Thursday, December 31, 2015

Flying Colors will be closed on Friday January 1 to allow our awesome Retailing Brigade members a chance to celebrate the New Year.

We'll be back in action with regular store hours on Saturday January 2, 2016.

Peace, Thanks & Happy New Year!

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas from Your Friends at Flying Colors!

Please note the following changes in our Open Hours:
Wednesday December 23 11AM-8PM
Thursday December 24 11AM-5PM 
Friday December 25 CLOSED
Saturday December 26- Tuesday December 29 11AM-7PM
Wednesday December 30 11AM-8PM
Thursday December 31 11AM-5PM
Friday January 1 CLOSED 
Saturday January 2 ---  Regular hours resume! 

We thank you for shopping at Flying Colors and wish you all the deepest peace of the Christmas season and a sparkling, surprising and prosperous New Year 2016.

Peace 'n' Cool Stuff!

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field
& the Retailing Brigade
at Flying Colors!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Gentle Holiday Shopping Reminder

As Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee said,
"Flying Colors is one of the World's Greatest Comic Shops." 

Find the best in comics, graphic novels, gift items and other pop culture coolness!
Gift cards available!
Shop local and support our community!
Open every day from 11AM-7PM.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Image Comics' BLACK JACK KETCHUM Debuts at Flying Colors!

What:  The debut of a new Image Comics series, BLACK JACK KETCHUM.


Where: At Flying Colors Comics, of course!
When: Wednesday December 2 at 11AM.
Why: Make your plans to be among the first fans to get their copies of this new first issue!  

This will be another fantastic New Releases Day with dozens of new comics, graphic novels and assorted bit of other cool stuff. 


In a dreamlike version of the Old West, Tom Ketchum struggles to clear his name-and stay alive-when he's mistaken for wanton outlaw "Black Jack" Ketchum. With the aid of his talking sidearm, a secretive gambler, and a mute girl with a Winchester, Tom evades the mysterious Union and its supernatural enforcers, the faceless Dusters, as he's forced to question his identity, his sanity, and his very existence.

Stay in touch with Flying Colors on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday & Saturday's Local Comic Shop Day!

We've got your Black Friday deals right here! Plus we've got more for you on Saturday 11/28-- the first ever  
Local Comic Shop Day®!
Get ready... get set... be here!

UPDATE: Be here Saturday 11/28 at 11AM and be among the first to get the new and exclusive 2016 Flying Colors calendar/poster. Artist/Designer
will be here to sign the first batch!

Now, hit the link!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Local Comic Shop Day at Flying Colors

Saturday November 28 is Local Comic Shop Day. we'll have a  limited number of exclusive items made just for the event, including a Dave Johnson cover to the new Dark Knight series from DC Comics.

Also, we'll be debuting our Flying Colors exclusive--- and FREE! ---  2016 poster/calendar! Cartoonist/designer Jeff "JB" Bonivert will be on hand to sign the first batch we'll give away.

Be here Sat 11/28 at 11AM.

Follow this link for more event info that will be updated all this week:

Friday, October 23, 2015

NICK DRAGOTTA at Flying Colors for Release of Superman: American Alien #1 11/11 at 11AM

We're happy to welcome back artist/illustrator/all around cool dude NICK DRAGOTTA on Wednesday Nov 11 at 11AM for the debut of SUPERMAN AMERICAN ALIEN #1.

Easy to remember--- it's 11/11 at 11.

It'll be a Wednesday and that means it'll be a New Releases Day. And if you haven't been here for  a New Releases Day any time recently, there's always a buzz with some of the best and most dedicated comics fans around.

It's written by Hollywood screenwriter Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN), who joins forces with top comics artists to produce a 7-issue miniseries chronicling the life of Clark Kent and his development into the archetypal hero he will eventually become.

These are not the stories of the iconic “Superman” as you know him, but of the soft-spoken, charming, often-funny Kansas farm-boy behind the Man of Steel. With the tone of each issue ranging from heartwarming and simple, to frighteningly gritty and violent, to sexy, sun-kissed and funny, SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN is unlike anything you’ve seen before.
In this first issue, illustrated by our guest, superstar artist Nick Dragotta, we'll get the story of Jonathan and Martha Kent as they struggle to deal with their 12-year-old son’s latest quirk—he’s been floating up into the air, sometimes hundreds of feet!

Nick Dragotta is the artist and co-creator, along with writer Jonathan Hickman, of the Image Comics hit series EAST OF WEST. Nick has also previously worked on X-Statix and many other Marvel characters such as Captain America, Spider-Man,  and the X-Men.

Let us know you'll attend by joining our "events" page on Facebook!

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Train That Got Me Across the Atlantic

Ireland's southern coast

On Dublin's Grafton Street

We spent a night at Ballyseede Castle, Tralee, Ireland
Back in August, Libby and I took the longest vacation--- in duration and in miles--- we've ever had together, a two week trek to Ireland, London and Paris.

Last November, on a crazy whim, I purchased tickets online for a couple of concerts by one of our favorite bands that would happen in mid-August --- in London.  That left us with a decision--- we could either sell the tickets to the concerts (which sold out almost instantly) or figure a way to build a trip around the concerts. 

Sounds like an easy choice, right? Take a trip to Europe. No problem. Look, I run a comic book shop and European vacations really aren't in the cards for a guy used to working six days a week. Fact is, I had never been across the Atlantic before. 

Usually, the trips I take away from the shop that others see as "time off" are built around business, like attending San Diego's Comic-Con and the annual ComicsPRO meeting. Those may be fun events, but, believe me, they are still long hours of work and definitely not vacations. 

Libby jumped at the chance and was up to the challenge of organizing our first vacation overseas together (no, Caribbean cruises may be "on the seas" but they aren't "overseas").

Working with a travel agent and armed with the advice of family and friends about places we needed to see (especially in my ancestral country of Ireland), Libby came up with an itinerary that had us spending almost a full week in Ireland, plus several days each in London and Paris. Truly a dream trip. 

But this blog post isn't meant to be a travelogue (though I'm including a few photos here, anyway). This is about, as the blog post title says, The Train That Got Me Across The Atlantic.
At Trafalgar Square on 8/15/15, the 70th Anniversary of V-J Day
This is about the majestic, melodic, emotional, orchestral, progressive music of a band called Big Big Train. 

Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know that both Libby and I are crazy about the music we love. We've been to hundreds of live concerts together since 1976 (our first show was a Barry Manilow concert at the Concord Pavilion, if you must know). It's been a real blessing for our marriage that our taste in music is (mostly) synched.

At the National Portrait Gallery "with" Paul McCartney
Long before we were married in '79, when I'd visit my friend Libby at her family's Orinda home, I was impressed by her record collection. Her tastes ran the gamut from the mid-'70s requisites James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Dan Fogelberg, the Eagles and CSN&Y, to The Beatles (she's saw them live in concert --twice!), to the Spinners, to early Hall & Oates --- it was a pretty nice collection of music.

But along with those very popular superstar hit-makers, there were albums from bands not normally found in a young woman's vinyl trove. Bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the Moody Blues and Yes. She actually liked this thing called "progressive rock." And so did I.  Oh, yeah!

Notre Dame Cathedral
Over the years, it became clear that our mutual favorite band other than the Beatles was the British progressive powerhouse Genesis. Though we were late-comers to Genesis, never having seen them with their original singer, Peter Gabriel, we have everything that band has released and most everything released solo by each of the band's members, including Gabriel, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford ("Mike & the Mechanics"), Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips. 

We are not typical music consumers, willing to buy whatever the music media says is popular. We learned a long time ago that the best music is often the stuff that doesn't find its way to commercial radio or even most retail music stores (sadly). 

Most aren't aware that there was an independent progressive revival of the '90s...that still continues to this day. In the late '90s, a friend suggested that since we like Genesis so much we should check out a band called Spock's Beard. Doing their own thing but still occasionally nodding to earlier prog masters like Genesis, Yes and Gentle Giant, Spock's Beard was originally fronted by singer/multi-instrumentalist Neal Morse. 

After SB's release of the double CD "Snow" concept piece (seriously, it's better than The Who's "Tommy"), Morse left the band and the lead vocals were taken over by a fantastically talented drummer named Nick D'Virgilio. I should mention here that one of the things that attracted us to the Beard was the fact that Nick D'Virgilio actually drummed on the last Genesis studio CD, "Calling All Stations." 

Libby and I have seen Spock's Beard live many times in the last 15 years. One of the benefits of loving indie bands and seeing them fairly often is the chance to greet and chat up the band members. And so it is with us and SB. A few years ago, after Nick had left SB, he became one of the leads in Cirque D'Soleil's "Totem" show. Knowing he'd be on tour with the show in San Francisco, I asked Nick if he'd be up for doing a solo concert at Flying Colors... and so he did, on Libby's birthday! You can see a performance from that show HERE!

At the top of the Eiffel Tower
At that solo show, Nick mentioned he was officially leaving Spock's Beard, but that he was now in another band, the only American in an otherwise all-British band. He recommended we check them out. That band he recommended is Big Big Train

How's that for a progressive intro? 

The show dates were August 14-16 at the beautiful and intimate concert hall at Kings' Place, London, just a block or two from the St Pancras International Rail Station (where we would take another "big big train"---the EuroStar--- to Paris via the Chunnel on August 16).
King's Place

Big Big Train is simply and intricately a wonderful band. Two members of BBT do the songwriting, bassist/guitarist and band co-founder Greg Spawton and David Longdon (vocals/flute/banjo/percussion). Another bit of Genesis trivia: When Phil Collins left Genesis, a number of vocalists auditioned for the part. Among them was David Longdon.  

Other members of the band are co-founder/keyboards/guitars Andy Poole, lead guitarist Dave Gregory (formerly of the great XTC), Rachel Hall (violin/vocals), Danny Manners (keyboards), Rikard Sjˆblom (guitar/keyboards/vocals)... and Nick D'Virgilio (drums/vocals). Stellar players, one and all!

One huge reason we needed to make the journey to London to see Big Big Train is the sheer size of the band. With eight primary musicians and an additional brass section of five, that would be a very expensive touring outfit, so the chances were pretty slim that the band would perform anywhere close to us. There were just three live shows, all at King's Place, with just 500 seats in the theater. Such a small venue that the brass section wasn't even on the main stage, but was situated in the balcony above the band.

With BBT guitarist Dave Gregory

Among Big Big Train's songs, you really won't hear any three minute love ditties, but you will hear the love and care they put into their music. Their songs are quintessentially British, often telling stories infused with the history and geography of the British isles. 

While the band is content with the "progressive" or "prog-rock" label, in my estimation BBT music has a lot in common with classical music. As an example, BBT's epic "East Coast Racer"tells the story of the people who built and admired the Mallard, the train that set the land speed record for steam trains back in 1938. The song isn't as much about the train as it is about the love and labor that went into its building and the fascination the public had with it. In the 15 minutes of "East Coast Racer," I hear the construction, complexity and emotional depth of Bohemian composer Bedrich Smetana's piece about the river "Moldau." There are movements, there are musical themes that punctuate the song's emotion. It's a brilliant and complex piece of work. 

Joe with BBT co-founder Greg Spawton
While BBT's music is rightly classified as part of the rock genre and the progressive sub-genre, the music veers all over the musical map, from rock to jazz to classical to pop. For a couple of the band's shorter and poppier tunes, try David Longdon's "Uncle Jack" and "Leopards." "Uncle Jack" is an ode to David's actual uncle, a man David loved and who knew quite a bit about nature, gardening and caring for the earth as a gentler way of life. "Leopards" may be about as close to a three minute love song as you'll find in BBT's oeuvre, with its cautionary tale about how, like leopards, it's difficult to change one's spots.  

The concerts were beautifully performed, even with the opening night jitters of a band that had never played before a paid audience with this current line-up. Standing ovations after several songs, especially the longer pieces, happened at both shows we attended. These concerts, filled with many of the band's most dedicated fans, also brought tears of happiness due to the moving performances. 

With Rachel Hall (Violins/vocals)
Since vocalist Longdon, drummer D'Virgilio and guitarist Gregory came aboard the Train in the last several years, the band has steadily built a larger following, particularly through effective use of social media. The BBT Facebook page is one of the most peaceful, fun, music-loving spots on any social media, with a steadily growing number of fans. 

It was no surprise for me, as one of those fans, to learn of so many others making the trek to the concerts from all over the world. Pre-show and post-show socializing at King's Place were filled with happy fans meeting each other in person for the first time. Post-show, band members joined the party, taking photos, signing programs and CDs, chatting with attendees. I can only imagine how gratifying it must have been after so much work went into the planning, rehearsing and playing the shows to have the band members finally get some feedback. 

Here's what Big Big Train played at the King's Place concerts:
Libby with Nick D'Virgilio

Opening Set:
Make Some Noise
The Underfall Yard
Uncle Jack
Victorian Brickwork

Set 2:
Summoned by Bells
Drum solo
Judas Unrepentant
Curator of Butterflies
East Coast Racer


Take a look at this video shot at King's Place on Sunday August 16:

Look,  I'm definitely not a professional reviewer and I'm certainly not a critic of a band that has brought us so many hours of music bliss. 

My hope with this rather long post is that you'll be moved enough to listen to some Big Big Train music, maybe go so far as to order one of their albums--- you can do that HERE! If you do, I recommend you start with "English Electric: Full Power."  When you delve into Big Big Train's music, please let me know how you like it. 

And that's my story of The Train That Got Me Across the Atlantic, otherwise known as "What I did on My Summer Vacation." Class is now dismissed.

Peace & Music! 

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

Monday, October 05, 2015

First one's free, kid!

Y'all like FREE, don't you?

Well, we've just scored some extra copies of the BATMAN ENDGAME SPECIAL that features a lead-in to this week's debut of the new weekly series, BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL.

And, we also have copies of the VERTIGO PREVIEW SPECIAL, just in time for some great new Vertigo series that start releasing this week.

If you'd like a copy of each of these, come in starting Wed Oct 7 and they will be available as long as our supply lasts!

Thank you!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Kirby4Heroes Benefit at Flying Colors on Fri Aug 28

Libby and I just got back from a great trip to the other side of the Atlantic, visiting Ireland, London and Paris over the course of two weeks.

Along the way, we visited a number of world-renowned museums, including the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay in Paris, the British National Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Tate Modern Museum in London.

I saw many beautiful and historically important pieces of art in those museums. Picasso, Monet, Manet, Gaugin, Van Gogh, Klee, Klimt…the list goes on all the way to Leonardo DaVinci. Really breath-taking stuff.

In the Tate Modern, though, I saw one painting that left me feeling a bit blue. During the 1960s, the Pop Art movement, led by Andy Warhol, took the art world by storm. Warhol and others liberally "borrowed" from other avenues of pop culture to create work that has since become some of the world's most recognizable and valuable art. 

You've seen Andy Warhol's Campbell soup can painting, his Marilyn Monroe diptych--- very famous pieces.

Roy Lichtenstein was also a prime mover in the pop-art field. He made millions off of enlarging and re-positioning the work of famous comic book artists, like Jack Kirby, John Romita and Russ Heath.

Lichetnstein's "Whaam!" is a direct swipe from Russ Heath's All American Men of War comic published by DC Comics. Lichetnstein made million from it. Heath got nothing. That's why I've got the glum look on my face in this photo taken at the Tate Modern last week.

Read Russ Heath's own short comic about this HERE!

That leads me to inviting you our event celebrating the 98th birthday of Jack Kirby, the King of Comics---and one of the artists ripped off by Lichtenstein.

On Friday August 28th, Flying Colors is proud to once again take part in Kirby4Heroes, a campaign started by Jillian Kirby, Jack's granddaughter, who isn't even old enough to have met her prolific and uber-talented grandfather, who passed away in early 1994.

Please join us as we raise funds for the Hero Initiative, a great organization dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need. Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays' creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life.

Read more about Hero Initiative HERE!

And be sure to pitch in when you join us on Friday August 28th. We've invited artists to come in a draw, so we'll likely have some art to sell, with 100% of the proceeds going to Hero.

Flying Colors will have original Jack Kirby art on display on Friday August 28th.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Flying Colors on YouTube

Please hit this link to check out our YouTube page!

We've posted a lot of videos for comics fans:
• Our interviews with comics professionals!
• A few short documentaries shot here at Flying Colors!
• Old Flying Colors TV ads!
• Footage from the early years of WonderCon!
• And our newest regular feature--- "Top of the Box" in which we open the first box of our weekly shipment to show you what cool items come out first.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Potential Opportunity for the Right People

We hope to do some interviews very soon, so if this potential opportunity is speaking to you, get your resumé to us now! 
.... and PLEASE read the instructions carefully! 

FlyCo Mini IndieCon on Saturday July 25!

Please join us for the first ever FlyCo Mini IndieCon... a celebration of local independent comics and the artists that make them!

Our featured guests for this event are:
Jason Dube of Scattered Comics!
Bryan Hill, writer of Top Cow's Postal!
Robert Stewart, artist/writer of Afterburner, Tales of the Cool & Wicked!
Mel Smith, publisher/artist of Acme Ink!
Matt Harding, artist/writer of Pop Apocalypse!
Omar Morales, writer/publisher of CruZader, Agent of the Vatican!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Comic-Con Programming!

For those planning to attend Comic-Con International in San Diego this week, here's where you can find FlyCoJoe!

Friday July 10 
Programming for Retailers Only, unless otherwise noted
 9:30 - 10:15 Fresh Start - Room 19
Your day at Comic-Con gets off to a friendly and professional start with ComicsPRO, the retailer trade association. Retailers, publishers, and distributors are welcome to kick off their convention day with colleagues, coffee, bagels, and conversation. Bring your business card!
10:15 - 10:35 Local Comic Shop Day - Room 18
ComicsPRO introduces Local Comic Shop Day!  What is it? When is it? And why is it?   LCSD is a day to celebrate comics and  the local comic shops that are the backbone of the comics industry.  Be here for the launch of this new event that puts the spotlight on local comic shops!
10:35  - 11:10  Back to Back Issues - Room 18
Join us as we explore an old category that is gaining massive new momentum in many comic shops.  How should retailers sell their back issues?   How much back issue business is your store doing online versus in the store?   Are you slabbing your books?   How does the exponential growth in number of titles affect your back issue strategy?   Join ComicsPRO to discuss these issues.
11:10 - 11:45  Categorically Expanding - Room 18
Looking beyond comics and graphic novels, there's potential gold in other merchandise categories. ComicsPRO has discount agreements set up with many companies such as Ata-Boy, BCW, USAopoly, ICUP, Monogram, Asgard Press, and Poster Emporium.   Come learn about these member benefits and let's discuss how to diversify your sales. 
2:30 - 4:00 Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award Video Parade - Room 18 
Open to all convention attendees
The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award is the industry's "Hall of Fame" for progressive retailers. Spirit Award facilitator and award recipient Joe Ferrara (Atlantis Fantasyworld, CA) presents the videos for this year's award finalists, with discussion about each nominated retailer, the store's display techniques, and other unique features every attending retailer can learn from. Hey, retailers! Come here to steal some great ideas!
4:00 - 5:00 So You Want to Be a Comics Retailer? (open to the public) - Room 28DE
Open to all convention attendees
The comics business is growing and that means a growing demand for more comic books.  You've got questions and these veteran retailers have the answers!  ComicsPRO director and panel host Joe Field (Flying Colors Comics, Concord CA) is joined by retailer Christina Blanch (Aw Yeah Comics, Muncie IN), retailer Ryan Haggerty (Ryan's Comics, Murrieta CA), retailer Peter Birkemoe (The Beguiling, Toronto, Canada), retailer Terry Stevens (Star Port, Lynchburg, VA), and Diamond Comic Distributors VP Chris Powell.
Saturday July 11, 2015 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Room 28DE
Open to all convention attendees 
The Seven Comic Shop Archetypes: Who Will Triumph, Thrive, and Survive
In the ever-changing landscape of retail and pop culture, how do the best comic retailers connect with the community and interact with fans? This panel explores the wild world of comic shops, provides analytical (and nostalgic) insights, explores the ever-changing consumer demographic, and asks panelists to forecast the future. They include Joe Field (founder, Free Comic Book Day), Atom! Freeman (Valiant Entertainment), Christina Blanch (Aw Yeah Comics, Ball State), and Glynnes Pruett (Comic Book Hideout). Moderated by Ed Catto (Bonfire Agency).