Hello Midtown Bloggerinos! Raph here with a little double dose of blog talk. First, FCBD was this past weekend! I’m going to talk about the craziness of FCBD from the Midtown perspective, as well as highlight some books and talk about why FCBD is important for the industry… On with the FREE COMICS!

Free Comic Book Day has come and gone for the TENTH TIME this year, a whole DECADE of giving away comics! I’ve been working at Midtown since 2008, and have seen four of these undertakings, and worked at three. Being one of the largest retailers of comics in the world, we get A LOT of people coming to Free Comic Book Day to either get their hands on some books for free, or introduce children (be they inner child or outer, offspring child) to the world of comics. I think it’s been a successful event, not only in execution, but in bringing people in to comic book stores. With the start of the media blitzkrieg on comics about a decade ago (movies, TV shows, mainstream acceptance), comics has moved to the forefront of pop culture consciousness, what better way to push it further than with free comics?

As for the event itself, Midtown is a very experienced retailer. We’ve been doing big events since Day One, and FCBD is as big as they come. The line starts outside our doors well before our 11AM opening time, and people wait for HOURS just to get a sample of free books. Midtown has taken to packaging the free offerings into two packets: one young reader friendly, and one not so young reader friendly (dirty minds out of the gutter, we’re talking the difference of G and PG-13). The staff is experienced with handling big crowds, we have a line system and are in constant communication with each other on how many people to let in, and how to guide people through the store. People pick up their books and then can enjoy the wonders of the store. There were special 20% coupons given away with all of the packets, so people can take advantage of this opportunity to get comics cheap on top of their free ones. While it can be pretty chaotic, we always have a handle of the crowd for the most part. The giveaways usually wrap by the mid-afternoon, especially with the huge line, books can go fast. We also had special iced tea drinks with Green Lantern movie art on the can, and a few industry people show up, like Marvel’s Jim McCann (Hawkeye/Mockingbird, Hawkeye: Blindspot) to support the event and enjoy the festivities. This year’s went pretty smoothly, and that’s thanks to a very capable Midtown Comics staff, and an amiable crowd.

One of the most rewarding sights on FCBD is to see an adult hand their child/nephew/niece/brother/sister a free book and seeing their little eyes light up. Comics were a very important part of my childhood, without them, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today (some may say that’s not a detriment). I am a whole-hearted believer in the power of comics, and to see young children read them and eventually grow up to bother me about who’s stronger out of the Hulk and Superman (Kal-El), it just warms my heart. It’s always good to see new readers, of all ages, and Free Comic Book Day draws people in like no other day really can. It’s a pleasure to be part of this annual event, be it as a staff member or as a casual observer.

–          Raph

Check out all of our pictures from Free Comic Book Day on Facebook!

Times Square FCBD 2011 Gallery

Downtown FCBD 2011 Gallery

Grand Central FCBD 2011 Gallery


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