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!