Those of us who are regular comic readers adhere to a very particular calendar. New comics are released every Wednesday, San Diego Comic-Con happens every summer, and Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May. This year, FCBD was this weekend, and local comic shops all over the country doled out free comics, while also seeing a benefit to their sales as people flooded in, lured by free stuff. In the North Hollywood neighborhood of L.A, local comic shop, Blastoff Comics, not only gave comics to regular readers at their store, but they had a big party to which they invited the whole neighborhood!
Blastoff Comics partnered with local pub, The Federal, to host Blastoff Comicfest, a day-long, outdoor party complete with signings, vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, and face-painting and other activities for kids. Naturally, there were plenty of comics fans there, but the thing that several of the comics professionals commented on – including Mairghread Scott, creator of Transformers: Windblade; Supergirl‘s Mike Johnson; Madame Frankenstein and Buffy the Vampire Slayer artist, Megan Levens; and Fanboy Comics‘ Jason Enright – was the fact that being outdoors at a non-comics venue worked wonders to attract people who’d never considered comics before and allowed them to introduce their work to new readers! Families out and about on a beautiful, sunny Saturday stumbled in, and walked out with comics they’d never read before.
This isn’t to say that there was no action at Blastoff Comics itself a couple of blocks away. While free comics were being distributed at the event, there were even more available at the store. And once people got their freebie on, they couldn’t help but browse and make some purchases. I certainly couldn’t!
Free Comic Book Day is such a great opportunity to introduce newbies to the world of comics, and I was thrilled to have my local comic shop do such a great job of making everyone – newbie and comics reader alike – feel like comics are for them.
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