Tuesday, March 31, 2020

UPDATE: Curbside Comic Service at Flying Colors

Want to Safely Get Comics and Other Cool Stuff 
During the Coronavirus Shutdown?

Please note: Curbside Comic Service pick up times are Wednesday from 11AM-3PM and Saturday from 11AM-3PM. To make sure we comply with social distancing,  we ask you to please set up your curbside pick ups as part of your "essential" errands.

It's easy as 1, 2, 3...
1) Make a list of the comics, graphic novels and other cool stuff you want to get!

2) Email coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com with your additions. Please include your phone number in your email.

3) Our Flying Colors Retailing Brigade will call you to let you know what we have for you, we might make suggestions based on what you like, we'll get payment for your order and then set a pick up time during our Curbside hours.

We have a wide selection of graphic novels, other new comics, comic supplies (bags and boards) and Other Cool Stuff. If you'd like to add that we have in stock, we'd be happy to add those to your order, too.

Hours for Curbside Comic Service will be Wednesday and Saturday from 11AM-3PM. If we receive enough orders, we'll add more hours
Thanks for your patience and please watch our social media channels for updates. Up to the minute info is always at our Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram (those channels reach far more people than this blog).

Please note: To comply with the social distancing mandates, we are NOT be allowing anyone into the shop!
Thank you, FlyCo Faithful!
You are the best comics fans in the world!

Ready to order for Flying Colors Curbside Comic Service!

Here's just a small sample of the cool stuff we have at Flying Colors.

No sports, you say! How about sports graphic novels?

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow is not only sports, it's history! One of our fave graphic novels!

Graphic novels publisher First Second delivers lots of awesome entertainment. We're showing you just three of our RECOMMENDED First Second graphic novels!

 Zoom in to see all the Deadpool compilations we have in stock right now! 


Two very inspiring humans, Mister Rogers and Charles Schulz are featured in these books great for read-alongs with kids! 

DC Comics graphic novels for All Ages... that means kids 8 and up will love reading them. And if you're decades older than 8, you'll probably dig 'em, too

Marvel just recently celebrated its 80th anniversary with a series of compilation highlighting each decade. 

Zoom in to find your fave!

X marks the Marvel spot! Whether it's the new House of X/Powers of X hardcover compilation, the classic '90s Onslaught crossover or the ultra-kooky and fun X-Statix from artist Mike Allred, we recommend some mutant mania on your bookshelves!

With these photos, zoom in to see titles. Then email coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com with a list of what you’d like to order.

Info about our Curbside Comic Service is HERE!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

FlyCo Faithful: Now You Can Attain Angel Status!


Announcing FlyCoFaithful.com!

First... THANK YOU! There's no way Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff would still be here after nearly 32 years if it wasn't for your continued patronage of the shop and your enthusiasm for what we do at Flying Colors!

Everything at Flying Colors begins with our gratitude to you!

Thousands of current and former FlyCo Faithful stay in touch with us through social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter... and on our nearly 15 year-old blog right here at FlyingColorsComics.com.

Many have asked us if there's a way they can help support Flying Colors even though they can no longer visit the shop regularly. 
So for faraway FlyCo fans and our weekly FlyCo Faithful alike... we ask you to get ready to become a FlyCo Angel!

What is a FlyCo Angel?
First, it's not a GoFundMe or asking for a hand-out or any other plea for help. Flying Colors will be here for many more years (hopefully)... even with this unprecedented challenge of the Coronavirus shutdown. COVID is a challenge for ALL of us, not just small businesses owners and staff. 

Becoming a FlyCo Angel is a way for us to involve more of you in what we do best--- and that's to Bring Happiness Through Comics.

You're invited to become a FlyCo Angel once...and that's awesome! Or you can get new wings any time you're moved to participate and buy another package.

Whenever you become a FlyCo Angel, you'll receive a heart-felt THANK YOU... and who knows what else? Surprises are a cool thing, right?

If you prefer not to receive anything, please let us know at checkout and we will designate a portion of your FlyCo Angel package to donate comics and graphic novels to local schools.

We invite you to hit the link... and attain Angel status NOW!
Thank you! 😇

Saturday, March 21, 2020

We Still Have Your Comics & Other Cool Stuff Right Here in Flying Colors!

Curbside Service is now available Wednesday and Saturday from 11AM-3PM or by Appointment Only, except for Sunday when no one will be in the shop.

We are hoping to continue receiving our shipments, but sadly even that is not guaranteed in these crazy days.

We do have lots of great stuff in stock, though, so shoot us an email at coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com and let us know the recent comics and graphic novels you're wanting to read during this shutdown!

RECOMMENDED: If you have comics on hold and want to wait until the shutdown is over to come get them, you can place a credit on your account to pay for your comics as they come in.

Thank you, FlyCo Faithful!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Comics during COVID

Flying Colors is not open for the time being.
We are still offering Curbside Service, but with very limited hours.

Saturday, we will have someone available from 11AM-2PM to take orders, process them and give Curbside Service.

Thanks for your patience.
Please stay healthy, everyone!
Life is way too fragile!

Peace & Love from the Field Family and Your FlyCo Retailing Brigade 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Your FlyCo Retailing Brigade Recommends...

Watch this!
We want to get some entertainment to you via our Curbside Comic Service!

Your FlyCo Retailing Brigade gives you some great recommendations... and we have a full slate of new comics this week, too.

Want to order? Email us at coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com or call us at 925-825-5410.
We’d LOVE to hear from you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Flying Colors Curbside Service!

Announcing Flying Colors Curbside Service!
We've heard from our FlyCo Faithful! You want to get new comics during this shutdown!

* For customers who are "named" in our system
* And for those who regularly reserve comics in advance

Here's what we can do:
1) Hit the link to look over the list of New Comics for the week of March 18-24:
2) If you would like to add any of these new titles to the list of comics you regularly have us hold for you, email coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com with your additions.
If there are graphic novels or comic supplies (bags & boards) you'd like to add that we have in stock, we'd be happy to add those to your order, too.

(Please note: Some items are in limited supply and some editions may not be at cover price. If you only want regularly priced editions, let us know. We are not currently offering any more than one copy per item.)
3) Include your phone number in the email. Orders without phone numbers can not be filled.
4) We will call you to get your credit card info and charge your card only for the items you've requested. At this strange time, please understand we are not accepting cash payments.
5) We'll arrange an approximate time (a 30 minute window) for you to swing by the Flying Colors parking lot. We'll then package your order and deliver it to your car when you call the shop once you're in our parking lot. Our number is 925-825-5410.

Please note: To comply with the social distancing mandates, we will NOT be allowing anyone into the shop!
Thanks for your continued support and enthusiasm for Flying Colors. We hope to get through this to serve you all more fully in the weeks to come.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Shelter in Place due to COVID-19

Looks like as of Tuesday March 17 all non-essential businesses are being forced to close for three weeks.

If you can come in Monday 3/16 by 7PM to stock up, we're happy to recommend some hibernation reading! ;)

Please take care, all!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Post ComicsPRO Industry Conference thoughts

Well, that was quite a week!  

I just returned from the annual ComicsPRO Industry Conference. This year's event was back in Portland OR at the Portland Downtown Hilton.

From Wednesday evening until Saturday afternoon, it was whirlwind of meetings. seeing friends and colleagues, learning new things, seeing what's coming up from a variety of publishers and other suppliers... and generally, just trying to move the comics specialty business ahead in meaningful ways.

I use this meeting every year as a gauge of sorts--- How do my colleagues see this business? What can I learn from meeting attendees? What can I learn to bring back to Flying Colors to make my business better and please our fantastic FlyCo Faithful even more?

During the meeeting on Friday morning, we got the news that long-time DC Comics publisher Dan Didio was ousted from the company. That news which spurred lots of conversation and stories about Dan and hopes for some quick clarity on what the move means for DC Comics both immediately and in the longer term. I wish Dan all my best in whatever the future hold for him.

So back to the conference:
Over the last ten years or so, ComicsPRO, the industry's retailer trade association, has given Industry Appreciation Awards. There are two categories for the Industry Appreciation Award, one for professionals who are still active in the business of comics and a Memorial Award for those who have passed away and left an indelible mark on the profession of comic book specialty retailing. After a period of accepting nominations from members, the ComicsPRO Board of Directors presents the final ballot. Members will vote in each category. 

"So You Want to be a Comics Retailer?" panel with Mark Thompson from Cold Cut Distro, Joe Ferrara, Robert Scott from San Diego's Comickaze and Mike Camp, Arizona's Heroes & Villains. San Diego Comic-Con, 2005 

The Memorial Award for 2020 went to Robert Scott, the San Diego retailer and founder of the Comic Book Industry Alliance, a hitching post for comics professionals to talk about business, exchange ideas and trade stock. CBIA was on the Delphi network but when Facebook groups became a thing, it really took the shine off other internet groups and the CBIA suffered for it.

Robert's CBIA advocacy work kept a lot of comic book retailers, publishers and creators in touch with one another for many years.  Robert was both a cantankerous argumentative conversationalist and a big bear of a sweet guy. He passed away in early December 2019. At the beginning of my remarks in the video here, I mention Robert and his wife Denise, since I know first hand that small businesses are a family affair even if other family members don't directly work in the business.

I was very grateful to receive the other 2020 Industry Appreciation award. In my acceptance, I talked about how my business is so dependent on not just our wonderful FlyCo Faithful who shop with us day in and day out all year long, but also dependent on the work ALL comic book retailers do on a daily basis. 

In order for our comics specialty market to be its best, we need the hard work, innovation and enthusiasm of every comic book retailer. The comics specialty market is a business built by fans, but we still need to apply sound business practices to keep our segment of the comic book business moving in the right direction.
I also relate a story--- a Goofy story--- that goes back to Flying Colors earning the 1995 Will Eisner "Spirit of Comics" Award. Please watch the five minute video, even though the cavernous convention center meeting room is horrible for sound. 


Thank you to my retailer colleagues and friends who gave me this recognition.

Believe me, I tried to get them all to vote for the other deserving nominees. 

You can see who those other nominees are and all they've done for comics HERE

Peace 'n' Comics!

Joe "FyCoJoe" Field


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Your invitiation to visit Flying Colors!

"Great shop"

"Knowledgeable staff"

"Wide selection"

"Gives me the same fun and excitement I felt decades ago"

"I love coming here and my kids do, too"

"Exceptional customer service"

"Love how organized everything is"

"Flying Colors always has something for everyone"

And once upon a time, the late great Stan Lee said "Flying Colors is one of the greatest comic book stores in the world."

Thanks for the nice reviews, FlyCo Faithful!

We've got a great selection, organized shop and helpful staff...
Now all we need is YOU!

We're open every day from 11AM-7PM.  Every Wednesday we're open til 8PM for New Releases Day.

Please accept our invitation to visit Flying Colors Comics every week!

Follow Flying Colors on social media:



Saturday, January 18, 2020

Gene Yang "Superman Smashes the Klan" talk

It's the Flying Colors version of a TedTalk! 

Here's writer/cartoonist/educator Gene Luen Yang speaking at our October 2019 launch event for "Superman Smashes the Klan."

Every time
Gene gives a talk, it's definitely worth paying attention! Here he talks about his history with comics & his work on his hit series Superman Smashes the Klan.

You might be surprised what you can learn from comic books! Visit Flying soon and find out for yourself.
Watch the video NOW!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Thank You DEALS!

Hello, Flying Colors Faithful!

Last week, I shared how difficult the holiday season was for our small business here. You can read my post HERE!

Since then, the response has been nothing short of heart-warming!

After 31 years in business here at the corner of Treat Blvd and Oak Grove Rd, we've never experienced more challenges than we have recently. But many of you have responded in ways giving me hope we can keep this shop alive and vital for many more years to come.

So we're throwing a surprise THANK YOU sale. Call it "Christmas in January" if you like, or the Holiday That Wasn't That Now Can Be (kind of a Stan Lee sounding title, don't you think?).

Come in this week and take advantage of the specials below. You'll get some Cool Stuff at great prices and you'll be continuing to help us out of the sales doldrums we slogged through in December.

See you soon--- this week, OK?--- in Flying Colors!

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Thank You... and a Hopeful Look Ahead

THANK YOU to all our Flying Colors Faithful helping to keep Flying Colors in business by shopping here on a regular basis.

Everything we do at Flying Colors begins with our gratitude to you for buying your Comics & Other Cool Stuff here.

Can we ask a favor? We'd LOVE your help in bringing more of your comics-loving friends and family into our shop.

* You know Flying Colors is well stocked.

* You know our FlyCo Retailing Brigade gives you top-notch service and great recommendations.

* You know Flying Colors has something engaging for readers of all ages and interests.

The thing is, community businesses like Flying Colors are getting to be more rare by the day. Drive through any shopping centers and you won't find many local businesses that actually sell stuff. Sure, there are a ton of fast food and other eating places, there are massage parlors, nail, wax and tattoo places and service centers for phones and other digital devices. And there are plenty of chain stores.

But there aren't many "Mom & Pop" shops selling actual merchandise.

National statistics for the 2019 holiday shopping season show overall retail sales were up 3.4%... and online sales were up 18.8%. That means shopping in physical stores was likely flat to down.

We really hate to admit it, but December sales at Flying Colors were off... substantially.

With the rising costs of rent (another increase is hitting us this month) and higher prices on pretty much everything else in the Bay Area, we're facing some difficult decisions ahead. No, we're not going to close anytime soon (it's surely not in the plans, anyway). But we don't want to be forced into finding a lower cost location or any other drastic actions.

We want to be here to serve this community for many more years... but some of that just isn't in our control.

After bringing the community some fun events in 2019 and maintaining the most deeply stocked comic shop around, we're seeing too many people coming into the shop, especially during the holiday season, taking photos of products, so they could price-hunt for them online.

Every time a phone came out to take a photo of a barcode, a Retail Angel had its wings clipped. 😞

If you're reading this, you're probably one of our HEROES, one of our angels, one of our FlyCo Faithful---  a regular shopper who does spend some of your hard-earned cash here. Or maybe you're a fan from a distance.... possibly a former local who no longer shops here but wants to stay in touch. Maybe you just just like seeing what we post here (we do make an effort to post engaging content).

How can you help?
1) Keep shopping here! If you visit once a month, maybe try to make it twice a month?

2) Give us your advance reservations for comics you don't want to miss, especially if they are from smaller publishers that may not get deep orders otherwise. Our FlyCo Retailing Brigade is happy to help you get just what you want.

3) If you have us holding comics for you on reserve, please come in to get them!

4) If you like what we do here at Flying Colors, please do some social sharing on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets to invite your friends and family to join us here at Flying Colors.

Please "tag" Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in your social sharing... or tag @FlyCoJoe on Twitter and Instagram. Visit our Facebook page HERE! Hopefully the more reviews and notice we get on social media, the more new faces we'll see in the shop.

5) For teachers and librarians, we invite you to come in and get a stack of FREE Flying Colors 2020 Poster Calendars to pass out in your classroom or at your school or library. We also look forward to helping more teachers and librarians increase the number of comics and graphic novels in your classrooms, schools and libraries.

6) Remember every Wednesday Flying Colors gets a new shipment of Comics & Other Cool Stuff...and we'd love to see you here every week!

7) Watch this space! There's more to come, so please keep following us here and keep visiting us in the shop.

As I said up top, Flying Colors is a business built on gratitude. We are extremely grateful for the support this community is still showing us after more than 31 years.

May the best still be yet to come!
--- Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

Friday, January 03, 2020

Flying Colors 2019 Best-Selling Comics & Graphic Novels

Here's Flying Colors' best-sellers list of single issue comic books for 2019.

This list was assembled by total individual copy sales for each issue. When an issue featured variant editions, all sold copies were combined to make the total.

Breaking it out just a bit, the number of different issues for each publisher on the Flying Colors Top 100 for 2019:

DC: 52
Marvel: 42
Image: 4
IDW: 1
Boom: 1

Top  25 Publishers at Flying Colors in 2019.

This list is in order by total dollars sold in 2019.

* The top five publishers represent 66% of total dollars.

* Flying Colors sold
comics and graphic novels from 291 *different* publishers in 2019!

In addition, Flying Colors sold "Other Cool Stuff" from another 100 or so manufacturers! 
The chart to the right is a list of best-selling graphic novels first released in the calendar year of 2019. 

The graphic below this one is a Best Sellers' list including graphic novels released prior to 2019. This is where you can see which back-list titles continue to chart long after their debuts.

This chart shows the enduring popularity of graphic novels primarily targeted to younger readers by Dav Pilkey (Dog Man), Raina Telgemeier (Guts, Smile, Sisters,  etc), Kaz Kibuishi (Amulet), and Jeff Smith (Bone).

In 2019, Flying Colors sold at least one copy of more than 5000 different graphic novel titles.

Roughly 2400 of those 5000 different graphic novels sold just one copy each.

That illustrates the difficult stocking choices we wrestle with every day.

One explanation:

Flying Colors is happy to do one-off special orders for those shopping with us in our Concord shop. 
It's a beautiful thing that comics and graphic novels are finding new readers every day and that publishers and creative pros are producing so much material aiming to find an audience.

What are my hopes for those seeing these lists?
* I hope you'll see a few titles on these lists to remind you of what to check out next time you visit Flying Colors. All of the comics and graphic novels here have resonated with lots of happy readers... hopefully you'll join them!

* Also, I hope everyone seeing these lists will understand the high-wire challenge it is for comic book specialty retailers--- like Flying Colors--- to have everything you want in stock whenever you visit us. 
We strongly encourage you to place advance orders to make sure you get just what you want.
Flying Colors provides a wide selection of current comics and graphic novels while maintaining a solid and deep core of frontlist and backlist graphic novels.  We're honored to keep earning your business. 

Since Flying Colors opened for biz on October 3, 1988, our goal is to have a well stocked, fun shop with top flight customer care. We hope to make every visit here a good time that makes you look forward to your next visit. We hope to see you soon in Flying Colors!