Sunday, May 5, 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013 Philly Style

Free Comic Book Day 2013: Philly Style
By: Jay

Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May, a day when comic book companies put out books for comic shops all around the world to give away for free.  Some use this as an opportunity to showcase a new series or a special event, while others use it as a sampler to show readers what their company has to offer on a regular basis. I live in Philadelphia and I thought it would be really cool to share with you the Philly experience, or as I like to call it, Free Comic Book Day: Philly Style!

There are a few comic shops in Philly and the surrounding area. The two big guys though are Atomc City Comics on South Street and Fat Jack’s Comicrypt on Sansom St. My plan was to hit both stores and see what each had to offer, to give a more well rounded experience of Free Comic Book Day here. But things don’t always go as planned. While the experience at Atomic City Comics was truly awesome, Fat Jack’s Comicrypt was not, due to the fact that they were hit really hard and within an hour and a half of opening were down to just three free titles and offered nothing outside of the Free Comic Book Day offerings.

While it was a bummer that I couldn’t showcase two great experiences, I choose to focus on the positive and showcase the epicness that Atomic City Comics had to offer. First, I want to explain what South Street is. South Street is a street here in Philly that runs East to West for blocks and is full of retailers. If you can think of it, they have a shop for it on South Street: comics, books, music, clothes, food, bars, hats, adult items, crystals, etc. You can find a store that specializes in preppy clothes and a few doors down one that specializes in goth clothing, pretty much something for everyone. It’s a great little community within our community.

Now yesterday was Free Comic Book Day and this little community made it HUGE. The weather was perfect, upper 70’s and bright and sunny. There was food, drink, live music, cosplayers, and yeah, FREE COMICS! There was that cool vibe about the whole thing that felt like Comic Con meets a block party. Everyone was enjoying themselves. From little kids to seniors, this was truly fun for all ages.

I was there for a few hours and got to meet some pretty cool people and took pictures of some of the many cosplayers that were there throughout the day. I have never cosplayed (I just wear Super Hero t-shirts), but these guys made it look totally fun. They were some of the nicest people I have ever met, and each one a true fan, and very dedicated to their craft. The John Constantine guy really played up the role (even having a lit cigarette at all times). He looked like a cover brought to life. It was really fun to see Scorpion from Mortal Combat posing with the Watchmen Rorschach. The Gotham crowd was really cool, Poison Ivy really played up the sexual nature of the character, and when she teamed up with Harley Quinn, the two were right from the Animated Comics. Batmannever broke character and was a classic take on the character, while Nightwing was a female version of the Teen Titans: The Animated Series character. But after the cancellation of the show, I think the Young Justice group was my favorite. They really got into the roles for the little kids there and was just an all-around great group.

Inside the store was very busy, but very organized. They really controlled the flow of people there and had a great spread of books, even hours after opening. I got my free books and my weekly titles, along with some extra goodies that were very well priced, with 60% off! 

If you’re in or around Philly on May 3, 2013 I suggest you stop by Action City Comics on South Street, and join in the festivities.

That was my Free Comic Book Day experience. What did the comic shops in your city do for it? What books did you get? What else, if anything, did your shop do for the day outside of the free books offered all over? Let us know and share your experience in the comments.

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