FCBD 2005 Success Report

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"It was outstanding. We did a week's worth of business in a day."

"Our best ever sales in the 2 years we've been in business"

"We entered into it cautiously. That was a mistake."

"Business was about 4 times a normal Saturday"

"Though we're not closed yet...we've already exceeded any Saturday we've done at our new location."

On FCBD 2004, the folks at Kingdom Comics in Veslavia Hills, Alabama stopped counting customers after 600, co-owner Stan Daniel told Diamond Daily. But in 2005? "Our guy counting this year stopped at 850 before 1:00 pm."

Why did he stop? Because the store was so packed and had so many visitors that at one o'clock it ran out of FCBD 2005 comics!

"We had to restock the shelves with leftovers from last year," Daniel recounts, "which almost lasted another hour. We then began using excess store stock. Others who were volunteering at our event insist we easily saw a thousand or more people through the store by 5 pm. It was outstanding. We did a week's worth of business in a day (compared to the successes last year!). This was amazing. Our local 501st Imperial Stormtrooper Legion was on hand and it was like a mini-con. The effort and planning (about 6 to 7 months worth) was well worth it. Our biggest complaint was that we weren't able to move around the store with everyone there to restock as quickly as we wanted -- as you can imagine, I am willing to live with that problem!"

Sydney Walton from Collector's Dream in Tavares, FL reports: "What a GREAT day!! We had our best ever sales in the 2 years we've been in business!! We had a couple of comic book professionals here signing autographs (thank you Jerry and Jay!!), a storewide reduction sale, door prizes, free soda, HeroClix tournaments, and, of course, TONS of free comics and other swag!!! We also had, straight from the Death Star.....Darth Vader himself. He was a hit with the kids!! All in all, not a bad day.....can't wait until next year!!"

In Alberta, Canada, Jay Bardyla of Happy Harbor Comics & Toys admits that he may have underestimated the potential of the event: "...we were very unsure about how big the day would end up being. Our file customer base didn't seem too excited either so we entered into it cautiously. That was a mistake.

"Our special guest Andrew Foley, writer by trade but a very capable artist, had a very steady day of making sketches for a handful of the 350-375 people that came through our doors. Quite a step up from the normal 20-30 people we see on a typical Saturday....by 2 pm we were pulling out last years stock just to be able to give people something. Still, everyone was happy.

"Moms who had no idea comics were still for kids and that comic stores could be fun for them as well left with smiles and many thanks. In the end, we could have not asked for a more rewarding day. We have found dozens of new comics fans."

From Comic Relief's new location in Berkeley, CA, Rory Root reports a successful day: "At times, the line wrapped from our back counter around our Fiction/Lit/Alternative comics bins all the way to our information station (in the middle of our huge new location) four deep, and at others it was a concentrated frenzy around our back counter. Couples, kids, and fans of all ages came in to see about these so-called 'free comics,' and everyone left satisfied. We at Comic Relief are satisfied with the scattered remnants of our once-proud Free Comic Book Day table setup, but happier still at the hundreds of new readers who have discovered the joy of comics."

It wasn't just store traffic that was up, either. Root report that sales were up, as well, "an aspect of FCBD we've come to expect. Though we're not closed yet, and won't be closed until 10pm, we've already exceeded any Saturday we've done at our new location."

At Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord, CA, FCBD Originator Joe Field sent in a midnight missive on the event: More than 1,000 people came through Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff on FCBD '05. A full third of those visitors had never been here before! Business was about 4 times a normal Saturday, but the story of the day was all the dedicated Moms coming to FCBD on their special weekend. Moms accounted for 20% of our FCBD attendance!"

Joe Ferrara of Santa Cruz, CA's Atlantis Fantasyworld was quick to point out that his FCBD was a hit, too: "Free Comic Book Day was loads of fun. Bill Morrison signed over 300 copies of the Simpsons free comic and did a sketch on each one! Attendance was slightly down from last year but sales were up. Most importantly everyone who came in had a positive experience in a comic book store!"

And from across the Pond, Jared Myland of OK Comics in Leeds let us know that regardless of country, FCBD is a hit: "As always Free Comic Book Day was a great success. I was interviewed on local radio in the morning and that exposure seemed to bring in tons of new people. It was one of our busiest sales days ever, many of the people who came for the freebies ended up spending more money on comics than they were expecting to. We seemed to leave people with a positive impression of comics and the diverse range available."

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