I still don’t have the Kid Houdini comic that came out last year.  Sigh…

This year’s Free Comic Book Day kicked all kinds of @$$, but at the same time, was kinda sad for me.  Get the full story, and a tally of my purchases, after the jump!

I started the day off right.  I hit Local Heroes Comics in Norfolk, VA around 10:15 in the morning to check out their Free Comic Day event.  I can’t tell you the smile I had on my face to see that the place was PACKED!  Older fans, young couples, and a bunch of families were not only picking up their free comics, but looking around the store.  In the morning, they had free donuts and bagels (from Yorgo’s Bageldashery in Norfolk) and in the afternoon, Cogan’s Pizza,

Local Heroes Owners Greg Thompson and Meredith Hobson.
Local Heroes Owners Greg Thompson and Meredith Hobson.

Unfortunately, though I was set to have a Krispy Kreme donut upon my arrival (I was looking forward to it, in fact), I was passing Burger King and noticed a big “STAR TREK GLASSES ARE HERE!” sign in the window.  I spun my car around, Fast and Furious style, and ran through the drive thru.  I had to eat a crossainwich (yuck), but I managed to get my hands on two Jim Kirk glasses.  Happy times.

Local Heroes had, without a doubt, the best set up of all the shops I hit on FCBD.  The store was nice and organized, the items were clearly marked, and, well, you can’t beat free food, even if I didn’t partake because the crossainwich was battling my stomach.  I stayed here a little bit, and picked up some awesome stuff:

  • Avengers, which kinda stunk
  • Blackest Night #0, which was great (more on that later this week)
  • Savage Dragon #148, which was okay.  I understand that all the recap was to get new readers in, but the issue just wasn’t all that hot.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 25th Anniversary Reprint, my favorite of the FCBD books
  • I also paid for a complete set of Doc Frankenstein comics.  I hear they’re pretty darn good.
Cyber Force/Hunter-Killer
Cyber Force/Hunter-Killer

After shedding a tear and leaving my new favorite comic jaunt, I went to another comic shop in Virginia Beach, VA.  I won’t really name the rest of the comic shops because I really have some pretty negative things to say about them.  The second comic shop I went to was a mess – it typically is, though.  It feels like you’re walking through someone’s attic, it’s never clean, and I typically walk in to find the clerk sleeping on the floor behind the counter (the less said about the time he was wrapping cheese slices around raw hot dogs the better).  Still, I wanted to pick up a couple more things, so I thought I’d head here just to check things out.  The place was mobbed, and, though some good deals were there on toys, and they had a table of free comic boxes (which I couldn’t get anywhere near), I only walked out with…

  • Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer, which was really good!
  • Magic: The Gathering (Agents of Artifice Sampler), which I’ve yet to read
  • Arcana Studios Presents, which was “eh,”
  • and a foam Wolverine hand, that looks like those big foam hands you get at baseball games, except with claws.

Dismayed that I still couldn’t get three of my top comics, Aliens/Predator, Atomic Robo, and Comics Festival, I headed to my LCS in Hampton, Virginia.  I was warned that not only would the owner not be ordering much, but that he wasn’t planning a big event.  No kidding.  It was kind of depressing, honestly, after having seen two shops doing so much (even if the second one was a mess) to walk into a comic shop that, basically, bah humbug’d FCBD.   I did manage to pick up…

  • Comics Festival,
  • Peanuts Halloween, which wasn’t even a FCBD book, but was released for trick r’ treaters around Halloween
  • and my weekly new comics haul – Green Lantern #40, Legion of Three Worlds #4, Battle For The Cowl: The Underground, Justice Society #26, Astounding Wolf-Man #15, Rasl #4, Witchblade #126, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes #1
That damn Atomic Robo comic I never found.
That damn Atomic Robo comic I never found.

Still had two left to go – Atomic Robo and Aliens/Predator.  I headed up to Amazing Fantasy Comics in Newport News.  This was a bit more like it after the depressing Hampton store – they had Darth Vader and Boba Fett (from the 501st) walking around, and were set to have a couple of comic creators, including Otis Frampton, come by later in the day.  Here, I picked up…

  • Aliens/Predator, which was really darn good
  • and the first five issues of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, from Marvel Comics

So….yeah, never found Atomic Robo.  The elusive Atomic Robo, who has managed to evade me three times in one week (I missed the second trade paperback by one day, the third series is nowhere to be found, and the FCBD issue wasn’t anywhere I went).

Now, though it sounds like I’m complaining (well, I am about Atomic Robo), I’m really not.  Like I told a friend of mine, I liked feeling like a “comic hunter,” searching out all the goodies, and seeing what everyone was doing for FCBD.  While some impressed (Local Heroes), some were dishearteningly boring.  Still, a pretty successful FCBD overall.  After hitting four comic shops and a Burger King in the span of two hours, I came home and watched Star Trek: The Original Series‘ episode “Space Seed,” to make it a truly geeky day.

How about you guys?  Any fun FCBD stories?

Don’t forget, there’s still plenty of time to win ONE HUNDRED FREE COMICS from us at IoM!