Local Store Attacks Free Comic Book Day, Offers Cookies Instead

I was a tad surprised to get a postcard yesterday from a local three-store comic outlet promoting their “Free Chocolate Cookie Day” on May 4, 5, and 6. (Yeah, it’s not a day, it’s a weekend.) Especially when I saw that they were ripping off the Free Comic Book Day logo. (The bite marks are where the TM trademark notice appears.) Compare:

Free Chocolate Cookie Day imageFree Comic Book Day logo

I thought, well, ok, you want to do something that weekend without the minimal buy-in to participate in the official Free Comic Book Day program, I guess no one can stop you… but I was shocked when I saw them actively talking down what all the other comic stores in town are doing. Their website is currently running this blurb:

Stories web text

I wanted to capture the image in case they change it. The first line says, “We wanted to offer something better than lame advertisements on Free Comic Book Day… We’re offering food and discounts!” Yeah, that’s a great teaser to get people into your COMIC BOOK store — call comics “lame ads”. This particular store is rather old school, in that they have plenty of back issues and trade paperbacks, but they aren’t in the best condition, and they often look pawed over. I can’t visit for long, because there’s a thin layer of dust over everything, and the store concept appears to be “cram as much stuff in as possible”.

I wish them good luck, but I won’t be visiting. Ed and several other local fans put together a caravan every year where we hit every store in town EXCEPT for this chain, because they don’t participate. I guess they finally got tired of not being part of Comics’ National Holiday — but this just looks petty.


16 Responses to “Local Store Attacks Free Comic Book Day, Offers Cookies Instead”

  1. Russell Lissau Says:

    Please name the chain.

  2. Johanna Says:

    You can click the “their website” link above and find it.

  3. Jim Perreault Says:

    I love the idea! I’m almost tempted to show up.

  4. jdh417 Says:

    By and large, the offerings on FCBD are “lame advertisements.” Free cookies and a discount on everything does sound like a better deal for comic book fans, though probably not a better promotion for attracting new ones.

  5. Comics A.M. | First Ninja Turtles drawing goes up for auction | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment Says:

    [...] Carlson discusses a local retailer who is giving out free cookies instead of free comics on May 5. [Comics Worth Reading] Aquaman [...]

  6. Simon DelMonte Says:

    Oh, if only someone somewhere did FCBD on a Sunday, since I am an observant Jew. So I can approve of FCCCD being three days long. Even if the cookies aren’t necessarily kosher.

  7. Steelbolt Says:

    Interesting gimmick. Maybe some of the staff is anti-New 52/AvX.

  8. Cookies and/or Comics | Stumptown Trade Review Says:

    [...] on her awesome site, Johanna Draper Carlson brings attention to a comic shop which is choosing a different approach to [...]

  9. More on How to Handle Free Comic Book Day » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] unnamed folks at Stumptown Trade Review have a response to my post about a local store ditching Free Comic Book Day to give away cookies instead. This is a comic shop that is trying something different. More [...]

  10. Otaku Ohana | The Cel Shaded Report, 5/3: Freebies assemble! | Otaku Ohana | staradvertiser.com | Honolulu, Hawaii Says:

    [...] for the return of Free Comic Book Day, that one day out of the year when most comic book stores — one three-store chain in Virginia excepted — promote sequential art by giving away books by the [...]

  11. Free Comic Book Day 2012 Roundup & the Avengers Movie » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] audience, but I’m beginning to be more sympathetic to those who denigrate FCBD material as lame advertisements. I suspect publishers don’t want to pump any more money into the event than they have to, but [...]

  12. Barry Pryor Says:

    I came across this by random chance and I own the comic book chain in question. Reading between the lines it appears that the “caravan” put together every year makes it’s way through town grabbing all the free comics it can from all the participating dealers on the hopes of possible financial rewards in the future. It’s this type of activity (not to mention the books are just advertisements we purchase to give away)that turns us off from ever wanting to participate. We give 25% off EVERYTHING in our 3 stores for 3 days straight with plenty of cookies as a bonus. Our main store is the largest in VA and is actually 4 stores combined. Friend me on facebook and see how we roll. Even if you are in a caravan you might like us. PS It might get a little dusty at times. Just think of it as magical pixy dust. That’s turning a negative into a positive. Come see us, the first and last cookie is on me. lol
    Barry Pryor
    (owner of Stories Comics and some dust)

  13. Johanna Says:

    Glad to have your input, but I’m afraid you’re mistaken about the caravan’s intent. No one participating has ever resold a free comic that I’m aware of, and at just one of the stores we stopped at last FCBD, I dropped $60 in addition to the few freebies I picked up. Love the pixie dust idea though!

  14. Barry Pryor Says:

    Well, not to brag, but I would say we do considerably better than stores who participate in FCBD. Between our 3 stores we make well over $16,000 on 3 days and we didn’t have to purchase any free advertisements…I mean free comics. We even give free pixie dust with every purchase. I don’t know about items being “pawed” over. Never heard anybody mention that before. I assumed that if you only hit comic book stores with free comics that it sounds odd you’d skip the ones with the best selection, free food and a 25% discount on everything in the store just because we aren’t a participating FCBD Store. All the stores I know that do buy into this deal I’ve talked to say they usually lose money but hope in the long run they will develop new customers in the long run. I doubt that. These free comics cost between 10-50 cents each to give away. That adds up to a point that many stores fall short even though it appears they are doing well. So I’d argue that not participating makes us more money than falling in line with the competition. Unless someone out there has some data to support a different conclusion?

  15. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Barry,

    You do have a great back stock. However, most of those comics are in rough condition. Last time I was looking for something, it was hard to find a copy that didn’t have some damage from bent corners to creased covers to tears. It might be the stuff I look for is popular enough that it has been pawed through a lot. I would suggest all your back stock be properly bagged and boarded.

    The pixie dust is part of the charm.

  16. Barry Pryor Says:

    I find it odd that you think most of our 2 million comics are in rough condition. Obviously most people disagree since we sell 1000’s each week via numerous sources. The only store I’m aware of that bags and boards all their comics is the one most disliked BY FAR in the Richmond area. You can’t even browse there. That being said we’ve always catered to readers more than collectors looking for their perfect specimen to preserve in plastic never to see the light of day. All comics that retail for $10.00 or over are bagged and boarded and put in a segregated area so we’re not totally insensitive to the more sophisticated collector. We do sell comics ranging from good-new condition. We’d rather have it in stock rather than reject it due to imperfections. These flaws also help make books more affordable. :) I think the name “Bent Corners” would be a cool name for a comic book store.




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