Free Comic Book Day 2017 has come and gone. My wife Nicki and I had a blast spending the day geeking out around the Memphis area all day yesterday.

I put on my Rorschach costume, and Nicki put on her Wonder Woman tee, necklace, and Chucks. We headed out early that morning and stopped by the donut shop near us for some quick breakfast before driving up to Memphis.

We stopped by Comics & Collectibles¬†on Poplar Ave. first. Normally when we get there around their normal opening time of 10am there’s a line out the door. This year they opened up at 6am! Didn’t want to get up that early so we figured we’d shoot for 8am. When we drove up there were no people or even cars in front of the shop. We thought the shop was closed until we saw a girl walk out carrying a bag with her. Apparently they had opened up¬†this early before and it helped make the morning rush much more manageable. There were a couple other folks that pulled up right after us, and the folks we knew who were already there had parked in the side parking lot.

We said hi to friends, picked out our FCBD books, and did some shopping. You could get one free FCBD comic for just showing up, and if you purchase $5.00 or more in merchandice you are entitled to one of each they had available- and there was A LOT to choose from! They also had a 20% off sale on merch.

Since the crowd was kinda light during that time it didn’t take us a long time to shop or pay. That was great, but we didn’t see any cosplayers or run into as many friends as we normally do there. There were families there, so that was great to see kids picking out comics with their parents.

Jason¬†at Comic Cellar (on Austin Peay) had invited us to set up at his shop. We were scheduled to be there at 10am, and were done at Comics and Collectibles shortly after 9am. We had a lot of time to kill so we stopped by the bank for me to pick up some change, and then slid by Target to check out the toy, movie, and geek sections. Didn’t see anything we couldn’t live without, so we grabbed some Starbucks on the way out and headed to our next stop.

Was going to try to slide by 901 Comics in midtown, but wasn’t sure about their hours.

Had thought about trying to hit Jupiter Comics while we were out that way to go to the bank, but wasn’t sure what time they would open, and we just didn’t have time enough to get to Collierville and back out to Raliegh by 10am. Glad we didn’t- Jupiter closed that location and is currently opening a Jupiter 2.0 shop even further out in Moscow, TN. Supposed to be a much bigger space with more to offer like a cafe, arcade, bigger gaming space, and mini-golf. They had to skip FCBD this year, and looks like they ¬†are open weekends only right now. I will make the trip out and do a review once it’s fully open.

We made it out to Comic Cellar on time and got set up in the front of the store. I brought some tees to sell and some “Bushi Tales” comics and promo postcards to give away. I recently was cleaning out the garage and found TONS of the comics, so I thought I’d make room in the garage and celebrate FCBD by giving away some of my overstock.

Whenever someone walked up and got one comic, I told them that the rule is the comics are free but you have to pick up at least one of each of ALL three issues! They would laugh and agree, and then I would tell them to enjoy them, and if they didn’t- well, at least they got their money’s worth. ūüėČ

I really wish print-on-demand was better and faster back when we were doing the BT comics..!

The shop would allow customers to pick out up to 5 FCBD comics for attending. They had lots of other freebies (like buttons and other comics), $1 and $.50 comics, and lots of trade paper backs, graphic novels, and comic bundles on sale at various discounted prices.

  

I brought a Star Wars sketchcover to work on, and Nicki was there to motivate me to keep drawing and giving away comics. Got to talk to a lot of friends, and met some new folks. (Got some good news from Jason I hope to be able to share soon.) ūüėČ

  

Another local artist, Charles Ettinger (president of the MSCA/Mid-South Cartoonists Association) was set up next to us. He was selling some of his art prints and doing sketches for fans.

I worked with Charles waaaaaay back in the late ’80s and again briefly in the ’90s doing t-shirts, along with long time friend and fellow MSCA member Greg Cravens. It’s hard to believe we’ve become the “old guys” in the club.

  

I took a break and did some shopping for trades and comics. Paid for my pull list comics in our hold box, and picked out a few FCBD comics I had missed at Comics and Collectibles earlier.

The shop normally opens up at noon on Saturday’s, but the doors opened at 10am yesterday. There was a good constant flow of traffic in the shop. Lots of people in cool comic themed tees, hats, and hoodies, but didn’t see any other cosplayers while we were there, which was very unusual for a FCBD. ūüôĀ

Comic Cellar and Comics and Collectibles are where I get most of my sketchcovers, and Comic Cellar has some finished ones for sale up by the register, including several of mine.

Charles Ettinger has some of his covers for sale there as well. He’s got a fun cartoon style.

After I got home last night I saw on Facebook that someone had bought my K-2SO sketchcover after I had left the shop! Always good to see that folks like them.

I changed out of my costume and we left a little after 2pm and headed back down south. We grabbed a bite to eat at Pyro’s Pizza, and then headed up the street to see “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2“.

  

Of course we had to get our Guardians popcorn bucket and cup with topper. Unfortunately for me they had run out of Groot and Rocket, but Nicki got a Gamora topper. We really enjoyed the movie. I think I liked the first one better, but this one was a lot of fun and had some great moments- especially those with Rocket, Groot, and Yondu/”Space-Merle”. The ones between Drax and Mantis were hhilarious, too. Lots of great cameos and guest stars, and stay through the credits- there are 5 additional scenes and lots of goofiness during the credits.

After the movie we stopped by Books-A-Million in Southaven on our way home. I picked up Nicki a¬†small birthday present I had been looking for, and found a “Justice League/Suicide Squad” comic for me. They’ve moved from their old location towards the back of the Southaven Towne Center Mall up to the front in the old Hancock Fabrics¬†location at Airways and Goodman. They have a great selection of Funko POP!s.

I picked up several FCBD books. Really looking forward to reading the Boom/Mouse Guard, TMNT, Dr. Who, Tick, WW, Guardians, CBLDF, Buffy, and Colorful Monsters issues.

The comics I bought at both stores- a few from my hold box and a few comics off the rack including a few new sketchcovers.

These are the¬†trade paperbacks I bought on sale. There were LOTS to choose from, but didn’t have these in my collection. Had somehow missed the Dan Brereton one in the middle when it originally came out. Have the single issues of “Batman: The Cult“, but couldn’t resist a TPB of Bernie Wrightson‘s Batman work. Have been collecting Iron Fist and Heroes For Hire TPBs for a while now.

Nicki picked up several trades and comics, as well as a Streaky The Cat plush doll.

I bought two toys on sale- a Play Arts Rorschach action figure and a Funko Iron Fist POP! action figure. I bought a few other things, but they are birthday presents for Nicki and I can’t “show & tell” them yet. I ordered her main birthday present a while back and it said it would ship in time, but just in case I wanted to have a back-up plan.

Free Comic Book Day happens every year on the first Saturday in May all over North America¬†and in several countries. The comics are free for fans and each shop celebrates differently and has different hours. If you missed this year’s FCBD then definitely make plans to attend and shop at your local comic book shop(s). And spend a few dollars while you’re there. The comics and goodies may be free for us fans, but the retailers have to pay for them. Show them you appreciate them supporting¬†Free Comic Book Day by showing some support for them in return.

Thanks again to all the retailers, and to Jason and Comic Cellar for inviting us out. Can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Lin