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FCBD 2011: Singapore Edition

While G&B Comics has been having Free Comic Book Day for a few years now, yesterday marked the first time 2 popular (no pun intended) book chains took up the challenge of running their own FCBD in Singapore! That marked the most exciting FCBD in Singapore ever, and I believe geeks got into a tizzy for the chance to pick up their favourite comics for free, and have a chance to explore new ones too. Let’s not forget our friends around the region: Kinokuniya Malaysia had their own FCBD too (being listed on the official website), and our friends in the Philippines had a total of 4 stores official listed across the country, and you’ll be able to find coverage of their event here on Geekmatic!

More exciting was how some parents brought their kids along to FCBD, or kids dragging their parents to it – comic reading and the chance to explore new universes surely beats sitting in front of the goggle box all day long, and maybe they’ll just move on to books. Us here at HereBeGeeks ran around the island to be part of the festivities, and would love to remind you that if you got an extra free comic, or if you’re done reading, pass it on! Someone else deserves to benefit.

Our first stop was Kinokuniya, which started their event the earliest at 10am.

They had a booth just for giving out comics, which they needed to point people to as it wasn’t next to the usual place where people hunt for comics. The comics each member received was randomly pre-bagged, so it was a crapshoot as to what you got. Only fair, I guess, as it’s possible that in mainstream stores people would aim for the higher profile titles, and bagging these comics allowed kids not only to get an issue of Amazing Spider-Man, but also another title like The Darkness or Baltimore Criminal Macabre, opening their eyes to the indie side of comics. As the giveaway was random that meant that some people ended up with comics they already had, but I do think not selecting did help expedite any queue.

Also available at the booth were free Green Lantern HeroClix – perfect to raise interest in the upcoming movie, and maybe even get some kids interested in HeroClix!

The comics section had a 20% sale for members, and that meant that it was extremely crowded, and with the sale covering comics of any languange, fans of all kinds of comics were there. You could see people with stacks and stacks of comics, some of them walking away with trollies. I myself bought a Walking Dead compendium and Skottie Young’s The Marvelous Land of Oz, which is on a slow van to my friend’s place. Speaking of my friend…

Here we have our friend who racked up a total of SGD$600+, and that’s after the 20% discount! Comic retailers had to pay to bring in these issues (at the very least shipment is involved) so it’s good to see people supporting the industry and not just there to grab freebies.

After a hearty ramen lunch we moved on to G&B Comics which was just a few bus stops away. Based on experience G&B would have the greatest selection of Free Comic Books, and we were right, and that would also go to explain the sheer length of the queue. G&B has had the most experience doing it, but given the size of the shop there was really only so much they could do to improve traffic while having a signing AND a giveaway at the same time and I think the air conditioning within the store itself was very, very welcome once people got through the doors. Hopefully they continue to do well and expand, as this is really home for many a geek in Singapore.

The crazy heat failed to sap the energy of the crowd, with many of them all smiles just waiting for the day to begin.

Sadly, I couldn’t say the same for Spidey who looked absolutely drained by the heat.

But at least Green Lantern John Stewart had something to show Spidey to keep his spirits up.

On top of the crew at STGCC who had a booth there (and were giving out Kalkitos), the guest of the day was Gary Erskine, who had arrived in his kilt and was there to do signings and sketches. I think all the fans had a great time meeting him, and he looked like he was having a swell time here too – G&B brought him out for a grand dinner later too!

And let’s not forget what we were here for – stacks and stacks of free comics. G&B even had some older comics to give away, a selection of titles (with mature warnings stuck all around), I saw a Savage Dragon #6 waiting to be picked up!

And finally it was off to Harris Planerds for their grand opening and they, too, did it in style.

They too had a free comic giveaway which they didn’t really advertise online – but that was because they weren’t sure if they could’ve gotten stocks in time and didn’t want to overpromise; a fair reason. We don’t have many pictures of the entire store, but it really is an amazing place! If you’ve been following our twitter you’d have known that they pretty much tried to pack all kinds of geek stuff into the same store, and the selection of novels and blu-rays would make most geeks weep in pride. There was truly something for everyone – as Wai put it, if we opened a store, this is pretty much how we would stock it too.

Also done in style: inviting tons of local based artists to have signings and show off their art. Troy Chin couldn’t be there as he was volunteering for the general elections that very same day, but spotted were folks like Dave Chua and Koh Hong Teng who were ending their shift as we arrived, and they were there together with…

Jerry Hinds,

Shawn Yap,

Kelvin Chan,

With son, Kieron Chan,

Ye Zhen,

Foo Swee Chin,

and Sonny Liew,

Who was there to render a beautiful sketch for my fiancee just 1 week before our wedding. Thanks Sonny! Lots of other artists were there too – sadly we couldn’t stick around to meet all of them.

A beautiful end to the day. Remember, FCBD is always on the first week of May – so stay tuned next year for hopefully more amazing stuff!

See you folks at FCBD2012! Hope you had fun!

direcow

The technological backbone of HereBeGeeks.com, Alvin’s machinist-nature also ensures that this blog remains alive when the unpredictable Murphy’s Law comes into effect.

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