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Sunday, May 08, 2005

FCBD Dateline: Oshawa, ON -- Here's a FCBD report from cartoonist and longtime Galaxy contributor Jason Marcy:
With my son Xander in tow I decided that after his
pre-birthday party haircut (his birthday was this past
Wednesday, but it's the family shindig today...), we
would head on in to my local retailer, Icons Comics
and Collectibles here in Oshawa, and partake in a
little FCBD goodness.

Haircut mission complete, Xander clutching his plush
Spidey doll, we got to the store. It wasn't open yet,
but being a pain in the ass has its priviliges. The
weekend guy let us in and of course right away
Xander's little two year old mind was blown away by
all the Spiderman and Batman goodness, while Dad here
was eager to hit the free comics, both for my self and
my young lad.

Icons over the past couple of years has collected
quite a few FCBD editions, and many were represented
along with this year's crop. There were no limits to
the number of books I could take, so I grabbed a
healthy sampling of all they had. Being a picky
bastard, I was noting the fact that few of this year's
alternative titles had made the grade, and in fact,
their was a seemingly overwhelming amount of previous
years books on hand as opposed to this year's batch. I
think it was more that they hadn't delineated just
what was what and when, which was a bit distressing
for me. Xander, he didn't care. He was happy to grab
at the Star Wars toys, and even happier to see that
Dad had nabbed him some Star Wars FCBD stuff along
with his faves Spidey and Bats. I also took the
prerequisite Disney books knowing he would garner
something out of them somehow.

On the plus side, there were separate kiddie bags that
had a decent selection of kid popular titles and even
those little Heroclix figures (Spidey-go figure...).
That was new this year, a way to streamline the
selection process if you were a harried non comic
loving parent passing by who saw the big FCBD poster
in the window and wanted to grab something. The
negatives however were obvious. Not enough Indy
material from this year's choices. I didn't get the
Alternative Comics sampler (though they did have last
year's...), the only book from the Indy side of things
I had any clue what it looked like (Other then the
TCAF Comics Festival! book,
picked up at a con two weeks earlier...). I noted later
upon returning home I had
grabbed something I thought new, but it was actually
from last year. Knowing Icons audience (there's only
one other guy who pre-orders a lot of Indie
titles...), they played it safe and stuck with the
tried and true. This kind of goes against what I think
the whole point of what FCBD is all about, which is
getting something into people's hands they might not
normally buy at no cost to them and hoping it will
broaden their horizons.

Overall, my experience was neutral. I got stuff I know
Xander could look at and enjoy (he's nearly worn out,
from many look throughs, the softcover Spidey
Masterworks book I gave him a few months back...) on
some levels, but Dad, he kinda got gypped on the books
he'd read. Looking at what I did take, it's hard to
say how much of it I'll actually bother to read in the

I have tried to push the owner to get more Indy
friendly books each year, and he has for the most part
done not too bad, but still is lollygagging for the
most part. I would have also liked to have seen a
better filing system from the old and new. It's great
you're gonna give out those old previous years books,
but have a system that can let the fan know which is
which without having to hold PREVIEWS in front of
them. I'd also liked to have seen a better alternative
book representation, but when you're catering only to
those who shop in your store and maybe getting
familiar titles for the non reader, it's not likely to

Free Comic Book Day at Icons Comics and Collectibles?
About a 5 out 10 for Dad, a 10 out of 10 for Xander
and certainly I think kids up to eleven or twelve.

More FCBD reports as they come in...if you want to share your FCBD story, just e-mail it to me ASAP!


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