Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vote NOW in Flying Colors Halloween Costume Contest for Kids!

Thanks to everyone for coming out to our Halloween ComicFest last Saturday!

A couple of reminders:
* There's still time to come in for your FREE Halloween ComicFest comic book!

* NOW is the time to vote for your favorite costumes in our Halloween Kids' Costume Contest.
Simply head over to this link and vote for your favorites! The entry with the most votes ("likes") by Noon on Saturday November 1 will win a Flying Colors Comics Shopping Spree!

* Flying Colors will also have Halloween candy and comics for Trick or Treaters on Friday October 31st from 11am-5pm.... We're closing early to avoid all the ghosts, ghouls and goblins...and weird Halloween drivers!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween ComicFest is Saturday October 25 at Flying Colors

Join us for FREE Comics, candy, a costume contest and more. Artist Brian Hess will join us at 1pm with copies of his new comic book, "Awake."

To download a special coupon just for Saturday 10/25, hit this link!

To make sure you get our Flying Colors emails, look to the left here for the box that looks like this:
...and join the FlyCo Email Brigade! 

See you Flying Colors!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Flying Colors Nor-Cal Exclusives!

exclusively at Flying Colors!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #1, by "Afterlife With Archie" writer Robert Aguirre-Sacasa.

Exclusive Flying Colors Comics edition!

And from Image Comics, Flying Colors has the Nor-Cal exclusive GHOST VARIANT edition of the first issue of "WYTCHES" by writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock.

Cover by the great Bill Sienkiewicz!

Available while supplies last... at Flying Colors!

We've Got Your Cool Stuff Right Here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Long Beach Comic-Con this weekend!

Saturday September 27 11am, Room 103C
"And the Geeks Shall 
Inherit the Earth…"
Take a look behind the scenes at what it takes to not only run a comic shop but also be a pop culture fire-starter.  Have questions about what happens behind the scenes of a comic shop? Curious about the current Geek Culture Revolution?  Join Joe Field (Free Comic Book Day founder and Comics Guru at world-renowned Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord CA) and Kris Longo (Bonfire Agency and Geek Riot Media) for this free-wheeling discussion about retailing, comics and world domination.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field Honored to Receive 2014 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award

Libby and Joe Field

At the recent Comic-Con International: San Diego, I was honored to be named the recipient of the 2014 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award.

This award has previously been given to industry giants like Jack Kirby, Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Robert Heinlein, and many others whose careers and talents I greatly admire.

Only one other comic book retailer has ever been given the award and that is my friend Mimi Cruz from Salt Lake City's Night Flight Comics, a tireless worker in promoting comics to a wider audience, particularly in schools and libraries. Safe to say,  the Clampett Award is a ritzy neighborhood!

Here's the description of the award from the Comic-Con web-site:
"Comic-Con International’s Humanitarian Award is presented in the name of famed animator Bob Clampett, creator of the TV series Beany and Cecil, and designer of such popular characters as Porky Pig and Tweety Bird, and director of 84 classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Clampett was a regular guest a Comic-Con in the 1970s and early 1980s. After his death in 1984, the humanitarian award was created to honor those people in comics and the popular arts who have worked to help others. The recipient is chosen by the Comic-Con committee, and the award is given out during the Eisner Awards ceremony."

The award was announced by Bob Clampett's daughter Ruth at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards ceremony.  She gave me this very kind introduction:
"This year's recipient has been a continuous positive force in the comics industry. Years ago, he was inspired with an idea to get people into comic shops. He felt that the shops were community social hubs of pop culture and the way to learn about what's going on along the comics spectrum. His idea was Free Comic Book Day, which has become the world's largest comic book event, attended by over half a million people at venues in 65 countries. He's also one of the founders of WonderCon and the owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA. Our industry is a better place because he is in it. I'm proud to present the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award to Joe Field."
Ruth Clampett with Joe Ferrara

But I wasn't there to accept the award. Sure, I was in San Diego, as I have been for Comic-Con every year since 1986… but that part of the story comes a little later.

Instead, my friend and fellow retailer, the amiable Joe Ferrara of Atlantis Fantasyworld (Santa Cruz CA) accepted the award for me. He said:
"Every time Free Comic Book Day rolls around and I see the media cover it, lines of thousands of people, kids young and old, smiling in anticipation, from San Francisco to New York, from Rome to Madrid, from Singapore to Tel Aviv, I know it's all because one man had a vision and that man is Joe Field. I am so proud of my friend and I am deeply thankful to you for recognizing his contribution."
Had I been there, here's what I would have liked to say:
"Ruth, I was a fan of your father, an avid viewer of Beany and Cecil... and I count my Beany copter as one of my favorite toys when I was a small child. So this recognition is extra sweet because Bob Clampett delivered so much fun into my young life. 
My wife Libby has the biggest heart of anyone I know, so I thank her for being a constant source of inspiration.
I've always seen my role as a retailer as part capitalist and part missionary. I don't just want to sell cool stuff to nice people--- I want to leave everyone happier for the experience they've had when visiting Flying Colors... and that as soon as they leave my shop they'll already be looking forward to their next visit.
In addition to the worldwide event that Free Comic Book Day has become, we do quite a bit of work in our local community, including our donations of thousands of comics via Blue Star Moms to troops serving overseas, as well as our annual fundraisers for The Hero Initiative and STAND! For Families Free of Violence. These are among the ways we give back to the community that has given our comic shop so much support over the last 26 years. I'm humbled and honored to receive this award--- and to those who have given this consideration to me, I thank you so very much."
So why wasn't I there when I've attended the Eisner Awards ceremony every year for the last 25+?

My plan was to be in San Diego from early Thursday morning to late Saturday afternoon. That usually allows me enough time to schedule a bunch of meetings, participate  in a number of seminars and panels and then leave a little time for fun--- maybe even actually see some of the massive exhibits on the convention floor. Friday is always the crazy day, with ComicsPRO retailer programming scheduled all day long, then the Eisner Awards from 7pm-11pm, then parties after that.

Joe w/ Hillary Chang and Greg Evans (Lu Ann cartoonist)
My busy Thursday included a panel on working with local libraries, featuring librarian Hillary Chang and syndicated cartoonist Greg Evans (LuAnn), a few short business meetings hoping to set things up for some cool stuff at Flying Colors, and the annual Free Comic Book Day meeting with Diamond executives and a few other retailers.

A great group of friends out to dinner at Rei Do Gado
Then I spent an hour or so to get a glimpse of the convention floor and check in with friends and colleagues before dinner at the local Brazilian barbecue restaurant, Rei Do Gado. That dinner is major fun as my friend Joe Ferrara each invite friends, family and fellow comics pros to dine with us. We had a big table of about a dozen folks, and it was epic epicurean fun.

Bobby and Jenny, Joe and Dottie Ferrara, Libby and Joe Field
Later that night, the weirdness started. It began with convulsive shivers and by the early hours of Friday, I wound up having a 104 degree fever. Libby called the hotel and asked if they had thermometer and any ideas of how we should handle getting medical care. I suppose every major hotel now has some sort of protocol for dealing with potentially infectious guests (think Legionnaire's Disease--- and not the kind that involves Matter Eater Lad or Bouncing Boy).

Hotel security brought the thermometer and vouchers to get us transportation to Mercy Hospital. All my Friday Comic-Con plans were out the window. Instead, I wound up spending more time in San Diego getting intravenous fluids than I did actually seeing Comic-Con itself.

After some tests, one of which was particularly nasty, the medical staff discovered I had contracted a case of the dreaded H1N1 virus, the flu bug so nasty that it has killed hundreds over the last few years!

The doctor said I did NOT get the H1N1 at Comic-Con since the incubation period for the virus is several days. We traced the virus back to the previous Sunday when Libby and I went to the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk, and it was easily one of the most packed days of the year there.

While in the hospital, I emailed and messaged my friends and colleagues, cancelling all my convention plans. One of those emails went to Jackie Estrada, the administrator of the Eisner Awards. I needed to let Jackie know we wouldn't be at our sponsor table at the ceremony with the hope she could give the prime seats to others to enjoy the show. She emailed back saying she was sorry I was going to miss the Eisners because she had a special surprise for me---  I was named the recipient of the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award! 

All of that boils down to the short version of my Clampett acceptance:
"I am touched by receiving this honor, but as much as I would love to be there to receive it,  it's probably a small humanitarian gesture for me to keep my germs to myself!"

And now you know the rest of the story…

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kirby4Heroes: Celebrating Jack Kirby's legacy

Thursday August 28 would have been Jack Kirby's 97th birthday. The dynamic, prolific and utterly important comic artist and creator passed away some 20 years ago, but his impact in the comics world is forever.

Jack was the artist and co-creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, Thor, New Gods, the Hulk and countless other characters and concepts.

Jack's granddaughter Jillian, came up with a plan two years ago to commemorate her grandfather's birthday as a day to raise funds for The Hero Initiative, a non-profit org  "dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work. It's a chance for all of us to give back something to the people who have given us so much enjoyment."  

Please join us on Thursday August 28th to celebrate the King of Comics!  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Comic-Con 2014: Where to Find Me

Next week, pop culture fans and professionals from all over the world will descend upon the beautiful city of San Diego for Comic-Con International. Since its inception in 1970, this event has become Mecca for those who love comics and pop culture. It is the comic industry's annual gathering of tribes for fans and professionals alike.

I've been attending Comic-Con every year since 1986, a full two years before Flying Colors Comics opened its doors for the first time in October '88.

That first year, I was still working for KJOY-AM (Stockton CA) and had the notion of putting together a syndicated radio feature called "Graphic Details" about comics and their connection to other entertainment media. My good pal Jerry Fuentes, then the afternoon personality on KJOY, voiced the sample shows we put together from interviews I did on the scene in San Diego. I'm still proud to say we did a great job getting those sample shows ready. I sent out packages to probably 20 different radio program syndicators and received just as many rejection letters. In '86 and '87, comics were apparently well below the radar of mass media.

Flash forward to the present and you will be bombarded with news from all media about announcements and events coming from Comic-Con International: San Diego, happening July 23-27.

For the 28th year in a row, I'll be there, partially still as a fan, mostly as one of the professionals in the comics' biz with a full slate of meetings for the three days I'll be there.

If you'll be one of the more than 150,000 at Comic-Con, and though I have many other meeting scheduled than these programs, here's where you can find me.

Thursday  July 24
10:00am –  11:00am
Graphic Novel Programming at Your Library
Room 23ABC
“I just don’t know what to do!” say many librarians and other educators who don’t have graphic novel/comic book-themed programs. Greg Evans (cartoonist of the syndicated Luann strip), Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff), and Hillary W. Chang (McCully-Moiliili Public Library) discuss the process to accomplish such programs as an artist speaking tour, Free Comic Book Day, and even a Library Con.

Friday July 25
ComicsPRO Fresh Start Room 18
Get your day at Comic-Con off to a great start with ComicsPRO — the comics specialty retailer trade association. Retailers, publishers, and distributors are welcome to kick off their convention day with colleagues, coffee, bagels, and conversation. Bring your business card.

10:30am –  11:20am
State of the Industry Room 18
FOR RETAILERS/PUBLISHERS/DISTRIBUTORS ONLY! Comic book and graphic novel sales in direct market comic shops continue to grow. ComicsPRO board members discuss the year behind and look forward to the year ahead.

11:30am –  12:15pm
Promoting Your Store: What’s Working, What’s Not Room 18
RETAILERS ONLY! Focusing on social media, ad media, email marketing, and in-store promotions such as Free Comic Book Day, retailers brainstorm how to better promote their stores and products so they can keep strong sales momentum going.

2:30pm –  4:00pm
Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award Videos Room 18
FOR RETAILERS ONLY! Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, CA), a recipient of and facilitator of the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, presents a look at the videos for this year’s award finalists. Great time to steal some in-store ideas!

4:00pm –  5:00pm
So You Want to Be a Comics Retailer? Room 28DE
This program is not just a great opportunity for those interested in opening their own comic book specialty store, it’s also a chance to get a peek into the comics retail profession. Bring your best questions for this panel of veteran comic book specialty retailers. Hosted by Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics, CA).