Ralph DiBernardo of Jetpack Comics in Rochester, NH sent in this FCBD report:
This being our first we also had our Grand Opening in conjunction with it! We posted flyers the surrounding towns, ran a promotion with Spider-Man 3 and press released it like crazy. Jetpack Comics subscribers got special discount coupons as well as Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, Craig Rousseau meet and greet passes. New visitors received their own special coupons and everyone saved at least 25% on everything they purchased.
We had 400+ people through the day. It was a great mix of new comers, casual readers, Spider-Man 3 viewers and the regulars.
Astounding Wolfman was the first comic to be gone. Expect this to become a premium book, as the Image Comics Summer Special from two years ago has. Everyone picked up Amazing Spider-Man and the Transformers comics. The Legion of Super-Heroes comic took a back seat to all the new and multi media material but still held its own.
Of course we had dozens of offerings beyond the regular Free Comic Book Day Books. Things we had saved up over the year or made special purchases on. Stephen King's Dark Tower Sketchbooks, Perhapanauts Specials, Superman, Bartman #1, hundreds of copies of Johnny Raygun and even more free Star Wars comics were all part of the days giveaway!
The best non-comic giveaway were the dozens of Green Lantern Rings. Never has the Green Lantern Corp been so represented than they were at Jetpack Comics. We carried most of the indie books but were out of most by 2:30 pm. The D&Q book was the first to be gone and was the most popular by far. Through the day people kept asking for that one.
My pick for the best book of FCBD and the book to get on board for now is the Dark Horse Book. Everyone will be wanting to find this book in the next few months. Umbrella Academy is going to be a huge success. The story was awesome and this is the prefect genre crossover book. Written by My Chemical Romance frontman, Gerard Way, I expect this to be a smash hit and will bring us even more new non-comic readers. Remember how well Second Stage Turbine Blade did? This is going to shatter those numbers.
At noon, we had the local 501st show up -- Stormtroopers, a Biker Scout and a Tuskin Raider. Organized by T.K. Travis (the Stormtrooper that Marched in the Rose Bowl parade carrying the NH state flag) they ran a Jimmy Fund charity event where you could have your picture taken (in the custody of the Empire). They raised money and brought in passers by. Who could resist?
A local radio station was broadcasting live from our parking lot attracting even more people.
Monster Comics, a local company that promotes the reading of comic books, showed up to hand out even more free comics. Monster Comics simply wants more people reading of comic books and they showed up with a number of boxes of all ages comics for every person to choose 10 comics from - no strings attached.
We had a number of special guests to draw the fans in. Rich Woodall (Johnny Raygun) did free sketches for everyone that wanted them and his line did not slow down until he left. Dexter Vines arrived early in the day, signing books like crazy. Ed McGuinness and Craig Rousseau showed up later in the day. Ed was escorted in by the Stormtroopers. When Ed arrived Jetpack Comics subscribers were invited to a meet and greet with the Dex, Ed and Craig. Once the line thinned everyone else was invited to come inside and meet everyone. Each guest had free offerings of their own so every visitor to Jetpack
Comics had the chance to get things signed. With Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines and Craig Rousseau on hand, giving out free comics with their work, the day could not have failed! As things wound down and most the guests had gone, Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines stayed into the early evening. Ed, playing Dungeons & Dragons miniatures with Jetpack Staff and patrons, and Dexter making fun of him.
FCBD 2007 could not have been a bigger success. I just don't know what we are going to do to top it next year.
The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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