Local Comic Shop Spotlight: Free Comic Book Day – Books Galore
Driving up our main drag, you pass in front of Books Galore and see the crowd of waving superheroes, knights, kings, spies, and guardians. The air is thick with the good-natured honking of passing cars appreciating the gathering of comic fans. Turning into the parking lot might be considered a blow to your general morale, as the turn out was so large, cars are parked down the street and the line, previously hidden by the brightly colored mass of people out front, wraps around the building. Luckily finding a parking space wasn’t so much of a hassle and we dutifully take our place at the back of the ever-growing line.
The dismal feeling from the slow moving and tremendously long line quickly begins to evaporate in the face of the lively conversation, live music by local musician Matty B, an ice cream truck giving away free snow cones to children, and cut-outs for taking pictures. Cold wind and rain were powerless to break the mood as the length of the line only continued to grow.
Once inside, the shop had some very interesting sales, offers, and activities. First of all, everyone got two free books from the Free Comic Book Day promotional books. One could walk away with as many as three more; membership, canned goods for the food bank, and costumes could all grant you extra issues. Upstairs, in the used book portion of the store, face-painting was available, and the amount of kids with Captain America’s shield, Spiderman’s symbol, and Superman’s symbol was incredible. Each of the items in the gaming and comics portion of the store were at an additional discount, and the Comic’s Web, the bulk, back issue portion of the story had a sale for everything being fifty cents, or three for a dollar if you were a member.
As you passed the kiosk where you grabbed your comics, the friendly and helpful staff were all smiles, asking you for a picture if you are at all themed for the day, and wishing you well on your way.
Free Comic Book Day was even larger than any of the years before, and from what I saw, even with the bad weather, everything just seemed to be more energetic. From Deadpool in his Pajamas to Spiderman who sounded Identical to Toby Mcguire and kept sprinting down the line offering high fives and one liner’s to every kid and comic fan who caught his eye, the volunteers flagged not at all. The music was a wonderful addition, and so was the ice cream truck, despite the cold weather.
FCBD is also, at least from what I saw, a highly successful promotion. In the years since it began, the advent of the marvel cinematic universe and comics reaching the mainstream have all done their part to expand on the medium. But when the line for fans buying stacks of comics and trades is just as long as the line for free comics and festivities, you can guess that the day has become a resounding success.
So next year, if you’re around Erie, PA and it’s the first Saturday in May, stop on in to Books Galore and celebrate the day like it’s meant to be celebrated!