Whoa! Did I bring in a HAUL today.
I picked up my friend, R.J., and the two of us drove into Philly to start our day. First, we hit "Fat Jack's" on 19th and Sansom. They had a few random books there beyond the DC/Marvel/Archie ones and we picked up a few of the oddball ones. This was my first time in this shop since before X-mas, so I took this opportunity to go through their back issues and finally got the "Dork Tower" I'd been needing for a while now (#18), plus found a trio of issues of "Shades of Blue" that I didn't even know came out (!). I also picked up the "Love Hina" volume one graphic novel (the DVD looked intriguing on the stands at the CD/DVD store where I work). Meanwhile, R.J. picked up the first trade of "Route 666" (I'd given him the first two issues to read and he enjoyed it).
We then headed down to South Street. We went to Atomic City Comics, on South near 6th. (the sign out front still says "Showcase Comics") R.J. picked up the first issue of "Red Son: Superman". I picked up a couple more back issues I'd been looking for.
"Atomic City" had it going on! They had a bunch of free books available from the main racks with the new books, but they also had a couple members of the staff stationed at a big table putting together various selections for people...all independents, all mature, all humor, all hero/action, all child-friendly, etc (I took an all independent mix, since I already read a lot of hero stuff). Meanwhile, the entire staff was wearing "Free Comic Book Day" polo shirts. There was one staff member stationed outside the store to tell people on the street to come in to get free comic books. In my bag of free comics, I also got an "Incredible Hulk" Hero-Clix figure (I think that even if you don't play the game (I don't, but would like to try it) these are cool little figurines).
We ate while on South St. at the Whole Foods, then headed back into South Jersey, where we stopped at "Legends" in the Deptford Mall where we discussed the merits of "X2" (I haven't seen it yet, will see it on Tuesday, but read the novelization so no one would be able to ruin plot points for me). The guys here are pretty cool, but it didn't seem like much promotion for FCBD was being done...maybe next year!
Lastly, we stopped into A+ Comics in Glassboro (on Delsea Drive), where R.J. picked up #2-#6 of "Gotham Central" (I'd recommended he pick up issue #1 last week and he enjoyed it). By this time, we really only saw doubles of things we'd already picked up, but we grabbed a couple of choice picks for friends (I grabbed a "Donald Duck" for a girlfriend of mine whose a Disney fanatic, for instance).
All in all, I got the following:
Archie and Friends
Batman Adventures #1
Christa's 100% guaranteed how-to manual for getting anyone to read comic books! (which I got a chance to peek through...the last page which lists tons of movies/television shows and recommends books for the fans of them is GREAT!)
Peanutbutter & Jeremy #4
Rocket Comics: Ignite
Slave Labor Stories
Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures
Way of the Rat #1 (I have the first issue, but wanted to read the extra articles in the back)
I'm not a fan of Robocop, Transformers or the Ultimate Marvel line, so I skipped them. I also skipped the Best of Dork Storm and Leave It To Chance, since I already read those series and wanted to leave more for someone else. I did not see/find Landis #0, Alternative Comics #1, Avatar Graphic Novel Sampler, Keenspot Spotlight 2003, Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, or Skinwalker #1...
...I think that next year (and you know there's going to be a next year!), I might want to consider going to Free Comic Book Day.com and writing up a checklist before heading out!