Sunday, May 5, 2013

FCBD 2013 Perspective.

05.05.2013 – The stories at Free Comic Book Day had a huge impact on a lot of people. Now it depends what kind of individuals think of the annual event that started with Comic Odyssey and with Fully Booked in 2008. Arguably the best single event when everyone got the chance to take some comic books home absolutely FREE.

But what makes this event so big in the Philippines that a lot would line up as early as 1AM just to get first dibs on your favorite title? Everyone all over the world knows it’s a promotional event to bring old and readers but there are others who completely don’t know what it really meant to some who just appreciate meeting new people.

My personal journey with FREE COMIC BOOK DAY started in the summer of 2007. I’ve been a customer of Comic Odyssey ever since my college days and I have so much history with the store since then.

This year marks Comic Odyssey organizing this event for the seventh time and sixth for Fully Booked. But ever since the comic book store opened inside the biggest book store standing at Bonifacio High Street the collaboration is a marriage of cool things to come which eventually the rest was as shall we say history in the making.

I can’t avoid sounding biased at how heavily the collaboration between Comic Odyssey and Fully Booked was seen in the social media but they have been the pioneer of this promotional event which is unavoidable for some who got used to going to their annual FCBD celebration. The rest follow suit with their own brand of promotions and some just have their “quiet moments” in promoting their stores.

Comic Odyssey and Fully Booked is not after gaining profit from all the much talked about event for the summer which for some thought that everything is all about business. They actually spent hundred thousands of pesos just to take a hit by giving away comics without any hidden agenda and the long lines got formed as early as 1AM.

These stores are not after gaining huge profits it’s about getting connected with their customers or preferably their regular and new readers alike. It was one of the most “positively stressed” moment that I personally experience as I was helping out doing the coverage for Comic Odyssey and Fully Booked without expecting to get my own copies of FCBD. Because last year was different and was expecting too much but as everyone who has their expectations I was at fault to feel that way. So for this year I feel sort of “graduated” from that part being another comic book reader who would stand in line to get his own FCBD titles.

I was there just to do my coverage and experience the celebration seeing the people’s reaction how they got their FCBD. I really enjoyed the stories that happened yesterday like the one Joonee Odal’s where he was the first guy to stand in line as early as 1AM and to think the earliest person last year arrived at 8AM.

You talk about dedication you got Joonee Odal who definitely set a record for the earliest person to stand in line on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY in the Philippines.

He set the bar for being “hardcore” in being there first to get his FCBD titles and on top of that for being an early bird got 10 titles in the loot bag as well as the Philippine Exclusive FCBD shirt printed “Araw ng Libreng Komiks!” which eventually translate to “Free Comic Book Day!”

After everyone got settled in Joonee hang out with me at the section where the comic book illustrators where seated. We were joking that someone might break his record next year for the earliest person to stand in line. It might happen or not but what Joonee made is already set in stone that he made history which was hilarious and will become an urban legend for the next FCBD events to come.

So for the next 365 days expect someone to take the next step in making such passionate effort to be the first in line. For now we made jokes about setting camp, putting up fire while roasting marshmallows, and singing to the tune of “kumbaya” holding hands to wait for Fully Booked in opening its doors as early as 9AM.

If you asked me I never expected anything this year but just to see longtime friends from the comic book industry and have a laid back perspective as everything fell into place. I had 2 or 3 slices of Papa John’s pizza that was distributed to the artists while having my ice cold Mountain Dew drink in hand having great conversations. I never thought I would have my own loot and be good for this year. Thanks to Sandy for remembering me yesterday and it was too much for me to take in as I browsed through the stuff.

I left with Komikon organizers by 3PM to check out what’s the hype surrounding Castle Geek and National Bookstore’s “Setting the Record” campaign for most done sketch cards which sounds promising but I left the comments and feedback to other people who want to speak their mind about that particular event.

After so much fanfare staying there for less than two hours I decided to go back to Fully Booked to spend the rest of the evening with familiar friends at Comic Odyssey without such expectation I got my own Philippine exclusive FCBD shirt.

The original art done by Manix Abrera was showed to me by Sandy and it was framed for his personal collection. The guy who had 9 books and a regular comic strip on the Philippine Daily Inquirer has become an iconic personality of his own. But Manix is humble about who he is and it’s a testament why he never runs out of people lining up to events like FCBD and Komikon.

Overall FCBD 2013 was definitely fun and I have nothing more but optimistic about the future of Philippine comics industry that other stores would follow suit to participate not because about gaining profits but taking a hit and earning new readers as well as getting connected by being just an average comic book fan.

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