Brian Waltersdorff of Comic Store West in York, Pennsylvania shares his Free Comic Book Day experience as well as how the Magic: The Gathering--New Phyrexia pre-release went.

First the good news.  Free Comic Book Day continues to grow each year.  We had a huge day with many new faces in attendance.  Appearances at the store by Thor, Green Lantern and some Star Wars troopers from the 501st helped too. The extra advertising and social media really helped make this event a success.  Looks like everyone loves Green Lantern because the DC Comics' Green Lantern issue and the WizKids' Green Lantern HeroClix figure were by far the most popular items of the day.

And now the bad news.  Oh by the way, we also had our Magic: The Gathering--New Phyrexia pre-release event at the store on Saturday.  We were forced to move the event to the late afternoon because of the large amount of space needed for the Free Comic Book Day event.  Instead of a 10:30am start time as usual we had a 4pm start time.

We had 15 people.  Let me say it again -- 15 people.  This is the worst pre-release event attendance we have EVER had.  We normally get 40.  And sometimes we get over 40 people and are forced to turn some away (which we hate doing).  Our FCBD advertising included advertising for the Magic event, so this was our most advertised Magic event in our history yet we only had 15 people show.  This was a huge disappointment to the store and really says a lot about the failures of Wizards of the Coast to best schedule their event season.  Hopefully the fine crew at WotC will learn their lesson from this fiasco and better schedule their big events.  Oh, I'm looking at my calendar now and see the Magic Commander Launch event is on Free RPG Day.  Great.  Thanks again WotC for planning so well.

Here's a suggestion to WotC.  Instead of doing a FCBD Magic comic book (that the Magic players don't want), give them an exclusive FCBD Planeswalker card.  We probably would have had 80+ Magic players beating down our door for such a card.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of

Retailers--Share your Free Comic Book Day and/or Magic: The Gathering--New Phyrexia pre-release stories (and share a photo or two of your event) to: