I’m live-blogging this year’s Free Comic Book Day from Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman, OK. (Full disclosure note: I am one of the owners of Speeding Bullet.)
9:15 a.m. Doing some last-minute preparations before the doors open at 10 a.m. Speeding Bullet is pushing literacy this year as part of the FCBD promotion, and as so is hoping to see a lot of kids in the door. There’s a slight drizzle here, which I hope doesn’t hurt the turnout any.
9:30 a.m. Already a bit of a line developing. Annette Price, who’s spearheaded Speeding Bullet’s Free Comic Book Day initiatives (and who is, full disclosure again, married to me) explains the store’s FCBD plan for younger readers as follows: Anyone 12 or under who gets a free comic book today, and returns to the store with a report on the book, either written or drawn, by the end of June, will receive a free Batman all-ages graphic novel. (If the Batmans run out, other all-ages GNs will be substituted.) The hope is, this gives kids one more reason to start their summer reading, and rewards those who are working on the all-important reading and communication skills. She’s calling this the “War on Illiteracy,” playing off the “War of the Supermen” Free Comic Book Day comic book by DC Comics, co-written by James Robinson and Oklahoma native Sterling Gates.
10 a.m. The deluge begins! A few dozen people in line as Free Comic Book Day gets started. The parking lot is full.
10:05 am One of the employees said he had to park around the block.
10:15 a.m. About 100 people in so far! Lots of kids, people having fun with it.
10:20 a.m. The traffic to my Nerdage blog has crashed the site. Free Comic Book Day drives traffic on the web and in the stores!
10:30 a.m. I’m going to say the rain has not hurt turnout at all, or at least I don’t see how it could have.
10:40 a.m. As far as sales go, noticing a lot of “Brightest Day” No. 0 sales.
11 a.m. Kids seem to be excited for Toy Story and Shrek comics. War of the Supermen seems to be moving well with everybody.
11:10 a.m. Still very full here, though there’s a little more room to breathe than there was for the first hour. Several people talking about anticipating the second Iron Man movie.
11:30 a.m. Already more people in the door than 2008 – and there’s a lot more day to go! On pace to pass 2009 at this rate, as well.
11:35 a.m. And Nerdage is back up!
11:50 a.m. Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock also getting a good response.
12:30 p.m. Weather-wise, it’s really turned nice, and it’s been a nearly nonstop crowd of people through the door.
12:35 p.m. Corey Ayers from the Oklahoma History Center points out the trailer for their new Okie Cartoonists exhibit, opening June 12: http://okiecartoonist.org/
1:30 p.m. Some technical difficulties here, but it hasn’t stopped people from shopping. All the all-ages comics from this year are going out the door at a rapid pace – it’s really cool to see young kids with a John Stanley comic!
2:30 p.m. A good chunk of the FCBD comics have found a new home! Lots of kids saying they’ll take on the reading challenge. Mouse Guard/Fraggle Rock and Shrek have all run out. Superman is still probably the most popular choice, though some still remain. Both Iron Man books are moving at a rapid clip.
2:40 p.m. Archie Comics selections – both the Summer Splash and the Sonic issue – have “sold out.” Archie’s been doing a good job of keeping interest up in their line, and it’s continued today.
2:50 p.m. Larry Hama’s return to G.I. Joe has run completely out, as has Jim Shooter’s return to Solar, Man of the Atom and Magnus, Robot Fighter. Probably a good sign for both of those properties.
3 p.m. The last of the Fractured Fairy Tales and YOW! have moved out the door. Good to see the interest. Speeding Bullet has replenished with some additional comics to keep the free stuff coming.
3:30 p.m. Even though “The Losers” and “Kick-Ass” may have disappointed at the box office, there are still some fans picking up the related comics and graphic novels at Free Comic Book Day.
3:45 p.m. The last of the Irredeemable and Green Hornet comics have made their way out the door. Irredeemable seems to be a good choice for superhero fans; not for kids, but it’s a great read.
4 p.m. The last of the Marvel Comics have gone out the door. Given the interest in “Iron Man” and the little extra push of interest Marvel gave “Thor” this weekend, it’s no surprise to see them do well. Lots of people talking about the movie, too.
4:20 p.m. The staff tells me all the new Free Comic Book Day books have gone out the door, with the exception of the heavily ordered War of the Supermen. They estimate “War” to be their biggest mover overall, but orders were heavy enough that they still have some to give away. They’re still giving away 5 comics per person here until 7 p.m., though, supplementing with additional comics and some leftover Halloween giveaway comics. Crowds have settled down, but still a steady trickle of people through the door. Does the recession make “free” more appealing to people, or is it a combination of publicity and appeal of the event? Certainly there has been a high level of excitement throughout the day.
5:10 p.m. Still hasn’t really been a dull moment around here. Great to see so many kids who are excited about reading. Comic retailers having a good turnout and a good time today should definitely thank Joe Field, of Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff in Concord, Calif., who came up with the idea for Free Comic Book Day in the first place.
6 p.m. About an hour left in the day here at Speeding Bullet Comics and I’m going to wrap up the live-blog. I’m told with an hour to go, it’s already set a new record for people in the store. Hope everyone had a fantastic Free Comic Book Day! Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments!