Soon To Be Classics

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Study In Contrast

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day in the U.S. This is a promotion that's a couple of years old and tied (generally) to the May release of whatever the super-hero of the year movie release is. This year, it's Iron Man. Shocho and I went to a local store because I wanted to pick up a copy of the Iron Man HeroClix that I planned for release at this event before I left WizKids.

The promotion works this way. Publishers print up a select number of comics and sell them to retailers through Diamond Comics Distribution at a very cheap rate. Retailers then offer these free to customers who come in. In theory, there's a bunch of advertising outside of the comic industry to get new kids to come in. (First one is fee, kids!) Anyway, the idea is a good one and many stores really do this right.

The store we were at yesterday had the books (41 different titles) in a rack at the front of the store. I glanced over and saw 2 that I'd like to read so I picked those up. Both were books I don't normally buy but these books could possibly cause me to add them to my regular list. There were some younger kids running around who were probably 7-10 years old. And then there was "that guy".

That guy is probably about 40. He pushed his way up to the rack and began shoveling through the books as fast as possible, grabbing one of every title. He didn't stop to look at any of them. If it was a comic, and it was in the rack, he was grabbing it. Next to him, was a young boy holding ONE comic book. The store employee (outweighed by about 8 inches and 150 lbs) said "excuse me sir, but there's a limit of 3 books per person". That guy looked up and said "last year it was 20"!

The mother than said to the young boy, "did you hear that, you can get two more". He was very excited. That Guy began putting back the books he was grabbing but I didn't honestly see if he returned them all.

I'm fairly certain he was going straight home to ebay. There are several auctions right now selling complete collections of the 41 books. Sorry "That Guy" but I don't think your auction is up there.

I love kids, and it was great to see these guys get excited about getting a couple of free comics. I hope they find as much joy in the hobby as I did over the last 35 years and not turn into "That Guy".


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