Jay Bardyla of Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, Alberta sends in this FCBD report:
On Friday night, it began snowing. Since we had plans to set up a wrestling ring in the parking lot for some live wrestling (featuring the performers of the Prairie Wrestling Alliance), we had to decide if we should move forward or not, as loading and setting up the ring was a lot of work. We decided to axe the wrestling and I was very sad. I was looking forward to this. I was banking on this. I bought newspaper ads (which we had not done before) and radio ads (which we had not done either). We hyped and promoted the day, with all it's activities but in the end, no live wrestling.
Sure, we would still have our thousands of comics, eight artists doing sketches for the Edmonton Food Bank (over 100 pounds of food collected, along with some cash), HeroClix gaming demos, World of Warcraft gaming demos, big sale, BBQ and most of the wrestlers still came out to promote their upcoming show but the snow and the wind on Friday night was making me think this was going to be the worst FCBD in our history.
At 9 am, Saturday morning, the clouds broke and the wind died. The pavement dried up and the air warmed. We opened at 10 am and by closing at 6 pm we had had the BEST FREAKING FREE COMIC BOOK DAY EVER!! Over 1200 people came through our store (almost double last year)! Comics were wiped out by 1:30 pm even though we bumped our numbers huge from last year! Our sales doubled from last year! And best of all -- hundreds of new faces!
Families, couples, little kids, big kids, old school geeks and the new breed all came through our door, hearing about the event via the radio, newspaper and word of mouth. It was the most jam-packed our store has ever been and it was the most smiles I had ever seen!
Thank you, Joe Field, for giving us the opportunity to celebrate this medium and bring comics to the masses. Thanks to those companies who supplied books for the day with extra big thanks to those kind enough to leave space on their comics so us little store owners could share some of the credit by being able to stamp your books (shame on you Keenspot, Arcana, Fantagraphics, Rude Dude, Twomorrows, Wildcard, Aspen, Comic Genesis, First Second, Daystar, Blatant and Sky Dog).
Here's looking forward to 2008 and to renting a tent, just in case!
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.
We want to hear your story! If you're a retailer with a story to tell about your Free Comic Book Day 2007 experience, please send us your report. Click here for info on how to send us your Talk Back comment. If you have digital images, just attach them to your e-mail when you send in your story.