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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

FCBD 2015: Will You Stand in Line Today?

04.29.2015 - Free Comic Book Day is on May 2, 2015 and ever since 2007 the interest to line up has grown in numbers. The most you can see them back when Comic Odyssey was located at the 2nd level of Robinsons Galleria.

Back then nobody knew this will become big… Probably the right word is humongous in record setting crowd. Now it has become what you call a competition and also an annual pilgrimage of sorts that changed the way it was in the Philippines.

“FREE” is a very strong word and if its food, clothing, gadget or even an underwear that you don’t need to pay for it is definitely good. But if you’re into comic books or just jumping the bandwagon because its “FREE” it will mean more than anything.

Where it all began

Back then in 2007 when Comic Odyssey first re-introduced Free Comic Book Day and giving out “FREE” comics most people are doubtful that you need to buy something to get one of those books. Even in 2008 before new management acquired Filbar’s you need to buy an issue or two to take home these FCBD titles.

It took Comic Odyssey half a day to give out FCBD titles and the last few who took them home where their neighbour tenants at the old location. Most of the mall security guards and random people, who hardly know that comic books can be given away for FREE, where they took the last copies home.

But in 2008 the interest slowly grew from there that included an internet live feed. At the same year Fully Booked started their own FCBD event but two weeks late and did not follow the “First Saturday of May” date that everyone did for the next four years until they collaborated with Comic Odyssey to mount a bigger event.

Of course the turn out was bigger that started in 2013, but there are other stores who did their own FCBD. Comic Odyssey was not the first shop to bring FCBD in the Philippines.

History of FCBD in the Philippines

There was the now defunct Central Comics Headquarters (CCHQ) from 2002 to 2004 which was located in Katipunan and Druids Keep (now known as DK Collectibles) in the original Magallanes location that is now based at the 3rd Level of The Fort Strip just above Fitness First. They still held FCBD but over the years they now cater to their regular customers who have built their relationship over the years.

Then there was Comic X Hub and Castle Geek which is actually owned by one person. Before opening Castle Geek in 2013 they where Comic X Hub like Druids Keep they only gave out FCBD titles to regular customers until hey mounted a huge event with National Bookstore also in 2013, which eventually their last participation for FCBD until the store folded in early 2014.

There are other participants who are having a low key FCBD besides DK Collectibles but not limited to give out free comics to non-regular members. Everyone almost forgot to remember Planet X Comics the sister store company of Comic Odyssey.

For all of those previous FCBD events Comic Odyssey & Fully Booked became an annual event who held this celebration. But the new management who now owns Filbar’s is also having their own event, which they participated last year and is ready to give fans something to enjoy in this year’s FCBD.

Game Changer with the Fans

It’s great that these stores are doing this spread out across the Greater Manila Area and here’s hoping they will have this in Cebu and Davao among far regions in the Philippines. But what makes FCBD interesting is the ultra passionate fans or simply UPFs (as Mark Hamill aka Luke Skywalker would coin them in this year’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California) who will be there to take home the bacon and you can’t blame their passion.

For the reason the way standing in line now has become a competitive type of religion. Because one individual changed that perspective and there won’t be divulging names who is this humble felloe. But for some who have met this person would call him an urban legend for lining up at 2 AM on a Saturday morning in 2013 and 2:36 PM on a Friday afternoon in 2014. This individual is also gunning to make a “Three Peat” as we spoke to this silent individual. He said if he completes this goal for a third time to be the earliest person to stand in line he will retire from doing it.

Though these are bold comments by this person who is actually silent if you get to meet him for real not by standing in line, he actually doesn’t want the spotlight. Because the original story back in 2013 he went to his former employer (he used to work in a call center nearby) to complete his clearance from the company he used to work for, and found himself deciding to hang out at the entrance of Fully Booked instead of going home and his legend was built to that day forward.

Right now Comic Odyssey has pulled something in the bag for everyone to show their dedication with their Door Prizes. You’ll be surprised probably by now there’s someone might be camping out to beat this two-time first man standing in line champion. But we’ll never know for sure unless you’re that individual.

For now the days are slowly getting too close for Free Comic Book Day its like a preview for a Floyd Mayweather VS Manny Pacquiao Fight, which is set on May 2 (in the US but will be aired on May 3 in the Philippines) you won’t know will be the last man standing… In case of FCBD “The First Man or Woman” standing.

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is held EVERY SATURDAY IN MAY. For this year it will be on MAY 2, 2015. For more details on stores participating this year LIKE Free Comic Book Day Philippines on Facebook and follow on Twitter at: @FreeComicBookPH

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