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Today is Cinco de Mayo and Free Comic Book Day! Two celebrations rolled up into one. Cinco de Mayo of course, celebrates the Mexican defeat of the French Empire at the Battle of Pubela in 1862, and Free Comic Book Day is a pop-culture holiday of sorts where comic book stores, libraries, and other venues celebrate the comics medium by handing out free comic books to guests and customers.
On the South Side of Chicago, we celebrate both of these occasions with gusto, and today, as I find myself in the beautiful city of San Diego, and while my wife was attending a conference and getting smarter, I hit up some San Diego comic book shops to see what kids of deals I could get.
Sadly, I was quickly disappointed when I found out the first shop I visited had no sales. I was like…wha?! It’s #FCBD; where the sales at? My local shop has dollar back issues, super deals on trades, bags, boards, boxes, posters, shirts, etc. And Comickaze had none of that going for it, but I will say, their location in Liberty Public Market is amazing! They are actually right across the lawn from the IDW offices, and they often hold IDW events at the store. I was lucky enough to grab a Locke & Key “Small World” issue signed by Joe Jill and Gabriel Rodriguez on the fairly cheap! So, while they had no sales for NCBD, they had a certain location advantage to the other store I went to in SD that had no sales today: So Cal Comics.
Southern California Comics is a very large store with issues, trades, statues, and art for days! They even had a vendor fair in the parking lot for FCBD. BUT while they were handing out the free comics, they had no sales. I would think that a store of that size would want to move some product on one of the biggest comic book days of the year! Cool vendor fair, lots of product, none of my business. I need deals. I buy too much to pay cover price on comics. Sorry.
The store that I would recommend to the average consumer was the smallest one on my journey today, but they had a great sale! Yesteryear’s Comics on 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. has a continuous sale of 30% off any graphic novels and trades in the store. That’s a great deal! And today, that discount was 40%. They also had a deal on back issues. This was the winner for me today. I ended up getting a couple of trades and back issues. Spent about $50.00, saved some cash, left happy. It is a very small store, and you will not find the product of a So Cal or a Comickaze, but if they can order what you want that’s not in store, take advantage of their deals!
Overall, I had a blast driving around the streets of SD checking out some new comic shops. Here’s my final take away: comic shop owners, don’t be stingy on those deals! People will find the best deals.
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