Saturday, December 29, 2018

About last night...The FlyCo Hall of Fave!


From left: FlyCoJoe, Liam Sharp, Gene Yang, Mick Gray, Dan Brereton, Libby
Last night, we had a truly special event to cap off our year of Flying Colors 30th anniversary events.

Being that December 28 is Stan Lee's birthday and that he was so instrumental in my career move into comics, we wanted to celebrate Stan, so we started our event with a good crowd here all cheering a big and hearty "Excelsior!"

Taking a page out of the Marshall McLuhan handbook ("the medium is the message"), yesterday was the official release date for Flying Colors 30th Anniversary Special Edition comicbook (Stan preferred 'comicbook' as the correct way to name the periodicals we create, sell and enjoy since so many of them aren't funny and they aren't books in the truest sense of that word. But they sure are "comicbooks!").

Our anniversary comicbook features an epic, funny, weird, wonderful and heart-tugging 14 page story by cartoonist Jeff Bonivert, "It Came from the Short Box!" The story stars our own Captain Four-Color and the Flying Colors Retailing Brigade. I hope you'll pick up copy or three here soon.
Available NOW at Flying Colors!

Last night, as the event started, I looked out at the assemblage of awesome people here--- our FlyCo Faithful, my FlyCo Retailing Brigade and some of our favorite comics creators--- and I got, shall we say, a bit... overwhelmed. 

I had a short intro speech written and prepared, but I just couldn't pull myself together to get to it, let alone through it. At one point, I tried to hand my script over to Libby. She's always far more poised than I am, but she knew this was my deal and while she helped me by taking the mike for a moment, when she handed it back, I was still a mess. Oh well. 

Let me, for the record, put my little intro speech here, to say the things I wanted to last night.

FlyCoJoe with Retailing Brigade members Casey, Marty and Mike
Flying Colors is a business, a community, a family... built on gratitude.

Given that today would have been Stan Lee's 96th birthday, rather than a moment of silence--- that wouldn't be Stan's way--- on the count of three, let's a give a rousing "Excelsior!"

I'm very grateful to everyone who has contributed to the longevity of this little shop. That includes our staff---  the FlyCo Retailing Brigade. I really want to shine the light on the two mainstays of the Retailing Brigade: Mike's been on staff for 18 years and Marty has 11 years here. So major props to them!

I'm so grateful to my family, Libby and our three daughters, Michelle, Jenny and Cindy. I've put them through a lot these last 30 years, living on the edge, not knowing from year to year whether this business would make it for another year. Libby deserves special thanks and some kind of award for all she does for me and the Flying Colors' community!

I'm happy to get our 30th anniversary comic released today. It's appropriate to have the comic released on Stan's birthday which also happens to be on the last weekend of our 30th anniversary year.

Big thanks to those who helped put it together:
* John Hageman, cartoonist for Bay Area classic kids' TV icons, Charley and Humphrey.
* Cartoonist Tom Beland whose one-page story in this comic is one you're going to love!
* Our Captain Four-Color art contestants, all featured in this comic.

Mostly let's give a big round of applause to cartoonist Jeff Bonivert, the co-creator of our own Captain Four-Color.

Jeff's 14-page epic story in this special comic is so much fun. You'll recognize some of the characters in it, including Stan "the Man" Lee making a cameo. For those of you who are fans of comics Silver Age, you'll get more of the jokes than anyone. Thank you for this awesome story, JB!

As you look around the shop here, you'll see a good number of comic book professionals. Welcome, one and all!

Jenny Field with Jim Lee and Brandon Choi, 1996.
So this is where the mystery of our "MysteryEvent" is revealed.

Over the course of these last 30 years, Flying Colors has put on so many events with comic creators. Free Comic Book Day events are huge, of course. We've done a number of events to debut and promote the work of these pros. All have become friends to me and to the Flying Colors community.

Some have gone above and beyond, giving Flying Colors much needed promotion and encouragement. They are also among our favorite people in the comics' biz.

Today, we want to honor a select few to be the first inductees into what I have dubbed the Flying Colors "Hall of Fave."
The FlyCo Hall of Fave honors these pros for their creative talents, their stellar comics work, their energy and enthusiasm in promoting comics and their steadfast support and promotion of Flying Colors Comics.

The honorees are:
Jim Lee (DC Comics co-publisher, co-founder of Image Comics, artist of X-Men, WildCATS, Batman, Superman, etc!) ---
a huge star in comics and has been for nearly 30 years, but not a lot know Jim's first pro signing was here at Flying Colors!

Seanan Mcguire with Libby and Joe Field
Dan Brereton (creator/artist The Nocturnals, Giantkiller, Black Terror)--- broke into comics at about the time Flying Colors opened back in '88. He's been a part of so many great events here, too. At one, we were even visited by US Congress member George Miller!

Liam Sharp (current artist of DC Comics' Green Lantern, also worked on X-Men, Hulk, Wonder Woman, etc!)---
So good with his fans, so great in his dynamic art and such a good bloke, too! With excellent events like the debuts of Wonder Woman Rebirth, Cap Stone, Brave and the Bold and Green Lantern, Liam brings the goods!

Gene Luen Yang (award winning graphic novelist, American Born Chinese, Boxers and Saints, Secret Coders, Superman, ambassador for young people's literature for the Library of Congress) ---
Moving comics forward while telling riveting stories is what Gene does. A fantastic talent, a verified genius and one cool dude, Gene has been the focal point of several great Flying Colors events... with more to come, we hope!

Seanan Mcguire (Hugo and Nebula award-winning author, writer of Marvel's Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider)--- She shopped here from the time she was 10 years old... a time that wasn't always friendly to girls in comic shops... until she found Flying Colors. At 12, she told FlyCoJoe "I'm going to grow up and write the X-Men and when I do, Flying Colors will be the first place I sign them." When her first X-Men comic was released in 2018, after 28 years, Seanan kept her promise and flew down from her current home in Washington state for the happy event.
Read the sweet story HERE!
Mick Gray (current inker for DC Comics Wonder Woman)--- Ink slinger extraordinaire, Mick's first event with Flying Colors was in 1998 for the debut of DC's CHASE series. He was our first guest at Free Comic Book Day in '02 and was the first to add his ink to the Flying Colors Door of Fame! We love this guy, his comics work and his energy!

Welcome to the Flying Colors Hall of Fave! We hope you survive the experience!

Video from our Hall of Fave event!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Flying Colors Emailing Brigade!


With Flying Colors' Mystery Event coming up Friday December 28 at 4PM... and more events coming in 2019, we invite you to join our email list... the FlyCo Emailing Brigade.

We'll send out an email prior to our Mystery Event giving you info you'll want to know.

Sign up here, please:
https://conta.cc/2R9KLr3

(Or if you're on FlyingColorsComics.com, look to the column on the left for the place to sign up.)

You Are Invited to Flying Colors' Mystery Event!

When: Friday December 28, 4PM-7PM 
Where: Flying Colors Comics, 2980 Treat Blvd at Oak Grove Rd, Concord 
Who: The FlyCo Retailing Brigade... and some surprises!
What: We'll have pizza and soda and a fun time on the last Friday of the year.

Why: Surprises!
The reasons will become clear soon. What we can tell you is December 28 is Stan Lee's birthday. While Stan "the Man" is no longer with us, the work he did in his 95 years on earth will live on forever! 

Along with the titanic talents the likes of Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Dick Ayers, Don Heck, John Romita, John Buscema, Bill Everett, Jim Steranko (and others), Stan had a hand in bringing forth a new mythology with characters that will live on for generations. 

So part of our Mystery Event will be spent sharing Stan stories and appreciations, to talk about the comics and characters he guided as editor and chief writer of Marvel Comics' Silver Age. 

But there are other special pieces to this event. There will be something for every fan of comics and Flying Colors. And there may be some surprise guests, too.

So we  just say YES and be here December 28 at 4PM!  
Tell us you'll join us for this event by hitting the "Going" button on our Facebook Event page.
By the way, here's a brief glimpse of something you'll see on December 28... 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Just Arrived! Exclusive Flying Colors Toon Tumbler!

































Our own mascot super-hero, Captain Four-Color, has his own Toon Tumbler! With art by Des Taylor (Titan Comics' Scarlett Couture), these cool and exclusive pint glasses are now available at Flying Colors. Just $11.99 each or get one FREE with a qualifying purchase (through December 24 r while supply lasts)!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

More Exclusive Gift Ideas Available at Flying Colors Comics!





Be sure to follow FlyCoJoe on Twitter!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Spider-Man Into the SpiderVerse!

First, into Flying Colors.
Then... Into the Spider-Verse!
Flying Colors is OPEN 11-7 Daily!

We've Got Your Cool Stuff Right Here
in Flying Colors!

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.
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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!
LCSD 2018 BRAVE AND THE BOLD BATMAN AND WONDER WOMAN HARDCOVER
This LCSD exclusive hardcover,  collecting the entire six-issue miniseries, features a stunning black and white version of the cover art by Liam Sharp!
LCSD 2018 GREEN LANTERN #1
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!