Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP, Stan Lee.

You've heard the news, sad but not surprising. Stan Lee has passed away.

So many memories are flashing through my mind right now:

* As an 11 year old in 1967, confined to bed for a few days after surgery to repair a badly broken right arm, my life-long friend Steven brought me two comics, Fantastic Four #65 and Amazing Spider-Man #51, both scripted by Stan Lee. That set me on a path of loving comics, of finding solace and escapism in between the pages of my favorite comics and books. It also set me up as a huge fan of Stan "the Man" Lee and the hall of fame artists he worked with on those two comics, Jack Kirby and John Romita.

* After college, I sold radio advertising and did promotion work for KJOY-AM 1280 in Stockton CA. In 1985, I had the goofy idea to ask Marvel Comics to name Stockton as the "Birthplace of marvel Comics' Fantastic Four" for Marvel's 25th anniversary. Stan Lee was called by the LA Times for his reaction and he said something like "At Marvel, we're accustomed to saving universes on a daily basis. This is the least we could for good ol' Stockton."

Shortly after that interview, Stan called my KJOY office and I could hardly believe it! Months later, Marvel sent him to Stockton where Stan and I shared the stage for a special presentation on the steps of city hall. At lunch after the event, Stan said to me "You did a great job with this promotion, kid." And I responded "Well, Stan, if you ever need a public relations' guy, give me a call." I was stunned when he did call a few months later. I wound doing publicity for his lovely wife Joanie's novel, "The Pleasure Palace." Stan called me his "outside man."

* After the success of the FF campaign, Stockton area comics promoter Bill Herrell invited me to a planning meeting for a convention that would start in 1987 with the unwieldy title "The Wonderful World of Comics Convention." Bryan Uhlenbrock gets credit for shortening it to "WonderCon" in 1989. Stan was a guest, at my personal request and his acceptance, at the first three WonderCon events.

* In '88, I made the jump from radio to comics retailing. On the day we opened, October 3, 1988, there was message left on the store's answering machine. It was Stan, congratulating me on getting the store open with his and Joanie's wishes for the success of Flying Colors.

* In April 1990, Stan made his first visit to Flying Colors. It was on a Saturday morning of WonderCon weekend, so it was a short visit. But Stan told me he wanted to see the store, but for me to keep his appearance low key. He told me to invite no more than 20 of my friends and customers... and that became a very special time, when I was able to return the favor to my friend Steve, the one who got me into comics back in '67, by inviting him to the private Stan event.

  * In 1995, when Flying Colors was the recipient of the Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Award for Retailing Excellence, I was able to share a moment with Stan and Joanie and let them know I was grateful to them for encouraging me in comics retail.

* 1998: Flying Colors' 10th Anniversary. I decided to take a page out of the Marshall McLuhan playbook ("the medium is the message") and so we published our first comic book. I was thrilled when Stan agreed to write the introduction for it. I was far less thrilled when the comic didn't sell much. Oh well.

* 2001: Stan was inducted into the Cartoon Art Museum's Hall of Fame with a "Sparky"--- an award named in honor of Charles Schulz. I was honored to give Stan's introductory speech to his induction.

* 2013: The San Francisco Giants did their first "Stan Lee Night" at the ballpark. Prior to that event, Stan returned to Flying Colors for our 25th anniversary and for a whirlwind afternoon of photos, signatures and media.

Look, I could on, but so could everyone of the millions who knew Stan either personally or through his Marvel persona. Stan was wonderful to me and to my family and I'll always be grateful to him.

Stan and Joanie were a wonderful couple, married just shy of 70 years! A friend of mine who dealt with Stan regularly in his later years said "When he was in Los Angeles, Stan would agree to do things as long as they didn't take more than 59 minutes. Once it hit one hour, Stan would say 'I've got to get back to my Joanie.'" Stan and Joanie together were a great love story!

I'm sad about this, as are all Stan's fans. But I am grateful for all he did for me and for the wider world of comics and pop culture. I'm happy to have known him and found him to be a good man, a man of his word and a devoted husband.

RIP, Stan. Thank you.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Sat Nov 17: Liam Sharp at Flying Colors for Local Comic Shop Day!

What: 4th Annual  LOCAL COMIC SHOP DAY

Where: Flying Colors Comics, Treat Blvd at Oak Grove Rd, Concord CA

When: Saturday November 17, 2018, 11AM-7PM

Who: Our Special Guest is superstar artist LIAM SHARP (Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Brave and Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman...and so much more!).
PLEASE NOTE: Liam will be signing from 12 Noon - 2PM.

Why: Local Comic Shop Day is an event conceived and implemented by ComicsPRO, the trade association of comic book specialty retailers.

For Local Comic Shop Day, publishers produce special and limited items exclusively for participating comics shops... including Flying Colors! For a sneak peek at LCSD 2018 items, go HERE! 

At Flying Colors, we're excited to have artist Liam Sharp join us as out guest, especially since Liam is the artist of two LCSD items!
This LCSD exclusive hardcover,  collecting the entire six-issue miniseries, features a stunning black and white version of the cover art by Liam Sharp!
Writer Grant Morrison and red-hot artist Liam Sharp launch this new, ongoing series: THE GREEN LANTERN on Wednesday November 7! However, this exclusive and very limited LCSD edition features a foil cover and is limited to just 500 copies worldwide. 
Please note: Everyone attending Local Comic Shop at Flying Colors on Saturday November 17 will receive one entry to win LCSD 2018 GREEN LANTERN #1, a very limited collectors' item! Purchases on LCSD at Flying Colors will also earn shoppers extra entries, so make your plans to be here!

Follow Flying Colors' Local Comic Shop Day event on Facebook HERE!

Local Comic Shop Day is a great day to kick off your holiday shopping for the comics fans and pop culture lovers on your gift list. Our Flying Colors retailing Brigade is always happy to help you find the best comics, graphic novels and other cool stuff for you or for anyone you'll be shopping for!

Local Comic Shop Day calls attention to locally owned independent comic book specialty stores, celebrating their vital role in being the primary fire-starters of pop culture.  Pop Culture begins in your Local Comic Shop!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Musings & gratitude: Flying Colors 30 Year Anniversary

Our 30th anniversary party is coming up Saturday October 13... but the actual anniversary of the day Flying Colors first opened for business is October 3.

I'm out of profound words of wisdom about this occasion. I'm honestly a bit shocked we got this far since I knew little to nothing about running a business way back when... and I still feel the longer I go, the less I know. But here we are. Phew!

Even without having much in the way of real world business acumen at the time, I can tell you one thing: When my family joined me in this crazy dream to have our own business, we had a plan--- almost a dream--- really.

We summed it up in this line: "Flying Colors is the one comic shop for the whole family."
Our goal is still that no matter who you are, if you like to read, if you enjoy art... Flying Colors is the shop for you, for us... for all of us! That mission statement still guides us after all these years.

Back on Monday October 3, 1988, it was a quiet day. We did all of $63 business for the eight hours we were open. Those early days we operated on the razor's edge, often wondering if we'd make it to our one year anniversary, let alone 30!

Along the way, I have been one very blessed shop owner! In 30 years, we've had just 51 employees--- our fabulous FlyCo Retailing Brigade! Special thanks to Mike Eriksson and Marty Messner for their combined 29 years of service here!! And to Anna and Casey for being the right women for the job over these last three years! Along the way, our FlyCo Retailing Brigade members have become part of our family and we are very grateful to all 51 of you!

Libby and our three daughters, Michelle, Jenny & Cindy, have all worked in the business in one capacity or another. And wherever they travel in this world, they always take in other comics shops to get new ideas, to keep up with their favorite art & stories and to brag about their Free Comic Book Day founder dad. ;)

Libby is the one who deserves heaping helpings of thanks for everything! Especially for going along with the crazy idea to open... a comic book store!?!

Little known fact, if it wasn't for Libby, we likely would not have gotten a lease in Oak grove Plaza. Our original landlord here was reticent to give a lease to what he thought was a low-brow no-good business... a comic shop. But once he met Libby, then met our three young daughters, he caved in! How could he not?

Libby, as everyone knows, is the sweetest person on the face of the planet! She is the glue behind the scenes of the success of Flying Colors. I'm in awe of her in so many ways... and always grateful to her for understanding that crazy dreams can lead to a business like this, which is a *community* as much as it is a thriving enterprise.

Finally, we THANK YOU, all of you who are or have been a part of our 30 years history, all of you who give us your business month in and month out. Please, more than ever, we need you to continue to hang in there with us as we head into our 31st year of "Slinging Comics to Concord, Contra Costa County & the Cosmos."

And one last plug: We'd really like to see you at our party on Saturday October 13. I'm hoping a good number of our past Retailing Brigade members will be here.
We'll be cutting the cake at 3PM... and it's going to be 30 years worth of sweet!

Peace & love & comics!
--- Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

(PS: If you have any photos from Flying Colors events or any stories you'd like to share about Flying Colors, please share them on our Facebook 30th Anniversary Event Page or Twitter or Instagram and please tag me "@flycojoe". We will also give you the opportunity to sign, write, draw in our scrapbook on October 13... and we hope you will!)

FlyCo's 30th Anniversary! Join us for all these Special Events!

We're been planning a ton of fun here at Flying Colors!
Please join us Saturday October 13 when we'll celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Flying Colors Comics! Yowza!

Please stay in touch on our Facebook Events page.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Spider-Gwen! Mystique! Seanan Mcguire Strikes Again!

Who: Author Seanan Mcguire!
What: Signing Event
When: Thursday October 25 from 11AM-1PM
Where: Flying Colors Comics, of course!
Why: To celebrate the release of two new Marvel Comics written by Hugo and Nebula Award winning author Seanan Mcguire... Spider-Gwen #1 and the X-Men  Black: Mystique one-shot.
An awesome addition to our signing event: Heart of Hero will be here!
Have your photo taken with Spider-Gwen and her writer Seanan!

Can't make it to our October 25 singing event? Then pre-order your signed copies NOW!
If you're local to Flying Colors, reserve these comics on your next visit to the shop.
If you require the comics to be sent via mail order, please contact us for all the info!

 Here's a look at cover images from to X-Men Black: Mystique and Spider-Gwen #1...

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Win tickets to the San Francisco Giants Super Heroes VIP Experience!

The San Francisco Giants Super Heroes VIP Experience 
is Wednesday September 26!
Enter to win a pair of tickets NOW in-store at Flying Colors!

Please note: Don't enter if you can't attend this event. Winner will NOT be transferable and must be able to attend the Super Heroes VIP Experience on Wednesday September 26 at about 4:30PM prior to the 7:15 PM San Francisco Giants' game vs the San Diego Padres. Entries open to those 18+.
Winner will be notified on Monday September 24.
Can't wait? Get your tickets now at

Monday, August 20, 2018

FlyCo Mini Indie-Con Guests!

What: 4th Annual FlyCo Mini Indie-Con
When: Saturday September 1, 11AM-4PM
Where: Flying Colors Comics, Treat Blvd @ Oak Grove Road, Concord

What It's All About: FlyCo Mini Indie-Con brings together local and independent comics publishers and creators. These artists and publishers will have their comics, prints and books available for sale at Flying Colors during the event.

This is a wonderful opportunity to discover local and indie talent. Today's indie creators could very well be tomorrow's top comics talent!  FlyCo Mini Indie-Con is a great way to
"Expand Your Comics Vision!"

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Special Events coming soon to Flying Colors!

Make plans to attend the Special Events we have lined up for you!

Wednesday August 1 at 5PM: Seanan Mcguire's X-MEN debut signing!

Saturday September 1, 11AM-4PM: Our 4th Annual FlyCo Mini Indie-Con!

Saturday October 13: Mystery Event! Stay tuned for more info!

Saturday October 27: Halloween Comic-Fest at Flying Colors!

Saturday November 17: Local Comic Shop Day! An awesome kick-off to holiday sales with unique and exclusive items for comics fans!

Please connect with us on Facebook for the latest info.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Seanan Mcguire Comes Home to Flying Colors

X-MEN GOLD ANNUAL #2 Writer Seanan McGuire Returns to Her Hometown Comics Shop

Hugo and Nebula Award Winning Author grew up on X-Men comics she found at Flying Colors when she was a young girl.

This is a signing event nearly 30 years in the making! Read the sweet story HERE!

For those on Twitter,  click HERE to how this all unfolded.

Be here on Wednesday August 1 at 5PM as we welcome Seanan back to Flying Colors and pick up a copy or two of  her first X-Men writing gig in X-Men Gold Annual.