Free Comic Book Day for 2022 is now in the record books. It was a different FCBD. Our previous sale day in March almost set a record for us. Then the tornado sirens went off, ending an otherwise great sales day. The record would have been broken for just a few hundred dollars more. People's safety, of course, is far more important than money.
For FCBD, we named it Rodman Comics Day. On sales days, people's mindsets are to come in and take advantage of saving some money and buy things. Free means, to many people, go in and get free stuff and leave without spending any money. Instead, we have auctions. People going to auctions have a mindset to bid on materials and spend money. As a business, of course, we want people to spend money. We donate to schools and charities, but we need to be making money to do so.
My goal for the 7th of May, due to our previous sales day doing so well, was for Rodman Comics Day/FCBD to have a record-setting sales day. It did not happen. It was a far better sales day than last year's FCBD back in August, at least. The day fell short of beating our sales days in March, and back then, we did not give away comics that we had to purchase. Something I wish was stressed more on FCBD. Often, people think they are getting free comics that were free to the stores. They are cheap, though they still cost us money, and all those costs add up.
On Friday night, we were getting set up and ready for the 7th of May. For people with pull boxes with us and others who cannot make it in, we hold the comics for them. I was amazed how quickly the pulls for the free comics were completed. There just were not that many comics pulled. Justice League Dark Crisis. Judgement Day: Avengers vs. X-Men vs. Eternals and the Venom/Spider-Man free comics were easily the most popular. The Doctor Who FCBD was a surprise hit. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles FCBD comic was also pulled. Those were the only FCBD comics our pull customers, and people who were unable to make it in were interested in having pulled for them. In order to avoid any confusion (making sure a kid did not get a comic that was not kid-friendly), we gathered the kid comics and grouped them in their own box. For the kids, the Sonic and Pokemon comics were the most in-demand. All the free comics were behind the counter and given out by us.
I took a box to prop open the door because Saturday was one of the first non-rain days or cold days we have had this year. As I type this up on Sunday, the 8th of May, it is raining again. I did not think anything of the box at the time. It was a nice day finally, and we could have the door open. I found out that the box had the remains of last year's FCBD comics, and one of my employees had previously marked Free Comics on the side that I did not even notice. People were helping themselves; some did ask if they could. I was happy to see them go. Last year's FCBD had more popular titles to pick from. Batman, Batman Fortnite, King Shark, Spider-Man, Star Wars Adventures, and more. People were asking for free Batman comics and Star Wars comics; I simply had to tell them we have some from last year's Free Comic Book Day if they would like.
I would go over the list of free comics for people to pick from -most people had no idea what the majority of free comics were about this year and had no interest in them. Some wanted each free copy regardless, even if they had no idea what they were about.
What are we going to do with the free comics from this year that we still have? Tiny Town Comics here in central Iowa is a newer comic business and is going to celebrate its anniversary soon. They asked if they could buy our leftover free comics to give away to a library and kids to celebrate. I told them no. I know, I am a jerk – I told them they could have them for free. They have been great to us, and I am perfectly fine getting comics into kids' hands. They do online sales and comic shows. Feel free to look them up on Facebook.
What sold really well on FCBD for us? Pokémon products. Packs and the various box sets sold very well. It surprised me. In the store, I have noticed that a lot of speculators have moved on from Pokémon products now that supplies have finally been meeting actual orders and the kids are now able to buy Pokémon.
Now we are trying to put together a plan for our next sales day on the 16th of July. Figure out what worked and did not work in our previous sales. What would be good auction items for that day? The next Thor movie will be out in July, so we should have Thor comics and items up for auctions. Is that a sure bet? No, Moon Knight was suddenly a blazing hot property, thanks to his show. The new series spiked in sales. Back issues of Moon Knight that had been sitting in our back issue bins for years flew out the door. Even restocks of old Moon Knight comics flew out nearly weekly for a while. Doctor Strange had a new movie over the weekend of FCBD that millions of people went to see, and we thought that would raise interest in Doctor Strange. Oddly enough, no. We should have had more Moon Knight comics for auction than Doctor Strange comics. That is the comic business. If you are interested, feel free to sign up with us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with what we do.
I hope everyone who hosted FCBD had a great sales day, and I hope that everyone who picked up free comics was treated to some great entertainment.