So it’s now the fifth installment of Dealing Cool, and it’s time that the retailer feedback feature begins to show how the market can shift and flow as the months progress. How are comic shops changing? What’s new and exciting? Today, we’re proud to revisit Steve Anderson of Third Eye Comics to hear his take on the comic happenings of Spring 2012. Enjoy!
I want to talk about Free Comic Book Day 2012, but before I do, I gotta say big thanks, and major props to Bleeding Cool for asking me back. Also, for those of you taking the time to read this, thanks for your time. I know the internet is full of cat pics, and Avengers Alliance, so thanks! :)
I’m Steve Anderson, I own and operate Third Eye Comics, which has two locations in Maryland, and I’m here to talk FCBD.
Our Free Comic Book Day was insane this year, and was probably our biggest day in Third Eye history. Now, granted, we did have a bit of a helping hand: FCBD 2012 was also the (re)-opening day of our expanded location for our flagship store in Annapolis, Maryland. However, even without the move, I feel that this FCBD would have been the biggest in FCBD history. Why?
There’s a breadth of great comics coming out that appeal to all tastes, and a huge variety of formats to enjoy them in. The excitement around FCBD was amplified by Avengers, a great summer line-up of comics for new and old fans alike, and quite possibly the best offering of free comics I’ve seen since FCBD started.
What was popular in our store for FCBD? Avengers, Avengers, Avengers. There’s a genuine sense of excitement, and passion for the characters in the film, and we saw lots of people looking for good intros to Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and more.
The Mouse Guard hardcover was a HUGE hit, and I’m glad I ordered uber-heavy on it. It impressed everyone who grabbed a copy, and we’ve already seen peeps returning for Fall and Winter.
DC’s New 52 offering was a great promotional, and is the kind of thing you should be giving to your customers all summer long to show them just how awesome Earth 2 is. People were all over this one, and then some.
Surprise hits? Finding Gossamyr was definitely the breakout. I’ll admit: we had a little help with Th3rd World Studios, and Gossamyr writer David Rodriguez on hand signing copies of the book, but, we gave out over 1,000 of these, and people are stoked. The book itself is gorgeous, and is one of those rare all ages reads (a la Amulet and Bone) that is primed to capture young and readers old alike.
On top of the strong FCBD offerings, the publishers all brought their A+ game with last week’s new releases, and are following suit with the week following. Earth 2, Epic Kill, Mind the Gap, X-O Manowar, and Avengers Vs. X-Men #3 made it virtually impossible to not find a new favorite for someone. Quality books, and diversity in genre on display in a big way.
Batman! Lots of excitement for Night of the Owls. I get the same kind of feeling I had from Sinestro Corps War. There’s a ton of excitement, a constant build to something bigger, and fascinating new piece of story added to the Bat-family titles.
Good comics, good times!
Other things of note: People are loving X-O, Image is still killing it with fantastic new reads, AvX is rockin’, and all the publishers seem to be bringing their A+ game this year.
We were personally overjoyed with how FCBD went down in both of our stores. The grand (re)opening of our new location for Third Eye Annapolis was huge. Seriously, I locked up around 11:30 Friday night, after prepping the store, and putting the finishing touches on… and, we already had some amazing people camping out for the event. When my crew and I returned to the store at 6AM to finish prep, we had 50 people in line already. By the time the doors opened, we’d lost count, but it was hundreds and hundreds of people who turned out. Many were new, many were regulars, it was a great mix.
I gotta tell you, whether it’s FCBD or just a regular day, it’s a fantastic feeling to have an entire store packed with so many different people all stoked on one thing: COMICS.
FUTUREFUN! We’re prepping for a big signing with Sam Humphries today (Saturday, 5/12) at Third Eye Annapolis for his new creator-owned Boom! series, Higher Earth, which is going to totally rock your socks. It’s so much fun, it’s ridiculous. If you’re a Maryland local, click here for the details.