Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The SPIRIT of the season...

Huge recommendation coming---- Darwyn Cooke (DC New Frontier) and Jeph Loeb (TV's Heroes and LOST) have co-produced the newly released BATMAN/SPIRIT comic book and it is a ton of fun. Featuring most of the Rogues' Gallery from both heroes, with plot twists, turns and sight gags, this is a story everyone can read, re-read and enjoy many times over.

With several artistic nods to the Spirit's creator, the late great comics' pioneer Will Eisner, Loeb and Cooke have come up with an action and humor filled romp that will go down as one of the year's best releases. Don't miss it!

Last weekend's Thanksgiving Sale was well-received by everyone around here, but I realized a lot of folks left town for the long holiday weekend and didn't get a chance to score some of the deals we offered.

So I decided to extend our sale prices in two categories through the end of this week. Right now, a special selection of LIMITED Edition Statues and Busts (all highlighted with red dots)--- featuring many of your favorite comics' characters---are 50% OFF! That's well below our original cost! And DC Direct Action Figure Sets, each set with five figures, are on sale through this week--- regularly $85/set, now only $65/set. Supplies are limited, so come in soon. These prices will be good through Sunday December 3.



Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Two-Day SALE Friday & Saturday!

We'll be going all day Friday and Saturday (11am-7pm both days) with some terrific deals for those doing some early Holiday shopping (anything before Christmas Eve is early for me!)

Besides some special sales prices on trade paperbacks, manga, graphic novels, back issues, t-shirts, calendars and action figures, here's a brief look at some very special sale prices:

*We'll have a nice selection of limited edition statues and busts on sale far below cost at 50% off!
* Marvel Essentials trade paperbacks are Buy Two, Get One FREE!
* DC Direct Complete 5-figure Action Figure Sets--- reg. $85, only $65!
* DC Archives & Marvel Masterworks hardcovers--- buy two or more, get 30% off!

Plus, everyone gets a FREE 2007 Marvel Comics/Flying Colors Poster Calendar with exclusive art by John Romita Jr!

Be here for the best selection.




New SPOCK's BEARD: This Post is Looooong (or maybe it's just Progressive)

This week saw the release of another excellent CD by my favorite "New Prog" band, the mighty SPOCK'S BEARD. And sad chances are that you've never heard of them...unless you're one of the many who visit FLYING COLORS and ask what music we're playing in-store.

Back in the '70s, when radio formats were not nearly as tight or boring as they are now, listeners could tune into their favorite station and hear Pop, Hard Rock, R&B, Soul, Bubblegum and other flavors of music on back-to-back-to-back on the same station. It was called "broadcasting" for a reason. Today, every commercial radio station goes for just a slightly different shade of vanilla when it comes to programming music. Down with narrowcasting. Ugh!

Back then, though, along with the music styles already mentioned, there was a very popular style of music called Progressive Rock. "Prog-Rock" style-hopped from hard rock to classical to pop to jazz, usually in the same songs, which often lasted the entirety of a vinyl album side. The first generation of prog-rockers featured bands like YES, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis, King Crimson, and later Kansas and early Styx. These bands all got airplay on commercial radio, but more often than not, the cuts played were 3 or 4 minute edits of much longer tracks or a section of a progressive "suite".

All right, that's enough of a primer. What I really want to do is tell you how great the new SPOCK's BEARD CD is. First, let me tell you something abnout the band. Each of the players in the band is a virtuoso at his instrument of choice. Each player has a varied career, working with lots of performers you've heard of, even if you may have never heard of Spock's Beard.

Case in point:
* Drummer/vocalist Nick D'Virgilio (NDV) has performed and/or recorded with Genesis, Tears For Fears, The Manhattan Transfer and Sheryl Crow.
* Lead guitarist (and chief shredder) Al Morse has recorded or performed with Chad & Jeremy, Spencer Davis and Chuck Norris(!).
* Bassist Dave Meros has played and/or recorded with Bobby Kimball (Toto), Simon Phillips, Steve Lukather, Mark Lindsey (Paul Revere and the Raiders), Eric Burdon and The Animals, Iron Butterfly, Sugarloaf, Brian Auger, and Robbie Krieger (The Doors).
* Ryo Okumoto has performed and/or recorded with Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Barry White, Aretha Franklin, Kitaro, Peabo Bryson, Aaron Neville, Robbie Robertson, David Foster, 5th Dimension, Marilyn McCoo, Roberta Flack, Patti Austin, Sheena Easton, Debbie Gibson, Lamont Dozier, Pointer Sisters, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Eric Carmen, Al Green, James Ingram, and Dionne Warwick.

This is the band's 9th studio CD, the first six with multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/songwriter Neal Morse at the helm. The last three feature drummer NDV stepping up to do lead vocals (reminiscent of my favorite prog band GENESIS, with the transition from Peter Gabriel to Phil Collins)---and it is clearly Spock's Beard's most confident and complete effort yet with the new line-up.

True to the progressive form, there's a variety of styles presented on the new SB effort. There's the hard-driving BRAND X influence on the instrumental "Skeletons at the Feast", the bluesy and gnarly style of "Is This Love", the plaintive ballad "Hereafter" featuring Okumoto's brilliant classical keyboard playing and NDV's near-angelic voice....and then there's the neo-progressive sounds of the 8-minute opus Meros/Boegehold penned "On a Perfect Day" (evocative of the band's best work with Neal Morse), and the 17-minute suite of songs wrapped into "As Far As the Mind Can See" (also written by Dave Meros and John Boegehold), featuring "They Know We Know" which could be a long-lost Tears For Fears tune.

"All That's Left" could be mistaken at first for a Porcupine Tree ballad before it breaks into more familar (and welcome) SB territory."The Slow Crash Landing Man" nods to "Duke" era Genesis with its big bass and keyboard-heavy sound, albeit with more layered harmonies than Genesis ever managed.

NDV's chops as a songwriter have grown immensely over these last three SB efforts, with this latest being not only his greatest achievment, but also the band's. "With Your Kiss", a 12 minute sojourn through sweet vocals and Al Morse's stellar lead guitar work, and the CD's final track "Rearranged" with its gum-sticky pop hook, ethereal swirls and melancholy feelings of finding one's sanity in the crazy music business---are two jaw-dropping "love it at first listen" tunes that feel simultaneously fresh and modern while eliciting some truly classic prog moments along the way.

These guys should be MAJOR music stars!!

You can find out more about SPOCK'S BEARD HERE! , with sound samples and an active community of prog-loving music fans. Or you can ask me more next time you're in the if this wasn't long enough already.



Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Week Hours

Tuesday November 21 11am-7pm
Wednesday November 22 11am-8pm
Thursday November 23---Closed for THANKSGIVING!
Friday November 24 11am-7pm
Saturday November 25 11am-7pm
Sunday November 26 12noon-7pm

Tons of New & Cool Stuff will be in-store first thing Wed. 11/22!

...and FLYING COLORS Holiday Sale runs all day Friday 11/24 and Saturday 11/25, with some great deals on Contra Costa's most amazing selection of comics & other ccool stuff. Don't miss it, OK?



Sunday, November 19, 2006

Katie is Supergirl!

Here's another of our new TV ads. This one will start running locally about a week from now on the Astound and Comcast cable systems.

This one features our "Girls Comics Guru" Jenny, JT Tavernier (son of former comics' retailer, Clay), the young Jacob Kirkpatrick (with his "Someday You'll Ask for My Autograph" t-shirt), and the unmistakable, chinchilltastic smile of Katie, seen here in her Supergirl disguise.

Katie is the reason I'm posting this one a little early, since Sunday 11/19 is her birthday. Everyone, sing "HBD2K"!!

Remember---Flying Colors Holiday Sale is coming up Friday November 24 and Saturday November 25. Be here for sure!



Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Some highlights from the New & Cool Stuff hitting the racks Wednesday Novembe 15th---

* Absolute DC NEW FRONTIER slipcased hardcover!
* Astonishing X-Men #18
* Astro City: Dark Age Book Two #1
* Bomb Queen V2 #2
* CIVIL WAR #5 (!)
* And CW crossovers: Iron Man #13, New Avengers #25
* Daredevil: Father #6 (The ending of the series when it seemed it would never end!)
* The Escapists #5
* Girls #18 and also Volume 3 Survival trade paperback
* Infiniteens #1
* Moon Knight #6
* Sonic X #14
* White Tiger #1
* 100 Bullets #78
---and so many more good new titles!

New Star Wars Bust-ups
DC Re-Activated Action Figures, with classic figures of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and LOBO!

See you in Flying Colors!



Monday, November 13, 2006

Cool Holiday Savings Coming Nov. 24 & 25

Here are some dates to save:
FLYING COLORS' Holiday Sale is Friday November 24 and Saturday November 25! We'll have lots of cool deals on comics & other cool stuff, so make it a point to be here!

Over the next couple of weeks, you may be seeing this TV ad on a number of cable stations (on the ASTOUND and Comcast Cable systems.) Here's a sneak peek:

And, for those of you who have been asking:
YES! All our new TV ads are complete and will be running once the Holiday Sale is over. Stay tuned here because we will also be debuting the ads here and on before they air on TV.



Monday, November 06, 2006

Comic Books ARE Books, too!!!

Interesting piece I found yesterday while searching for comic book news on ye old Internet.
Read the piece HERE!

The new Gene Yang graphic novel (to a degree it's more properly "graphic non-fiction") called AMERICAN BORN CHINESE is up for the National Book Award, one of the highest honors in book publishing. And writer Tony Long doesn't like that a graphic novel is up for the National Book Award.

You can read Gene Yang's response to Tony Long's comments HERE!

Gene Yang's career features a number of fun, thoughful, entertaining and even spiritual works, including LOYOLA CHIN & THE SAN PELIGRAN ORDER, GORDON YAMAMOTO AND THE KING OF THE GEEKS (both from Slave Labor Graphics' Amaze Ink imprint), DUNCAN'S KINGDOM from Image Comics (with Derek Kirk Kim) and even a graphic novel adaptation of the ROSARY published by Pauline Press.

AMERICAN BORN CHINESE (published by First Second Books) delves into Gene's childhood, exploring prejudice of his own as the only Chinese-American in his class. Using the Chinese fable of the Monkey King, along with some very poignant moments, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE is really one of the year's must-reads.

There are some folks, though, who don't consider anything with panel-to-panel storytelling to be "books", no matter how rich and deep the subject matter, no matter how strong the book spine, no matter how acclaimed the work. Some folks are simply prejudiced against the medium of comics and graphic novels.

Given the attention AMERICAN BORN CHINESE is receiving as a finalist for the National Book Award, I do invite you to check it out next time you visit FLYING COLORS.



Thursday, November 02, 2006

New TV Ads on the Way---

We'll be getting a couple of our new FLYING COLORS TV Ads on the air in the next week or two. Until that happens, though, I wanted to give you a peek behind the camera with these photos from our ad shoot.

We'll be using some of the footage we shot on Free Comic Book Day, along with some new footage. These ads are one of the ways we reach out to the wider community in the hopes of finding new customers. If you look around at all visual media--- TV, movies, video games---comic book related content is more popular than ever, so I hope that means more poeple than ever willbe willing to take a deeper look at all the amazingly entertaining things going on in comics and graphic novels.

Back by popular demand, both Jenny and Brian will be in the new ads. This shot is one of Jenny's out-takes, as she doubled over laughing after flubbing one of her lines. She did a great job with her ads! This girl should be on TV full-time!

It was fun shooting the ads, since we did it here on a Wednesday during a busy New Releases Day. The whole shoot took less than two hours, but there were a number of FlyCo regulars who became audience members as the lights came up and the camera rolled. As always, we have fun doing what we do---and we laughed a LOT through the ad shoot.

And here are a couple shots from Halloween here in FlyCo Land.

It was pretty low-key around here--- I dressed up as a comic book retailer (of all things!).

But the kids in my home neighborhood really liked getting comics and candy when they came by our place.

Now that Halloween is past, we're getting to the point of the year when thoughts turn to gift lists for the Holidays. As always, we're happy to help you get just the gift you want for the Comics' Fan on your list.

Come see us soon!