This year’s Free Comic Book Day was probably my favorite one yet! I was invited up to Willoughby to help Comic Heaven celebrate the industry holiday, and was treated to a fun afternoon meeting the store’s regulars, talking comics, and even selling a few copies of my book.
Comic Heaven isn’t exactly my “local” comic book shop. Willoughby’s a good 45 minutes from Akron. The kiddo’s godparents live about five minutes from the store, but all the times I’ve stopped in over the years has been when store owner Jim was out. We’ve talked on the phone numerous times since I published Deus ex Comica (he graciously has had promotional postcards for the book in his store at various times over the last year), but this was the first time we’d actually met face-to-face.
(If you have a copy of Deus ex Comica, Comic Heaven is the store I reference at the bottom of page 129 in the Daredevil anecdote.)
When I arrived around 11:45 for my noon to 3pm appearance, the store was hopping due to members of the 501st, Darth Vader, Sinestro, and the handful of Iron Man 2 advanced movie tickets the store gave away when they opened at 11. I got settled in with my book displays and all, and immediately I had someone wanting to hear about my book and asking to buy a copy. Both the store and my table was crazy busy for nearly two hours straight.
I had one of my best sales days yet for an in-store signing, but more than that, I just love talking about comics and hanging around with other comic fans and seeing kids excited about the medium. That connection, that common ground is what it’s all about. Although I was disappointed my own kiddo couldn’t hang out with me at the store (he and Tracy had afternoon plans), I was able to snag him a couple of FCBD books, and I got to see my godson when Diane and Ivan stopped in.
And the perfect end to my signing... The guy who bought that first copy of Deus ex Comica right when I got set up was there with his girlfriend. Later in the day, sometime around 2:30, his girlfriend came back with her young son to get some free comics. She made a point to stop back at my table and tell me that her boyfriend was so excited about my book that he made her read the back cover and start to read the book out loud to him while they were driving home earlier. That’s what makes this little non-money making venture of self-publishing worthwhile.