Almost a month after the event, here I come with my earlier-promised recap of Free Comic Book Day at Strange Adventures in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Waited these weeks to get my pictures uploaded onto my computer, and you know what? The majority of them were horrible! Ah well, that’s what I get for not getting to know my camera better before taking ‘er out, right?
This year Calum, manager of Strange Adventures, set out to top his incrediable feat of last year’s FCBD where he gave out over 15,000 free comics to eager readers. Well, success was had and faster than any of us expected.
As usual for ths event, a line began to form outside the churchhall( where Strange Adventure’s Free Comic Book Day event was set-up for size reasons) a couple hours before the doors were opened. Store staff and volunteers meanwhile worked to bring the comics over from the nearby shop and spread the goodies out across tables around the room.
The doors opened at 10am and I had the pleasure of waltzing out there to holler rules at people and then along with Dr. Doom (link to outside source image), guide the line in. Dr. Doom, by the way, was a great doorman. Who would’ve thought threat of annihilation would prove so enticing? He and Princess Leia then took it upon themselves to wander the streets of Halifax and announce the word of Free Comic Book Day to all.
Inside, lines were long and comic fans enthusiastic as they eagerly went through the stacks of comics, filling their FCBD bags with all the free swag they could fit. Graphic novels, toys, trinkets, T-shirts and thousands of floppies littered the tables and none lasted very long. The estimate is that in about two hours, staff and volunteers of Strange Adventures gave away 20,000 free comics this year!
For the record, I was busy patrolling and excerising my diaphram this year and didn’t get to collect my usual level of swag, but did manage to pick up volumes two and three of Digital Manga’s Worst and the Shonen Jump preview. Two hard to find graphic novels for free, yes please! Viz’s Shonen Jump sampler included the first chapter of Stan Lee’s Ultimo series and I must say… that boy-thing really pushes the boundaries of girly manga guys.
In the back of the room were artist’s table, where a line of talented illustrators offered up their skills throughout the morning doing free sketches for children. Some of the artists included Mike Holmes, MTCopyright, Andrew Power and Faith Erin Hicks. Many amusing doodles were done that day to the smiles of many children, including Archie as a Jedi and many, many pictures of Owly (I never knew the comic was that popular, cute to see!).
All in all it was a very fast (though fun) morning where hundreds of people got to spend a sunny day hanging out with fellow fans and get some free stuff while they were at it. I got to chat with a bunch of awesome fellow volunteers and the after-event volunteer/staff party was probably the best just-moved-back-into-the-city treat I could’ve hoped for. Hours of chat with comic fans who could easily keep up with our comic and animation geekery without breaking a sweat. After two years in the middle of nowhere where we were lucky to hear of someone reading comics, it was a beautiful thing!
A huge thanks to Calum for holding another great event and making sure that Free Comic Book Day is nothing to ignore here on the East Coast!
You can see some of my surviving photos of the event below. Sad that my camera and I are still getting to know eachother and don’t have the best or most to offer( got to get in shape before con season hits)!