Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No Holiday Delay! New & Cool Stuff for Wednesday December 28, 2011

... and our Y.E.S. event continues!

Great deals on graphic novels, comics compilations, t-shirts, busts, statues and back issues (see previous blog post for details)

For a list of all New Comics & Other Cool Stuff, please visit our Facebook Fan Page by hitting this link! 



Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from your friends at Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff!

Flying Colors will be OPEN Christmas Eve Saturday December 24 from 11am-5:30pm.
We will be CLOSED on Christmas Day Sunday December 25.

Join us Monday December 26-Saturday December 31 for our Y.E.S. (Year End Spectacular) event! Get a scoop on the great deals by clicking HERE!

Flying Colors will be OPEN Monday December 26 - Friday December 30 from 11am-7pm. 
We will be OPEN on New Year's Eve Saturday December 31 from 11am-5pm, 
and will be CLOSED on New Year's Day Sunday January 1, 2012. 

Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards All!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

What's on Your Flying Colors Wish List?

Want to make sure the gifts you choose are just the right ones?

The Flying Colors Holiday Wish List is the answer!

Either print out the Wish List from this page or come into Flying Colors and ask for one. Then get it filled out by the ones on your shopping list that would most love the Comics & Other Cool Stuff that Flying Colors has in abundant supply!

With more Cool Stuff arriving almost daily---and a new shipment of comic every Wednesday,  we hope you'll visit us every week!

And, remember, comics fans, it is better to give than to receive, so make sure to spread your enjoyment of great comics to all those you love!



Saturday, December 03, 2011

Live Music with Nick D'Virgilio--- and a Sweet Deal!

Be here Monday December 5. Show door opens at 6:30. Music begins at 7PM. The sweet deal will ensue!

A few reserved seats are still available!

All the details are HERE! 



Thursday, November 03, 2011


This is going to be something really cool for anyone who loves to rock-- and especially those who love to prog-rock! Nick D'Virgilio, the lead singer from the mighty Spock's Beard,  is coming to do a solo music event at Flying Colors Comics.

Spock's Beard is known worldwide as the premier purveyors of style-hopping Neo-Progressive Rock, plus Nick has just released a cool EP-length CD of new songs of his own (plus one written by the late great Kevin Gilbert!). Nick is also currently the assitant band-leader and percussionist for Cirque Du Soleil's "Totem"--- now playing in San Francisco! Opening the show for Nick will be his Cirque Du Soleil bandmate Joshua Geisler.

Nick D'Virgilio and Libby at a Spock's Beard show, San Francisco 2005
Monday December 5, 2011
Door will open at 6:30PM
Show starts at 7:00PM
Realizing we're doing this on a Monday night, we're starting the show a little earlier, so we expect the show to be over a little after 9PM.

This event also celebrates Libby's birthday, so there will be cake, too!

At the end of the live music, Flying Colors will be giving each attendee of the show a valuable coupon-- so we hope you'll stick around and do a little holiday shopping!

While this will be a FREE show, there will be very limited reserved (and paid) seating. Each of the paid reserved seats will also receive a FREE signed copy of Nick's new CD "Pieces." Please email coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com for reserved seating prices and info.



Friday, October 28, 2011

In my former life....

... for those who don't know, I worked in radio in Stockton CA for 10 years before opening Flying Colors Comics in 1988.

I worked primarily for the 5000 watt powerhouse Top 40 station,
, "The Great 128."  I worked there from June '78 until May '88, just three months before the opening of Flying Colors. In '85, I did a promotion to get Stockton, KJOY and Marvel Comics some publicity by asking Marvel to name Stockton as the "Official Birthplace of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four."

Around that same time, I got the idea to try to syndicate a short radio feature program about comics and how comics fit neatly along the pop culture spectrum with movies, video games (really prehistoric video games!) and rock music.

So today, I am sharing with you another blast from my past... the sales brochure promoting my show, called GRAPHIC DETAILS (please note my hand-drawn and amateurish comic-style logo).  This brochure was sent to dozens of radio show syndicates---and it was my vain hope it could be placed before or after Casey Kasem's popular "AMERICAN TOP 40" show.

GRAPHIC DETAILS was the result of my interviews at the '85 and '86 San Diego Comic-Cons, plus my own bits of research gleaned from various sources. It was hosted by my dear friend and KJOY deejay Jerry Fuentes, who also did the super-hero drawing on the brochure.

At some point, and I know I have them around here somewhere, I'll post a couple of our sample programs, but for now... dig into this bit of personal nostalgia. And pardon me for saying this in a boastful way, but GRAPHIC DETAILS was years ahead of its time... as was my short-lived cable TV show called The Comics Cable (video coming soon-ish).



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New & Cool Stuff for Wednesday October 19, 2011

 Every week, Flying Colors receives an average of more than 100 new comic books and graphic novels, plus a selection of "Other Cool Stuff" for fans of comics and pop culture.

This week, two new items we want to call your attention to:
BATMAN YEAR ONE, on DVD and Blu-Ray. A fantastic new animated DVD adapting one of the all-time best Batman stories.

WALKING DEAD Action Figures. These are the first action figures tied in to the mega-hit TV show, comics and graphic novels. Figures in this series include Officer Rick Grimes, Michonne, Zombie Roamer and Zombie Lurker!

For a list of all the New & Cool Stuff arriving at Flying Colors every week, please visit our Facebook Fan Page!



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Still Looking For the (Music) Answers

From time to time on this blog, I like to go outside the world of comics and talk about other things for which I am emphatically enthusiastic. Dig through this blog or read the header above it and you’ll know that usually means either baseball or music.

Well, we have another post-season without any of my teams in it. The games have been fun to watch even still, but I am already looking forward to the time between the end of the World Series and the start of Spring Training to see what moves the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants make. Anything can happen (see: Arizona Diamondbacks going from 90+ losses in 2010 to 90+ wins in 2011).

I have to believe the Giants will be front-runners in 2012 with their strong pitching, the return of Buster Posey and some young talent developing to go along with veteran players.  The A’s continue to be a low-budget team that develops a lot of talent but rarely sees that talent pay off for the A’s  at the major league level (see: LA Dodgers Andre Ethier, Colorado Rockies Carlos Gonzalez and Texas slugger Nelson Cruz as three players the A’s developed in the minors but were traded before they blossomed into big league stars).

OK, so that’s enough baseball (for now, anyway). So let’s talk music.

When you visit Flying Colors, there’s always music playing. Even when the baseball is on the TV, the sound is off while the music goes on. The music we play here is a vital part of the atmosphere and I’m always happy when we get good comments about the stuff we play.  

Our play-list features favorites from our Flying Colors Retailing Brigade members which includes lots of classic rock, some new music from across the rock and pop spectrum, plus the occasional forays into jazz. There’s a heavy emphasis on my favorites….you know, since I’m the boss and everyone wants to keep me happy. My tastes range from even more classic rock, lots of indie power pop and new and classic progressive rock, along with the occasional soundtrack and Big Band.

But what’s “Progressive Rock,” you may ask? Well, a few years back on this blog, I wrote a piece about progressive rock and my favorite current band that plays that varied style of music--- the mighty Spock's Beard--- a band that would be HUGE if radio programmers actually cared about a fuller range of music. You can read that post HERE!

But I digress!

There is another band that released their debut CD within the last few months getting a lot of airplay here at Flying Colors. The band is called 41POINT9… and the disc is called “Still Looking For the Answers.”

Well, when it comes to the melodic side of prog-rock, I believe I’ve found The Answer with this release. But honestly, I'm still looking for the answers of how to put into words how much I'm enjoying this debut effort from 41POINT9. 

Let’s start with the name. Douglas Adams, science fiction author of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” wrote about a group of super-intelligent otherworldly beings demanding to learn the “Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.” They specially construct a supercomputer, known as Deep Thought, just for the purpose of finding “The Answer.”  Seven and half million years later, Deep Thought has the answer, which turns out to be 42. While the Answer is found, The Question remains a mystery.

Well, if The Ultimate Question is “What is perfection?” and the answer came back “42,” then I figure 41POINT9 has to be pretty close to perfect. At least in prog circles, anyway…

So, here come Bob Madsen, Brian Cline and Kenny Steel, with a little help from some of their friends (including drummers Nick D’Virgilio and Jimmy Keegan from the mighty Spock’s Beard), and they’re all “still looking for the answers.”

On the CD’s second track, we hear a song that fits the mood of the country right now. “Living In Hard Times” recalls without aping the dramatic Genesis opus called “Driving the Last Spike,” as both are longer songs that tell tales of trying to persevere through miserable circumstances. 

“Building Blocks” feels like a lost gem from the Alan Parsons Project, with its driving bass, Brian Cline’s Eric Woolfson-like vocals and the harmony-laden pop hook in the chorus.  
“Surface Tension” is an instrumental that rocks with the fusion-like precision and melodicism of Brand X. 
“Promise the Moon” is a more gentle, romantic ballad that also breaks into a memorable chorus. The closing track “The Torch” is an almost country-like ballad that would seem to fit comfortably with Guns N’ Roses “November Rain.”  The title track continues with the onslaught of melody, this time feeling like it was inspired by the late great band Level 42… and it makes me wonder if there wasn’t some nod to Level 42 in the naming of this band. 

But whether inspired by Douglas Adams’ pursuit of perfection, the glossy production of Level 42 or the story-telling songs of  Genesis, I do believe 41POINT9 should have called themselves 100% because that's the success rate they have on this CD.

I confidently recommend this CD to those who love any of the bands mentioned, throwing in Journey, too…as 41POINT9 has the sound of a band ready to be heard by a much wider audience. 

41POINT9 "Still Looking For The Answers" is available from the band's web-site HERE! (where you can also get lyrics and behind the scenes info about each song) ...and  from ProgRock Records HERE!

Peace n' proggy goodness! 


Monday, October 03, 2011

It was 23 years ago today...

...that Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff first opened for business in Concord CA. The above shot was taken in 1990 and it shows how tight we packed things into the smaller space we had back then. 

For more photos, please visit our Facebook Fan Page here! (No need to be a Facebook user to visit our Fan Page there... and it's another way to keep up with all the things going on around here.)

Many thanks go out to everyone who has supported us throughout the years!

Peace and health to you all!

...and the Flying Colors Retailing Brigade

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DC's NEW 52 is a major hit! So major, in fact, that Flying Colors has sold out of some of the 52 new first issues.... temporarily. We've already received a new supply of Justice League #1, with more re-stocks coming on all 39 titles released so far.

In case you want to check out these new DC comics in a digital format,  just click the image below:

And here's a link to our Digital Storefront for other publishers, such as Image, IDW and Dynamite

New comics and other cool stuff are ready to go when we open every Wednesday. Be here for the buzz!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

DC Stimulus Plan Really Working 

Comic Book Retailers and Readers Share in Plan’s Success

CONCORD, CA: While politicians in Washington D.C. argue about the specifics of another federal plan to stimulate the economy and restore optimism to a restless nation, a new DC stimulus plan is being met with not only bi-partisan support, but has enthusiastic fans all over the world.

It’s the DC Comics “stimulus plan.” 

DC Comics, publishers of worldwide favorite super-heroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, has made the unprecedented move of starting over with 52 new comic book series all beginning with first issues in September.

“It’s a bold and audacious move to do something of this scope,” said Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord CA. “Fifty-two new series to pique the interest of thousands of readers means more reading fun for comic book readers and an economic stimulus for independent comic book store owners in all 50 states. This truly is the one DC stimulus everyone can enjoy!”

Among the marquee releases available Wednesday September 21 are the first new Batman #1 since 1939, along re-imaginings of other key super-heroes with the releases of Catowman #1, Supergirl #1 and Wonder Woman #1, along with nine other entertaining new series.

New DC titles debuting on Wednesday September 28 include an intriguing new beginning for the super-hero that started it all in 1938, with Superman #1.  Twelve other new first issues will also be released, featuring reinvigorated interpretations of Aquaman, The Flash, The Savage Hawkman, and Teen Titans, among others.  

"In the first three weeks of DC's 'The New 52', the response is so positive from new readers and long-time comic fans alike," said Field. "This could just be a true renaissance for super-hero comic books."

“In addition to Flying Colors, there are more than 2000 other comic book specialty stores in North America,” said Field, who also serves as president of the ComicsPRO, the retailer trade and advocacy association. “This is such a great time for new and returning readers to discover all the great storytelling across the comics’ spectrum, from super-hero favorites to independents and art-house comics. I firmly believe there’s a comic book or graphic novel for everyone who likes to read--- and that leads to another stimulus. The stimulation of the imagination!” 

Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff is at 2980 Treat Blvd in Concord CA. Find Flying Colors online at FlyingColorsComics.com. To find a comic book specialty store near you, visit ComicShopLocator.com.  For more information about ComicsPRO, visit ComicsPRO.org.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Flying Colors 23rd Anniversary Party Set for Saturday September 17

BIG news! 
So big, in fact, we'll be celebrating our 23rd anniversary here at Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff three weeks early!

On Saturday September 17, Flying Colors will be hosting THREE great artists to dazzle you with their talent, to enthrall you with their stories--- and to sell you the comics they do! 

You've probably heard the buzz about DC COMICS "NEW 52"---  the bold re-imagining of DC Comics' iconic characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and those fondly remembered but maybe not as well known like Resurrection Man, OMAC, Grifter and Sgt. Rock.

Well, we've got two guests working on titles that are part of The New 52, and here they are:

MICK GRAY (12noon-3pm-ish)
Superstar inker is a frequent guest here at Flying Colors--and we're thrilled to once again have him for the debut of the all-new (and one of The New 52) BATMAN & ROBIN #1. Mick is an award-winning inker and from the preview work I've seen from BATMAN & ROBIN #1, this will definitely be worth getting a signed copy!

(12noon- who knows?!)
Multi-talented artist, writer, video game designer and friend to Flying Colors, readers are loving Viktor's new Image Comics series BLUE ESTATE, a hard-biting, fast-action romp that fans of movies like Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty will just love! Viktor is now also the cover artist/designer for DC Comics New 52 title MEN OF WAR... and he'll be here to sign this new issue, as well as the new BLUE ESTATE Volume One and PHERONE softcover, both from Image (and both   suggested for mature readers!).

But that's not all---oh, no! To honor the 23rd anniversary of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff, we've arranged with Marvel Comics to get a guest visit from....

TODD NAUCK (11am-3pm or so...)
Many know Todd from his work on DC Comics YOUNG JUSTICE,  others smile while recalling his Image Comics series WILDGUARD. Todd is also the artist for the best-selling single issue comic book of the last five years, Amazing Spider-Man #583 in which the web-slinging wonder meets the then brand-new President of the United States, Barack Obama!

Todd has done something else that is incredibly special to the gang here at Flying Colors-- he's the artist for the Flying Colors' exclusive variant cover edition to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #669, featuring Flying Colors very own CAPTAIN FOUR-COLOR!

Yup, that's right! Ol' CAP FC is invading the Marvel Universe (at least a cover in the Marvel Universe)---and this is such a special deal that we're flying Todd in just for the day to meet fans, sign copies of his work, do some head sketches and maybe even show the kids how to do a quick sketch or two.

Yes, there will be refreshments. Yes, there will be some deals. 
Yes, there will be all of the cool stuff you've come to expect from an event at Flying Colors Comics! Yes, there will be a good time for everyone!  
And, no, sorry, we cannot reserve signed copies before the event. 

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



(For out of area mail order inquiries for any of Flying Colors exclusive comics and variants, please email 
Joe at FlyingColorsComics.com)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome to THE NEW 52

Click here to see Flying Colors latest edition of our In-Frequent Flyer, featuring a cool deal for those wanting to get into DC COMICS THE NEW 52.

And be here Wednesday August 31 for the release of the new JUSTICE LEAGUE by Jim Lee and Geoff Johns!

It's the dawn of great new day for comics!



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flying Colors Does Digital

While we remain utterly committed to a vibrant and rich print market for comics, we are also partnering with digital comics leader ComiXology to serve you with a wide variety of digital comics.

Flying Colors/ DC Comics Digital Storefront:

Plus this Digital Storefront bringing you comics from these and other publishers:
AC Comics, Arcana Comics, Archaia, Archie, Aspen Comics, Avatar, Bluewater Comics, Bongo Comics, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse, DMP, Drawn and Quarterly, Dynamite, Fantagraphics, IDW, Image, Marvel, Moonstone, Oni, Top Shelf, Udon, Viz, Zenescope

Hope to see you soon... in Flying Colors!



Monday, August 01, 2011

Exclusive Flying Colors AMAZING SPIDER-MAN cover!

Rush right in to get your copy of the latest issue of Marvel Comics' AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.

This cool comic book features an
exclusive cover made just for Flying Colors!

And while you're here, pick up these other Flying Colors exclusives:
SAVAGE DRAGON #165 featuring Flying Colors' very own super-hero, CAPTAIN FOUR-COLOR!

 Also: Flying Colors 20th Anniversary Special Edition, with stories from Jeff Bonivert, Ken Hooper, Adrain Rivero and Chris Mendoza. With pin up art from Jim Lee, Dan Brereton, Grant Morrison, Ken Hooper and Terry Austin!
And our 10th Anniversary Special, featuring an original painted Dan Brereton cover. With stories by Ken Hooper, Jeff Bonivert, Jon 'Bean' Hastings, Carlos Saldana and Jeff Nicholson. Pin-ups from Andi Watson, Jim Lee, Jeff Johnson and more.

All of these cool and exclusive comics are available now in Flying Colors!

Mail orders are also being accepted by email and paid through PayPal. For more information, please email coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com



Saturday, July 30, 2011

Flying Colors Earns Recognition from Concord City Council

The photo shown here was taken this past Tuesday evening at the Concord City Council meeting.

Flying Colors was given an award co-presented by Concord's Mayor, Laura Hoffmeister, and Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce President Ken Dami.

We feel honored to have been recognized for our longevity here, as well as what the award states “contributions to the economic vitality and the betterment of the Concord community."  We also recognize this award honors the great work our staff currently does and has done over the years.

We are always trying to improve our service here, while also having a very wide selection of comic books and comic-related cool stuff.

Receiving this recognition also reminds all of us here at Flying Colors to be very thankful for your business. Whether you are one of our many regular store visitors--- including the Wednesday Warriors who are always here for new comics on their first day of release--- or one of the many shoppers that looks to Flying Colors for cool stuff every now and then, I thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you!!

We’ll continue to try our best in the months and years ahead--- and we hope you continue to support our vision for what a world-class comic shop is all about!



Monday, July 11, 2011

Flying Colors Co-Sponsors PROJECT ROOFTOP's “Spider-Man: Webhead 2.0″ Redesign Contest

He may be Marvel’s most recognizable character by far, but Spider-Man’s no slouch when it comes to costume changes. From the classic design by Steve Ditko to the black-and-white attire of the 80s and the upcoming redesign in the pages of Ultimate Comics, Spider-Man has a full closet. In the latest of Project: Rooftop’s line of of innovative costume redesign challenges, we turn to Spider-Man.

Partnering with long-time comics retailer Joe Field and Flying Colors Comics, Project: Rooftop’s “Spider-Man: Webhead 2.0″ Contest gives artists, designs and fans worldwide the chance to spin a new web for Marvel’s resident wall-crawler for the world to see.

“Encouraging artists is something I’ve always enjoyed doing,” said Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA, president of ComicsPRO and founder of Free Comic Book Day . “I came up with some cool Spidey-related prizes and look forward to seeing all the Project: Rooftop entries!”
As usual, check our guidelines, include your name and website, and send your art as an attachment in jpg, png, or gif format to projectrooftop@gmail.com.

Joining our regular P:R staff in judging these entries will be the co-founders of the comics commentary site iFanboy.com: Josh Flanagan, Conor Kilpatrick and Ron Richards. Launched in 2000, this fan-friendly comics website has become one of the key sites for comics news and criticism in recent years, with its iFanboy Pick of the Week podcast becoming the most popular comics podcast on iTunes.

The prizes for this contest, provided by Flying Colors Comics, are:
First Prize: The Spider-Man Diamond Select Maquette (retail value of $85) and a bagged copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #160.
Second Prize: Spider-Man Masterworks Vol. 5 Softcover (retail value of $25) and a bagged copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #160.
Third Prize: Spider-Man: Peter Parker Essential Vol. 3 (retail value of $18) and a bagged copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #160.

Entries for “Spider-Man: Webhead 2.0″ must be received by August 8, 2011.

Friday, July 08, 2011

See you in San Diego?

 With Comic-Con International's San Diego convention coming up in less than two weeks, I wanted to invite anyone who might be interested to attend the following event I will be hosting. The room is always full, so get there early and hear some of the ComicsPRO retailers' experiences. 

Even if you are not interested in opening your own comic book store, this event will give fans a look "behind the curtain" at comic book specialty retailing.

4:00–5:30 Room 32AB
So You Want To Be a Comic Book Retailer? – Presented by ComicsPRO’s Retailer Mentoring Forum. This Comic-Con tradition is always a lively and fun discussion, where your dreams of owning your own comic book specialty store take flight! Your career in comics’ retail starts here! You have questions? Our panel of experienced retailers has answers! Hosted by Joe Field (ComicsPRO President, Flying Colors Comics, Concord CA) with Portyln Polston (Brave New World, Newhall CA), Jennifer Haines (The Dragon, Guelph ON), Chris Brady (4 Color Fantasies, Rancho Cucamonga CA) and Diamond Comic Distributors Outside Sales manager Dave Hawksworth.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

Great FlyCo Faithful email!

We just received this great email from a long-time, but only semi-occasional visitor to Flying Colors. It made out day, so we decided to share it with you.

I just wanted to let you know I came in Friday and was looking around, and Marty came up and said "I think Joe would recommend this to you", and handed me a copy of 'Who Are The Mystery Men'- well the recommendation was on the nose!  Great book!

I think it is so cool that I can go a couple of months without buying comics (caught up in life's currents), and come into Flying Colors, be remembered, and get a recommendation that is spot on.  Awesome!

I also had an opportunity to talk comics with Marty and Susie, and it was great to have that personal 'old fashioned' experience.  That's definitely why I like Flying Colors so much.

It really makes me feel like 'home', like a small town experience, and I really appreciate that type of effort by you and your staff.

So, thanks for having such a great shop!

We love to get emails, letters and pertinent posts to our Facebook Fan Page.
If you have any comments, concerns or questions, please email them to coolstuff@flyingcolorscomics.com or mail them to:
Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff
2980 Treat Blvd
Concord CA 94518

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New & Cool

Check out a full ist of everything coming in this week at our  Flying Colors Facebook Fan Page...

... including Ultimate Spider-Man #160--- The Death of Spider-Man!

Here's hoping your week is going better than Spidey's! 



Monday, June 13, 2011

New & Cool This Week at Flying Colors!


With Fathers' Day coming up Sunday June 19. we hope you'll remember to come by Flying Colors for a cool assortment of fun stuff Dad.

Every week, Flying Colors receives close to 100 new comic titles, plus graphic novels, fan magazines, t-shirts, action figures and other cool stuff. You can find a list of new items posted every week at Flying Colors Facebook Fan Page (no need to be a Facebook subscriber to check out our fan page.)

Meanwhile, included here are some pix of some of the new & cool items we have in stock! 


GREEN LANTERN the movie opens Friday June 17, so Father's Day will be a perfect time to get Dad in the cosmic swing of thing with this Funko Pop! Vinyl Bobblehead.

The cover to FLASHPOINT: Wonder Woman & The Furies #1, new this week from DC Comics!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Saturday June 4-- be here for LEVEL UP!


LEVEL UP Creators Yang and Pham Debut New Graphic Novel at Flying Colors

June 4th event at Concord CA store will feature Live Art demo, exclusive bookplate

When award-winning artist/writer Gene Luen Yang and up-and-coming artist Thien Pham debut their graphic novel LEVEL UP at Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA this weekend, they’ll be hoping to accomplish something that touches on the theme of their new book.

LEVEL UP centers on the conflicted character Dennis Ouyang who lives in the shadow of his parents’ high expectations. They want him to become a doctor---  he just wants to play video games.  To find out more, Yang, Pham and Flying Colors owner Joe Field are asking all video gamers, along with comics fans, of course, to turn off their video games, get off their couches and visit Flying Colors Comics on June 4th from 1:30PM-4PM to check out LEVEL UP and witness a demonstration of Live Art in the making, as Yang and Pham go at it in an EPIC DRAW-OFF!

Now just what is an EPIC DRAW-OFF? Here’s the way Gene Yang describes it: “While I talk a bit about how I got started in comics, Thien will illustrate my story as I speak.  Then, he will talk about how he got started, and I'll illustrate Thien’s story.  After, it’ll be a competition using suggestions from the audience.”

In addition to the Live Art demonstration, Flying Colors will have an exclusive bookplate for the artists to sign in the brand new LEVEL UP graphic novel.

“I have been a fan of Gene’s work since he did DUNCAN’S KINGDOM for Image Comics in 1999,” said Flying Colors owner Joe Field. “ Looking at his body of work in the 12 years since, including the award-winning AMERICAN BORN CHINESE and ETERNAL SMILE, I am thrilled to finally have Gene visit Flying Colors. Seeing Thien Pham’s work on LEVEL UP also leads me to believe that his star is rising among cartoonists.”

Schedule for June 4th event:
1:30 Introduction of Gene Yang and Thien Pham, book signing
2PM EPIC DRAW-OFF Live Art demonstration
3PM Q&A, book signing.
3:30PM Pizza and refreshments will be served.

For additional information, please visit FlyingColorsComics.com or call Flying Colors Comics in Concord CA at 925-825-5410. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

FCBD 2011 wrap-up!

Photo by Ben Margot, Associated Press
OK, we've just about recovered from the insanity that is Free Comic Book Day.

A few numbers for all you keeping score:

It's estimated that between 300,000 and 500,000 people visited FCBD particpating retailers in 40 countries on May 7!

FCBD 2011 generated an estimated $1.5 million in publicity for comics and comic shops!

At Flying Colors, we had almost 1100 people visit the store on FCBD.  The store remained shoppable and comfortable all day long. 

For more than 250 people, it was their very first visit to Flying Colors! Welcome, one and all!

We gave away more than 6000 total comics at Flying Colors! 

Libby made more than 200 of her "HULK SMASH" (creme de menthe) brownies!
And she and Jenny dished out roughly 200 pieces of cake!

We had 11 people working the event (current and former staff and friends), plus guest visits from Captain Jack Sparrow and Wonder Woman!

Free Comic Book Day 2011 also got tremendous coverage in the media. Here are some links to stories featuring FlyCoJoe:

Brownsville Herald

...and here's one from out of left field,
an interview on Quality Logo Products.com

...and that's just a few! Check Google for another 1600+ articles about FCBD! 
For more pix from our event, go to the Flying Colors Facebook Fan Brigade page!

I'd like to thank everyone who visited Flying Colors on FCBD. If you were one of the 250+ first-time visitors, we'd love to get your thoughts about the event and our store--- and we invite you back to see us when we're not quite so crazy. 

For everyone who makes Flying Colors your comic shop every week, please accept the thanks of everyone on staff here. It's a challenge to keep a small business going strong these days, so each and every sale and every relationship with those who shop here are important to us. 

We are always looking for ways to improve our service to you, including our current project of installing Point-of-Sale equipment that will hopefully increase our efficiency. 

Free Comic Book Day may have been my idea ten years ago,  but seeing the remarkable things this event has done for the entire comics world is really encouraging. Many of my comics retailer colleagues in the U.S., Canada and 40 other countries bring energy, creativity and enthusiasm to FCBD, making it a very special community event that is now the world's largest annual comics' event. All of this shows just how current the comics' medium is--- and how vital comic book specialty stores are to our local communities.

As I mentioned to a number of reporters I talked with leading up to FCBD, if you want to find the Next Big Thing, frequently visit your well-stocked local comic shop. If you want to read and absorb the ideas that will be developed in other, more passive mass media later, read comics today. Comics ARE the cool and creative nerve-center of visual entertainment--- the sugary core of pop culture. 

Stay tuned for more! The best is yet to come! 



Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday May 7 is the 10th Annual FREE Comic Book Day!

FCBD is a party of EPIC proportions!
Please invite everyone you know to get in on the fun of reading comics by starting with FREE comics on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 7 at Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff (and nearly 2000 other comic shops in 35 countries around the world!)

Special Guests at Flying Colors! 
Cartoonist JEFF BONIVERT (Captain Four-Color, TMNT)!
Artist/Inker MICK GRAY (Batman and Robin, Promethea)!
Artist/Writer STEVE MONCUSE (The Fish Police)! 

Flying Colors features the following EXCLUSIVE items available on Free Comic Book Day:

• A signed, numbered limited edition full-color print by artist JEFF BONIVERT and inker MICK GRAY featuring Flying Colors' own CAPTAIN FOUR-COLOR! Proceeds of the sale of this limited edition print will be donated to The HERO INITIATIVE

• A signed, numbered limited edition exclusive bookplate edition of FISH POLICE Volume 1 from IDW with original art from creator STEVE MONCUSE!

MORE! There will be refreshments, cool deals and maybe even a costumed character or two! Be prepared to have fun! 

Stay in touch with what's going on at Flying Colors by "liking" our FACEBOOK Fan Page (no need to be signed up for Facebook to follow our fan page).

Countodown: Free Comic Book Day is One Week from Today!

Here's the new song from Cyrus & Isaiah---  "The First Saturday in May at Flying Colors". 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Commemorative T-Shirt Available NOW!

Superstar comics artist DARWYN COOKE (DC New Frontier, Richard Stark's PARKER: THE HUNTER and THE OUTFIT) has designed a very cool t-shirt to commemorate the 10th Annual Free Comic Book Day.

The Flying Colors Retailing Brigade will be wearing these shirts on FCBD... and you can, too! Now in stock at Flying Colors, we have these shirts available in adults sizes S-M-L-XL and XXL. The shirts are also available in three colors--- Stone Blue, Burnt Orange and Black. $14.99 each (XXL $17.99).

Come and get 'em!

And BE HERE Saturday May 7th for

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Party Time!

Join us at Flying Colors Comics for the first-ever Post-WonderCon Wake!

After a long three days at the convention... hundreds of pros, thousands of fans, millions of comics... you still want MORE and Flying Colors is going to deliver!

Wind down from the WonderCon wildness with a casual meet-up, featuring artists VIKTOR KALVACHEV, ANDREW OSBORNE, TOBY CYPRESS from IMAGE Comics BLUE ESTATE, along with JOHN HOFFMAN (Anthology 451)... and who knows who else?

We'll have light food and beverages, beer and wine. There will be signing, some sketching and maybe even some jam-drawing.

There may even be a sweet deal or two...who knows? Just be here to find out!

Sunday April 3 7PM-10PM... or?

let us know you can make it by replying in the comments section here or by going over to the "Events" section of our Facebook Fan Page.

Peace 'n' Good Times!


Friday, March 25, 2011

WonderCon 1988 Review

Here's one from the vaults! This video was shot at the 1988 Wonderful World of Comics Convention in Oakland... still before it was called WonderCon (celebrating its 25th anniversary event April 1-3 at San Francisco's Moscone Center---don't miss it!).
This video is a look back to the simpler times of comic book conventions of the '80s, when a "crowd" of 4000 was really a huge deal!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New & Cool!

 The FANTASTIC FOUR is no more...

Launching on Wednesday March 23, 2011, nearly 50 years after the debut of FANTASTIC FOUR #1 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby...

it's simply FF #1.
The Future Foundation is here.

So much more in store, head over to our Facebook Fan page for
a full list of this week's new releases.

WonderCon tickets are still available, too!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Releases for Wednesday March 16, 2011...

...are posted on the Flying Colors Facebook Fan Page. 



Monday, March 14, 2011

Vote Today for Flying Colors for Best Comic Shop in the Bay Area!

With just a few days left in the voting,
the Flying Colors' team would be honored
to get your vote on BayList. 

Please click the following link to vote for
Flying Colors Comics on the BayList site. 
It only takes a minute and every vote counts!
Thanks for your support!



Sunday, March 06, 2011

Coming Soon from IMAGE Comics: Viktor Kalvachev's BLUE ESTATE

While Viktor may be considered a relative newcomer to the comics’ world, he’s been deeply involved in the visual arts for some time. A graduate from the National Academy of Art with an MFA, he’s been working mainly in the game industry on dozens of titles.  His current work can be seen in a  
cool new virtual world-game called VIE.  
Viktor’s the mastermind behind an amazing new series coming soon from Image Comics, called  BLUE ESTATE
So FlyCoJoe sat down to talk with Viktor to get the full scoop on  BLUE ESTATE and what makes this project so cool. 

(Before we start, a quick note to my comic retailer colleagues: BLUE ESTATE #1 has a Diamond order code of FEB110384, with an "FOC" date of 3/14/11. BLUE ESTATE #2 is now in the March Diamond Previews catalog with an order code of MAR110572)
FlyCoJoe: Let’s get everyone up to speed--- 
What’s your comics’ origin story?
First, I want to thank you for this opportunity and let your readers know how much you, Andy and everyone else at Flying Colors mean to me.

Before I was making comics, I really wanted to make comics, but didn’t think I was good enough. I felt it was way too hard to do and every time I tried I could hardly finish a page because I was too disappointed by how it looked. I guess I have too much respect for this art and had to deliver more than what I was expecting.
I’ve been working mainly in the game industry on dozens of titles. But in my heart I have always stayed with visual storytelling and characters. In my past, as a Senior Art Director at Foundation 9,  I had a chance to work on developing a concept for a game called PHERONE. We thought a cool 10-page comic illustrating a segment of the story would be a great pitch. And so, I had to draw it. The most terrifying 3 months in my art career! 

Here I have the chance I’ve always wanted and yet I am scared I will suck tremendously. I spent about 2 months worrying and thinking about it and when I started running out of time I had to hit the pages hard. The whole 10-page pilot was done in 2 weeks. This was my very first comic.

We presented it at the San Diego Comic-Con and I was lucky to have the chance to put it in the hands of Kevin Eastman. What a great guy! Originally Kevin wanted to do a short story – about 25 pages, but then he came back asking for 78! And this is how PHERONE started.

Here is a cool fact to mention – Joe, before I showed this to Kevin Eastman, you were one of the first people to have seen PHERONE, because I was so insecure and looking for professional feedback, but didn’t know anybody.  I remember I brought it to your store and asked for your opinion. You were really nice to me and it felt so great. I remember your comment about the camera angles and how much you liked them. Thank you for that!

After PHERONE came out, it helped me to make some great friendships with comic book creators who I deeply admire and to work on stories and characters I love. Another interesting fact – it was at Flying Colors again where I first got hooked on  
Brian Wood’s DMZ from Vertigo, thanks to Andy’s recommendation. Later, Vertigo editor Will Denis invited me to be a guest artist on it and I was so thrilled I had a chance to contribute to my favorite series. 

Also at San Diego Comic-Con, I met Dan Brereton and we soon became very good friends. We wanted to work together and he basically said – tell me which characters from NOCTURNALS you want to draw and I’ll write you a short story for that. So I chose Starfish. Since we couldn’t agree on the color and style of her swimsuit I suggested I draw her in the nude. And so you have the first story of NOCTURNALS, where the main character is completely naked throughout the story, yet still PG-13 :)

FlyCoJoe: So let’s talk about BLUE ESTATE, your new series coming in the next few weeks from Image Comics. What’s the quick pitch for BLUE ESTATE?
BLUE ESTATE is an intoxicating cocktail of GET SHORTY, PULP FICTION and SNATCH with a splash of IT’S A MAD MAD MAD WORLD.
FlyCoJoe: You are working with a number of collaborating artists on this project. Tell us about them and what each brings to the project.
BLUE ESTATE is a comic domino chain of mistaken identities, shifting alliances, backstabbing conspirators and the unexpected consequences of recreational drugs. To tell such a fast-paced story, I had to come up with something new for the visual story-telling. This is where the “Style Shift” concept came up, where different artists “pass the ball” to each other within an episode, creating the feel of “sudden change” in the story, which helps keep the reader on their toes the whole time.
My small ninja team consists of Nathan Fox, Toby Cypress, Robert Valley and Andrew Osborne. Each one is so talented and easy to work with - it’s really a joy. And this makes our lives very easy because we often have to work from each other’s pencils when the Style Shift happens.
Nathan has this gritty feel to his art and he can deliver some of the best action / violence pages I’ve ever seen, yet with a sarcastic stroke of dark humor in them.
Toby’s elegance and lightness in his brushes is hard to resist. Such a fine artist, whose pages bring a lot of delightful drama to the series :). "
Robert kicks in with the smallest amount of pages, but they are equally strong. His visual storytelling and style are one of a kind and you feel like you got a sudden boost of the strongest Jamba Juice mix when you hit his stuff. We keep him with limited pages to prevent the readers from an accidental overdose.
Andrew is an Emmy Award winning writer who is so talented and brought so much to the table, helping shape BLUE ESTATE into what it is today.
My roles are pretty much everywhere. I have to admit that coloring all the pages is some of the most fun I am having, because I get to enjoy my friend’s art up close and personal. I am using different color palettes to help drive the story and keep the styles working together, threading visual color hints through the different styles to indicate a certain mood, or an alliance between characters.
For example, in episode 1 – The Rachel Situation – there is a bright blue color I am using to indicate the “Russian Connection”. There are more examples like that, but I’ll leave it to the readers to find and enjoy.
All the different styles work together, feeding off each other’s strengths to deliver a well paced and precisely balanced story that’s designed to keep the reader guessing what’s going to happen next. We really wanted to showcase the different styles on the web site in the 
Art Mash-Up section where you get to shift different portions of the drawing and flip through styles. It’s pretty cool and you get to appreciate how the styles work together. You can end up having a drawing of one character from all 4 of us. Right now there is only Rachel Maddox there, but I already have the art for 4 other characters and we are planning to do more. Stay tuned, as I’ll be uploading it in the next few weeks.
BREAKING NEWS ALERT! I am currently going through the script with my very good friend Aleksi Briclot (SPAWN: Architects of Fear) as he is going to be one of the guest artists on the book somewhere in the upcoming episodes, so watch out – more art power joins BLUE ESTATE!
FlyCoJoe: You mentioned that the artists on this series are all over the country? How are you able to coordinate the precise work that each has to contribute?  
Yeah, we are all over the place – Boston, New Jersey, San Francisco, Kansas City and one who is currently “on wheels” roaming California. Thanks to Skype we all stay connected, sometimes share screens and discuss visual problems that way. We are all pretty good on communication and staying in touch. Andrew and I talk almost every day.

FlyCoJoe: You’ve done an amazing amount of preparation to get this series of the ground. Having been fortunate enough to see your “style bible,” could you elaborate on the work you’ve done to get BLUE ESTATE to the creation process?  
I put about 3 months of solid work into compiling the BLUE ESTATE bible. We have reference materials covering every aspect of the story – locations; characters; wardrobe; props.
The fact that the story is set up for “style shifting” requires everyone to work from the same materials and stay consistent in the smallest details. I created most of the important locations in Sketchup and had planned and choreographed all the action scenes there, so we all know exactly what happens - who sits where, who shoots first etc. This way it’s all clear to everyone what they need to draw and we stay on track. This makes the story vividly different, but keeps all the details and continuity straight. The team has access to the 3D scene as well so they can plan their shots and use it as reference as much as they need.
I have also directed every episode and planned where the story needs to be split for Style Shifting and which artist takes that. It’s all very visual, showing every page and the point in which the shift happens. It’s even colored in different colors so when we look at it we instantly know how much work everyone has to do, what and where.
BLUE ESTATE is very heavy on its cast. We have about 15 strong characters that create this crazy net of relationships and motives. I figured drawing detailed character sheets for each one from multiple angles would take me too much time, so I decided to try and sculpt them from real clay and just take pictures. I actually ended up doing 12 miniature heads (about 4” high) and shot my character sheets with a camera. This way every artist has a complete set of each character lit and shot from every direction. It worked out pretty well and we all spent some time in the beginning to sketch them and “learn” each face to be able to draw it consistently. I will be bringing some of these heads with me to Wonder Con to share with the fans. Stop by the Image booth to check them out. They are pretty cool.

FlyCoJoe: Lots of energy and thought is being put into this, but engaging art is only made better when the characters are also engaging. Can you give us a bit of background on BLUE ESTATE #1’s main character, Rachel? 
The characters are what make BLUE ESTATE so strong! Everyone can find someone they care about and want to follow. Go to the official web site and you’ll see tweets from 4 of our characters that you can follow online to find out more about the story, what “might” happen in the next episode, their side of the story, “ancient wisdom” and other goodies.

It’s a male-heavy cast, but the one main female character we have – Rachel -- is a really strong one and I am sure our female audience is going to enjoy her a lot.

Rachel is a very sensitive woman who starts out in a bad situation, but her spirit is strong and she is able to pull herself out of it. She isn’t going out “guns blazing”, she is not a ninja, she can’t kick ass, but she has a strong will and the guts to make the right decisions when the time comes. Her path is not easy and not all her decisions are the best ones, but she is a decent person who fights for survival even more than most of the “macho” characters in BLUE ESTATE.

Speaking of which – we have plenty of entertaining “ass-kickers” you are going to love. I don’t have a favorite because I love all of them, but I have to say I enjoy the Italian mobsters more than anyone.

Just like a movie production, we have wardrobe for each character. Rachel is wearing a few designer outfits I picked for her from the 
CHANEL 2011 Spring collection. The one she first appears in is actually from Lanvin’s 2011 spring collection and I absolutely love it. The outfits help illustrate who the characters are and how they feel right now, just like we pick what we’ll wear today in real life. Tony Luciano for example doesn’t think at all about his wardrobe – he pretty much wears the same thing all the time, unlike one of his goons Lino, who is a huge fan of David Hasselhoff, and dresses in different suits all the time, following his idol’s style :)

The Mafia characters are vicious and dangerous and based on all the great mob stories I love, from The Godfather to The Sopranos -- only these guys are a lot dumber than Michael Corleone or Tony Soprano, so they’re scary but funny.  But the Russian mobsters in the story -- now those are the guys you really have to watch out for!

Another one of the main characters in the story is Roy Devine, Junior -- a private investigator who Rachel beats up on the very first page.  Rachel may be the brains and soul of 
BLUE ESTATE, but Roy is definitely the heart.  He’s basically a sweet guy who wants to do the right thing but gets in way over his head.

We needed a “private eye” at the center of all the schemes and crimes in the story, trying to figure everything out -- but we didn’t want him to be the same old boring 1940s “film noir” type detective that’s been done to death a million times.  So instead, we made him a younger guy who’s trying to break into the very UN-glamorous modern day detective business.  He’s a lot closer to someone like Jonah Hill than Humphrey Bogart.  In other words, he’s basically a geek -- just like the people writing and drawing him!     

And we’re only scratching the surface in issue #1 -- we’ve got all kinds of other great characters waiting in the wings, from peace-loving hippies to deadly assassins and everything in between!

FlyCoJoe: How many issues are you planning for this series and how far into production are you?   
BLUE ESTATE is a 12 issue series, but we already have plans for more after that. The characters are really fun to work with and the one piece of feedback we keep getting from whoever has read the entire script is they want to know more about them.

Each episode unveils a little bit more of the story, shows sides of the characters you haven’t seen before, answering one question while introducing another. I believe all 12 episodes are very strong and very different, and each one stands alone with its own pace and strength.

The first episode (issue #1) is already off to the printer and episode two is nearly complete. Toby and Rob already started working on episode three--- and I am done with the 4th cover. We are moving ahead pretty well.

FlyCoJoe:You have built a very rich environment on the BLUE ESTATE web-site. Tell us a bit about that.
Not only do we have a lot of freebies – wallpapers and icons for different screen resolutions and 8 mobile devices -- but there are lots of cool ways to learn more about the story and characters. Explore the different styles through playing with the Art Mash-Up; read the tweets from Roy Jr., Bruce Maddox, Cherry Popz and Buddy & Gus to see what they think about and maybe get a hint about what’s going to happen in the next issue.

Another cool way to get a sneak peek of the upcoming episodes is through  
Roy’s Dark Room – a place where the “evidence photos” are developed and you get to see them in progress. They take about 4 days each to develop, so every time you go there the picture is more and more clear, making you guess who the artist is and what’s in the photo.

FlyCoJoe: What's it been like to work with the Image Comics' team? 
Working with Image has been absolutely fantastic. This is the best partner for any creator who wants to see their work in great hands and have people on the other side who really care for his vision and try to present it in the best way possible. This is my second book with them and I am looking forward to many more. The people I work with the most there are Eric, Sarah, Todd, Tyler, Drew and Jonathan. I couldn't have asked for a better crew.
FlyCoJoe: Viktor, I want to thank you for talking the time to give us this exclusive look at your new series... and it's one I'm looking really forward to! 
Thanks again for having me, Joe!
Flying Colors is my favorite store, where I get my comic fix every time I need one! Andy, especially, but the whole staff have the gift of introducing me to my next inspirations every time I visit.  

(BLUE ESTATE #1 has a Diamond order code of FEB110384, with an "FOC" date of 3/14/11. BLUE ESTATE #2 is now in the March Diamond Previews catalog with an order code of MAR110572)