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Monday, May 19, 2014

Free Comic Book Day 2014: Post-Event Coverage!

Sorry for the late post - work has been in the way :P 

I don't belong to this generation of hand held device-dependent kids who download and upload everything; from the movies that they watch, the music that they listen to, to the books that they read. I can't say that I don't do these as well since I do but I would  still say that I'm a bit old fashioned since I prefer books over e-books and such. I grew up leafing through pages of whatever reading material I could get my hands on and reading from the light a flashlight (when it's already past bedtime) or the light of a candle (when it was black out-there were a lot of those in the 90s). Whether the kids of today could find the image of a holding a book and reading by the light of a candle impossible next to horrifying I'm glad (and relived) to see that steps and feats are being done to preserve the love of reading from a book or a comic book.

Last year we braved the heat and the lines for Free Comic Day (see the blog post HERE) It is an annually celebrated event (all over the world!). When you look it up on Wikipedia, Free Comic Book Day or FCBD is a promotional event to get new readers into independent Comic Book Stores. It's also a good way to get readers interested in reading good old fashioned comics. 

Free Comic Book Day has also made a dent in the local scene since it is also a great way to celebrate the local artists that we have. FCBD is held in different branches of Fully Booked and this year - Filbar's had a go at it as well. Stores invited local artists who got to share their work as well as meet fans and make new ones as well. For the past two years we've been going to Fully Booked at The Fort to celebrate Free Comic Book Day :) 

With local artists (the boys of Culture Crash) - got to meet Elmer Damaso and Jon Zamar again after all these years!

I was personally glad to see the boys from Culture Crash a collection of stories (comics) which I followed when I was in High School at the event. It was like running into old friends since I actually met them all those years ago so seeing them now was just so nostalgic. :) 

The lines for FCBD are infamously long and under the Philippine Summer Sun it can be a bit of a health hazard. For this year I was both glad and surprised that they let people in earlier. Last year the doors opened at 10:00AM and by then the line was already snaking along blocks away from the store. So you can just imagine standing outside in the heat and literally getting baked and dehydrated. A little birdie told me that there was someone who fainted last year due to the heat (which is honestly no surprise at all) and this explains why the staff and organizers took extra measures to prevent discomfort to the people lined up. You can easily notice that the guards were herding the line of people away from the sun. 

Letting the people in two hours earlier was also a big factor that contributed to the comfort of the people, since it cut down their standing in line out in the heat -for two hours! Inside the store,there were water dispensers available even stretchers (just in case).   

Instead of just lining up this year, I went ahead and started chatting up with people in line, since we were covering the event and all. I got to talk to a group of young girls as they got out of the store with their free comic books. 

From what I could gather, they weren't regular comic book readers but heard about Free Comic Book Day through friends and decided to drop by. Hopefully their Free Comic Books would be the start of a bigger collection and a discovery of great adventures. 

Moving along the line I got to chat up with two friends dressed as Kick Ass and Agent Coulson. Now these guys have been going to Free Comic Book Day for the past five years. For them going to FCBD is always a treat since they  get to celebrate being a geek and get to meet other fellow geeks as well. I think I saw a Green Lantern hovering around these two inside the store. :) 

The ever famous, lady with the cat and the books, over seeing the distribution of Comic Books on FCBD 2014
Once we got in, the line went on smoothly and once at the table to choose your 3 comics, I chose ones for our nieces and nephews specifically (SpongebobYugi-Oh (manga) and Archie) I really wanted them to discover the joy of reading comics. When I gave our niece her comics (she's eight) she smiled and said 'Wow! Stories!' I had to correct here and say 'No, those are comics' she immediately wanted to read them saying she wanted to skip lunch and go to reading time. I was happy to see her, reading her Spongebob comics aloud, instead of having her nose glued on the iPad. 

A cool Dad helping his kids choose their free comics. 

We'll probably take the nephews and nieces to FCBD next year, as long as the line goes on smoothly like it did this year and maybe when the Sunday news paper comes in, they'd know that there are friends waiting for them to share a laugh with, they might even get inspired to draw, sketch and write. :) 

Until next year's Free Comic Book Day! :) 


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