This past Saturday was one of my favorite holidays of the year; Free Comic Book Day. If you’re not aware of what FCBD is, it’s a day where the various comic publishers release special comics to be given away for free by participating retailers. Along with having free comics, many shops have big sales or have creators come in as in-store guests. For more information of the day go to www.freecomicbookday.com I’m from Milwaukee, WI and I visited two shops, Lost World of Wonders (6913 W. Oklahoma Ave.) and Collector’s Edge Comics West (6830 W. Lincoln Ave.), with my good pal Justin and his girlfriend.
Lost World of Wonders is the shop that I always frequent and buy all of my weekly books from. It’s a huge shop with a really wide selection of stuff and a great store layout. I arrived right as the doors opened and got into the line of people waiting for their free books. There was a dad and his two kids behind me who had no idea what was happening. His kids just wanted some Pokemon cards. I heard him say “Maybe they’re going out of business?” It’s been going on for ten years and people still don’t know what FCBD is. When we got inside the shop the dad asked a local artist, who was doing free sketches, where the Pokemon cards were.
Just like in past years the process of getting the free books was streamlined and simple; pick out your books and hand them to the guy behind the counter so he can bag them up for you. Lost World had a good selection of free books, but they were lacking in some of the more obscure titles. The store usually has good sales on FCBD and this year they didn’t disappoint: 25% off of everything in the store except for new comics. I used the sale as a good time to pick up some stuff I’ve wanted for a while. I grabbed Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of Rickard Stark’s crime novel; The Hunter. I also picked up Daredevil: Hell to Pay vol. 1 and a Red Lantern logo shirt.
After making our purchases we headed over to Collector’s Edge. I had never been to this shop before so this was a completely new experience for me. The first thing that stuck out to me was that the shop is small, but they made decent use of their space. Unlike at Lost World, where FCBD felt like a huge event, Collector’s Edge felt like it was just any other day. The shop had a couple other people in it, but not too many. I thought it was bizarre that I had to ask Justin “Where are the free comics?” The books were hanging out on some racks and I mistook them for being normal comics. Even though they didn’t stand out, Collector’s Edge had some of the more obscure books that I was looking for at Lost World. While the store itself wasn’t the greatest, the staff was very helpful in trying to help me find Casanova vol. 1, even though they were out. I took advantage of their sale (20% off of trades) and picked up Morning Glories vol. 1.
Between the two stores Lost World won Free Comic Book Day for me, and it’s not just because I go there weekly. They had the better sales and they made the day feel like a special event. If you even find yourself in Milwaukee go to Lost World of Wonders. Overall this year’s Free Comic Book Day kicked all kinds of ass.
Coming Later This Week: My thoughts on the twelve free comics I picked up.