To Boldly Go: Free Comic Book Day Draws Record Attendance in Columbia

The first edition of the new "To Boldly Go" series provides news regarding Free Comic Book Day and discusses why this year's event broke attendance records at Comics to Astonish in eastern Columbia.

Welcome to the first edition of a blog series that will examine science fiction and fantasy in a variety of formats ranging from movies to television programs and even comic books.

With that thought in mind, let's begin by providing news about a comics-related event held on Saturday, May 5.

Comics to Astonish in eastern Columbia celebrated Free Comic Book Day by distributing more than 1,600 copies of titles prepared for that event to people of all ages.

“This was by far the best attended FCBD we've ever had,” said Keegan Conrad, owner of the comics specialty shop at 9400 Snowden River Parkway #112, who estimated that more than 600 people took part in this year's event.

Even though the store was scheduled to open at 12 noon, several customers arrived as early as 10 a.m. to check out the comics, which included special editions of titles ranging from Amazing Spider-Man to Voltron Force.

Conrad was especially delighted with the number of young children (6 years of age or younger) who participated in the event, noting that the kids (who numbered about 10 times as many as those who turned out for previous FCBDs) “were very excited to get free books.

The owner added that the children were especially interested in free comics based on such series as Adventure Time on the Cartoon Network and Sonic the Hedgehog from that character's television series and video games.

By the end of the day, the store had given out more than 200 copies of titles based on each of those animated series and overall had very few comics left.

The interest in those comics reflected excitement regarding more than 50 special titles that were available during the event, he noted.

Also, about 80 percent of the people who came for the free comics also purchased other titles while visiting the store, Conrad stated.

And as promised, Conrad and his store donated more than 1,500 comics free to Howard County libraries at no cost to them.

Free Comic Book Day is part of a resurgence for the comic book industry, which began last September when DC Comics rebooted its titles to create “The New 52,” and Marvel responded with a year-long series pitting its two most popular teams, the Avengers and the X-Men, against each other.

And the next FCBD is already slated for May 4, 2013, the first Saturday in that month next year.

For more information on those series and other related events, contact Comics to Astonish, 9400 Snowden River Parkway in Columbia. Call Keegan Conrad at 410-381-2732 or check out the store's Website at http://www.comicstoastonish.com.

That's all for now, but next time I'll tell the story of how I became a fan of Star Trek, my all-time favorite science-fiction series. Until then, ahead Warp Factor 9!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

J.A. Grier May 11, 2012 at 12:33 AM
As an avid childhood reader of comics, I can't help but be happy about the popularity of this event. I'm also glad to see anything that gets kids excited about reading. <a href="http://www.onewritersmind.blogspot.com/">One Writer's Mind</a>


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