Friday, December 22, 2023 Interview/Feature: 50 years of Comics' "Direct Market"

During the course of the last year,, the comics business-oriented site, has published a series of articles about the history and the players in comics' Direct Market.

Former DC Publisher Paul Levitz filed his thoughts about The Direct Market HERE!

One of my comics retailing mentors and dearly departed friends, the Big Kahuna, Bill Liebowitz of Los Angeles' Golden Apple shops was featured HERE! 

And now, it's my turn. Read the feature/interview HERE!

Honestly, when compared to so many others who helped lay the groundwork for this little industry, the comics specialty retail market, I feel humbled and grateful just to be mentioned.

It's been a good ride... my hope is that with the help of our FlyCo Faithful and our stalwart Flying Colors Retailing Brigade, we'll be taking Flying Colors into new and exciting directions.

There's a TON to do, a lot to investigate and ponder, and even with that, things are still a bit murky and no decisions have been made.

The continued support of FlyCo Faithful will help guide our decisions, so we hope you'll all hang in there with us!


Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Flying Colors Gift Guide!

In case you need some ideas for cool gifts for your friends and FlyCo Faithful, we suggest these!






Look at these NEW Classic Cover Metal Signs!



Check out these awesome TIN TITANS Lunch Boxes!

Always a favorite of comics fans and pint glass collectors!

Flying Colors has a deep selection of Graphic Novels for readers of All Ages!
Here's the brand new CAT KID graphic novel from best-selling cartoonist DAV PILKEY!

And of course, a Flying Colors Gift Card is the easy and awesome gift for anyone!

Follow Flying Colors on Social Media:

Twitter: @FlyCoJoe
Instagram: @FlyCoJoe

...and show your love of Concord with this exclusive Flying Colors bumper sticker:

Monday, November 20, 2023

The Awesome Return of SHOP CONCORD!

Great news!

SHOP CONCORD giftcards are back!

For a limited time, when you buy a $100 SHOP CONCORD giftcard, you’ll earn a FREE $50 bonus giftcard!

This is a fantastic way to support locally owned Concord shops, restaurants and services. We sure hope you'll take advantage of this deal and spend your giftcards at Flying Colors Comics!

Bonus giftcards are available for a limited time, so Get your SHOP CONCORD giftcards at this link NOW!

Monday, October 09, 2023

The Family Business

It’s a family business.

Over the course of these last 37 years— including the two years before Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff officially opened in October 1988— the entire Field family has been involved and integral to the success and longevity of our shop… of our built from the ground up comics community.

In the years before the shop opened, the five members of my family would pack into the station wagon, drive from shop to shop to strategize the comic book shop we wanted to build-- "the one comic shop for the whole family."

At the time we opened, our three daughters Michelle, Jenny and Cindy were between four and eight years old. Their insights into what they liked and didn't like about other shops--- comic shops, sure, but other retail shops, as well--- were invaluable.

So here we are, all those years later, and all three of our daughters were present in some way for our 35th anniversary event.
Jenny, even while dealing with some serious health issues, gave her sweet presence to shop visitors on Saturday for more than four hours. Michelle visited the shop later in the day and her presence always melts me! Cindy was present in the music she makes as the ambient artist known as "marine eyes." We sold some of the new extended CD version of her "idyll" album (available now on Stereoscenic Records).

And then there's our frankly fabulous FlyCo Retailing Brigade! The day was filled with good vibes from current staff Dylan, Everardo and Zach (long-time staffer Mike was unavailable)... and it was very sweet to get visits from past FlyCo Brigadeers, too!

None of this would have worked without the love of my life, Libby! Who's the blessed dude? Yup, that's me!

The future of Flying Colors is honestly a bit murky these days. We have an expiring lease in early 2025. The comics biz is in a pretty rocky phase right now [Edited to add: So is the general economy] so the downturn in business adds another big question mark for the future.

Still, we're here NOW and ready for you to experience the nostalgia of missing us even before we might be gone or before we morph into something else/new/??

Whether you're a friend mine, a friend of the family, a fan of Flying Colors, a regular patron here, or just an interested observer of what we do, and what we bring to our local market, I'd like to encourage you to think about doing what you can to support your favorite local shops. What you do for your local shops, you do to make your communities much more flavorful than the big box boring corporate stuff that's everywhere and online.

Thanks for being along for the ride. We hope to provide many more good memories for everyone before whatever happens actually happens (or doesn't). How's that for vague!?!

Peace 'n' Comics,

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

35th Anniversary: Thoughts on a Murky Future

A note to close out October 3, the actual 35th anniversary date for the opening of Flying Colors Comics.

We would love to have you join us for our 35th Anniversary event this Saturday October 7. 
We’ll have some FREE stuff, some tasty Hulk Smash Brownies, a commemorative exclusive art print and signing with cool cartoonist Jeff Bonivert, and more! Signing at 11AM, brownies at Noon… Cool stuff all day!
More details HERE!
We need to celebrate these milestone anniversaries to reflect on all the gratitude we have for all those helping to keep us in business since 1988. 
Honestly, and maybe a bit sadly, there aren’t likely any more milestone anniversaries for this shop… in this location. So this photo of the shop at night is maybe a little reflective of the state of things as they are currently. 
Enough of that for now, though!
Please come help us celebrate these last 35 years of bringing the best in Comics & Other Cool Stuff to Contra Costa County. 
Help us celebrate this humble spot on the worldwide pop culture map. Let’s have some fun! 
“Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know
what you've got
'til it's gone
They paved paradise,
put up a parking lot…”
--- Lyrics by Joni Mitchell

Monday, October 02, 2023

Flying Colors 35th Anniversary party!

Saturday October 7 11AM-7PM
Libby's nearly world-famous HULK SMASH Brownies will be served at Noon!
More surprises!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Artist TRADD MOORE Signing 9/28

We hope you can join is for singing event as we welcome artist TRADD MOORE to Flying Colors, Thursday September 28 from 4PM-6PM.

Tradd is the artist of the fan favorite neo-psychedelic series, DOCTOR STRANGE: FALL SUNRISE and SILVER SURFER BLACK!


Monday, August 21, 2023

Sat Sept 9: Meet Poison Ivy Cover Artist JESSICA FONG

When: Sat Sept 9 at Noon Where: Flying Colors Comics Who: DC Comics Cover Artist JESSICA FONG!

Jessica will be signing her work, including POISON IVY #14 which will be released September 5.

Fans are really in awe of her striking and beautiful POISON IVY covers. Jessica will have some prints and art for sale, too


Saturday, July 29, 2023

Fantasy Novels by Joe Field? Yup!

These two novels are written by Joe Field.

But not me.
My nephew Joe Field.

Proud uncle here and I'll take tiny credit because I was his comics sherpa years ago.

These two fantasy novels, "Watchers of the Evenfall" and its sequel "Betrayal of the Evenfall" are infused with the work my nephew Joe Field has read and loved, including Marvel silver age, CS Lewis and Tolkien.

Available now at Flying Colors Comics.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Free Comic Book Day at the United States Capitol?

As reported by PopVerse Deputy Editor Tiffany Babb:

Congressman Robert Garcia announced at Comic-Con, "We're going to host the first Free Comic Book Day at the Capitol."... The day wouldn't just be about getting comics to kids but also into the hands of policy makers. "I think policy makers have a lot to learn from comics," the congressman said, adding wryly, "especially some of my colleagues." 

Read the full PopVerse report here!

Maybe Congressman Garcia is not yet fully aware of the reach of Free Comic Book Day. Yes, there are shops in the Washington DC area participating in the event every year. More than that, FCBD is an international event with participating shops in dozens of countries.

I want Congressman Garcia to know I stand at the ready to help him give Free Comic Book Day a bigger spotlight. I look forward to hearing from him!



Monday, July 03, 2023

Closed July 4th

Flying Colors will be CLOSED Tuesday July 4th for the holiday.

We'll be back in action with New Releases Day on Wednesday July 5.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Special Event! Save the date!

Every Wednesday is New Releases Day at Flying Colors.

New Releases Day on Wednesday July 12, will be even more special!

Our event on July 12 will now begin at 3PM.

Make your plans to be here.
We'll give you the cool details very soon!

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

RIP, John Romita (1930-2023)

He was a great artist, but more than that, he was a great man!
John Romita has passed away at the age of 93.

He was the definitive Spider-Man artist (with all due respect to Spidey's co-creator, Steve Ditko). When I got into comics at the age of 11 in 1967, Stan Lee and John Romita's Amazing Spider-Man issue 51 (photo here) was one of my two entry points, given to me by my life-long pal, Steve Holmes.

The other photos here are from a Spider-Man 30th Anniversary event we did at Flying Colors back in 1992. John and his wife Virginia visited the shop for a signing and it was one of my favorite events in our now 35 year history.

John had a knack for making anyone feel so much better for having met him.
I'm happy to have known him if only a little bit. I was honored by the art gifts he gave me.

More than anything, the truly good people we meet along this road of life leave indelible impressions and make us better people than we were before knowing them. 

That's one heck of a legacy for John Romita... a great artist and a great man!

(Colorizing of photos supplied by my friend Bill Bishofberger)


Saturday, June 10, 2023

Hit the links!

Later this year, Flying Colors will hit our 35th anniversary of Slinging Comics to Concord, Contra Costa County and the Cosmos!

It's a pretty rich history (if we're allowed to humble-brag for a moment)... and parts of that history are all over the wacky and wondrous World Wide Web.

So we'd like to share some links with you, invite you to do a deeper dive into the history of this humble little comic shop... and I hope you'll see some things you'll really enjoy!

Hit the links below, heroes!

For those viewing this blog on a desktop, there's a menu on the left side of the screen. Each of those categories will illuminate a bit more of Flying Colors Comics.

1) Maybe start with a few selections from my original art collection.

2) Here's a link to some of our classic TV ads from 2003-2007!

3) Free Comic Book Day photos from 2006 (and more from other years at the "FCBD" tab.

4) More than 100 videos, including interviews with Stan Lee, Liam Sharp, Jim Lee,  Neal Adams and lots more... at the Flying Colors YouTube page. Please subscribe!

Love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles... or do you just want very cool and sweet story with TMNT related characters?  You need to read Jeff Bonivert's "Muscle & Faith"published right here on

Thanks for taking a look around our site!
(Yes, we know there are some broken links. We hope to get around to updating things.)

Saturday, May 20, 2023

New Exclusive Flying Colors Mount Diablo T-Shirt!

NEW! Flying Colors "In the Shadow of Mount Diablo" t-shirts!
Youth (Medium) $12.99 Adult S-XL $14.99, XXL & XXXL $19.99
Variety of colors!
Available NOW!

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

FCBD Prize Winners!

More than 50 fans who attended our Free Comic Book Day celebration have won

Ranging in age from under 10 to over 70, and from all over Contra Costa County
--- Antioch, Bay Point, Brentwood, Clayton, Concord, Crockett, Hercules, Lafayette, Martinez, Moraga, Oakley, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Vacaville, and Walnut Creek!

Visit Flying Colors soon to find out if you are one of the lucky winners! Prizes will be available until June 30, so please come in soon!

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Free Comic Book Day Guest Announcement!

We're happy to announce our Flying Colors Free Comic Book Day SPECIAL GUEST is cartoonist SARAH LEUVER!

Sarah will sign from 11AM-2PM on FCBD, Saturday May 6 at Flying Colors.

Pick up our exclusive Flying Colors FCBD 2023 Sketch Edition
w/ wraparound cover by Sarah!

Copies are limited so get here early!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Jeff Smith Event at Flying Colors 4/29

We're thrilled to be hosting award-winning cartoonist/ graphic novelist JEFF SMITH on a stop on his Route 66 “Dawn of Man” 2023 Tour!

Join us Saturday April 29 at Noon!

Jeff will begin the event with a short presentation about his fantastic work on BONE, TUKI and RASL!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Sat April 15 Special Event! SHARPY-Con!

You are invited to join us for a very special event at Flying Colors.

Sat April 15 at Noon is SHARPY-Con, our final signing event with artist LIAM SHARP before he moves back to England.

Liam is the fantastic artist/writer/visionary of the Image Comics series StarHenge! He is also the current artist for Valiant Comics X-O Manowar. Over the last several years, Liam has added his dynamic visuals to several DC Comics series, including Wonder Woman, Batman/Catwoman, Green Lantern, and Brave & the Bold. 

Also joining us, making a special trip down from Portland, is artist MATT HARDING!

This week sees the debut of Matt's art in the Scout Comics' title "All The Devils Are Here!" 

"An elderly dementia patient becomes possessed by a powerful demon. In order to save him, an unconventional and mysterious exorcist, JC Garcia, must venture into his mind. Once inside, he finds far more than he bargained for! All the Devils are Here reinvents the exorcism story with a unique, emotional tale about the power of love, loss, and memory."

Who know what other surprises may be happening at Sharpy-Con?!

Be here for the fun!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Stockton California Seeks a Fantastic Place in Marvel Cinematic Universe!

Have you heard?
The City of Stockton California is petitioning Marvel Studios to follow the lead of Marvel Comics by getting Stockton into the forthcoming Fantastic Four movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The original campaign I started in October 1985 was something done to promote Stockton and give some fun publicity to to KJOY, the radio station where I worked at the time, and to promote comics, notably Marvel Comics for their 25th anniversary and Al's Comics in Stockton.

The first thing I did was ask Al at Al's Comics to put up a poster I did (pretty low-fi in those days, all hand-lettered) and take names on a petition. After getting 374 signatures on the petition, I went in front of the Stockton City Council and asked them to get behind the campaign. When they approved the resolution, the media picked up on the story in big ways. Read about it HERE!

So here we are, 37 years later (I checked: it's been 13,544 days since Stan Lee stood on the steps of Stockton's City Hall to deliver the Marvel Comics proclamation), and the City of Stockton, though its convention and visitors' bureau ---"VISIT STOCKTON"--- is once again asking Marvel to recognize the city... this time in the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There's a new MCU Fantastic Four movie in the planning stages and it would be great if Stockton received recognition in the movie. Maybe shoot a scene or two in Stockton... or at the very least, mention Stockton by the name bestowed by Marvel Comics and Stan Lee all those years ago--- "The Official Birthplace of the Fantastic Four!"

I hope you'll join me in signing the petition at

Way back in 19985, when Stan Lee was asked if Marvel could make the change in the company's comics, Stan said something like "It's Marvel's business to save universes on a daily basis. This is the least we can do for good ol' Stockton!"

To see video from way back when, click the links below:

1) Stockton City Council meeting, December 1985.
City Council adopts resolution asking Marvel Comics to name Stockton as the "Official Birthplace of the Fantastic Four."

2) "Stockton Live" cable access show, shot at Al's Comics on February 27, 1986. Featuring interviews with Al "Mike" Greco of Al's Comics and Joe Field (then of KJOY 1280 AM Radio). This was shot during Stan Lee's signing at Al's Comics after the City Hall ceremony when Stan Lee presented the Marvel proclamation declaring Stockton as the Birthplace of the Fantastic Four.

 3) KCRA-TV Ch3 report from Rich Ibarra, December 1985.

From the Stockton Record, February 1986









Thursday, March 16, 2023

Stockton Featured in new Fantastic Four Movie? You can help make it happen!


Feature Stockton, California - Birthplace of The Fantastic Four - in the MCU's Upcoming Film

Amy Alpers

Conversation opened. 1 unread message.
STOCKTON, CA (3/16/2023) – Stockton is petitioning Marvel Studios to feature Stockton, California, the birthplace of the Fantastic Four, in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Fantastic Four film.





Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Jeff Smith Event at Flying Colors!


Flying Colors will host Jeff Smith's "Dawn of Man" national tour Saturday April 29!

Jeff will be giving a presentation and signing his great work, including BONE,  RASL and TUKI.

Stay tuned for more details!

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Flying Colors Best Selling Graphic Novels of 2022

Presenting the 2022 Best-Selling Graphic Novels at Flying Colors Comics


Notes & Trivia:

* Click on the Best Sellers' graphic to enlarge the image and make it easier to read.

* 19 of the top 26 best-sellers are from our "All Ages" section! That's a testament to how much younger readers love comics and get excited to read more by reading graphic novels. Know a reluctant reader... of any age? Introduce them to comics!

* New and more publishers are jumping into the graphic novel business every month.  Flying Colors sold at least one graphic novel in 2022 from 174 unique publishers!

* While there are only 25 places on this top sellers list, there are 95 different titles due to titles selling the same amount.

* Flying Colors in 2022 sold at least one copy of 4250 different graphic novels. 1881 of those sold just one copy each.

* Sadly, we ordered 196 titles, totaling 463 graphic novels that did not sell even one copy. Such is the risk of running a small independent shop.

* While the vast majority of best-selling periodical comic books are from the long dominant superhero genre, when it comes to graphic novels, only about 1 in 4 are from that genre.

* To a degree, this list could have looked different. Over the last year, a number of strong selling graphic novels have gone in and out of print so their availability was sometimes tricky. We can't sell the books we don't have in stock, after all. That makes this list more representative of the books that were more consistently available for order.

* AN INVITATION! You can let us know what you'd buy from us by looking through our preorder catalogs in the shop. We do accept special requests and have good success filling them. Our goal is to get you just what you want.

What was your favorite graphic novel of 2022?
Is it on this list?

Join the discussion on the Flying Colors Facebook fan page, follow me on Twitter, or post a comment directly to this blog.

THANK YOU for your support, encouragement and thank you for buying your comics, graphic novels and other cool stuff from Flying Colors!

Here's to a fantastic 2023!

Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

2022 Best-Selling Comics Lists

The two lists here represent the best-selling single issue comic books at Flying Colors for the calendar year of 2022. (Click on the Best Sellers lists to enlarge them for easier reading)

The periodical comics market is filled with different ways to get consumers interested in buying comics. Above all, we hope the entertainment of reading comics is the driving force for most buyers. Some customers like having different covers to choose from, preferring one artist over another. They'll even follow favorite cover artists from title to title.  Others buy for "collectibility"--- a mostly elusive thing and definitely NOT recommended!

The first list counts ONLY the main cover for each comic book.
The second list COMBINES the sales of all variant editions for each issue... and that
significantly changes the list.

A few notes:
* BATMAN SPAWN wouldn't even make the top 72 based on sales of just the main cover.... but it vaults all the way to #1 when sales of all variant covers are included.

* Several different issues of 
BATMAN and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN make the list... and the sales of each of those vary from issue to issue. Why? Flying Colors is the first choice for many comic book buyers, but sometimes we're the 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice for less frequent shoppers (such as out of town visitors, other shops selling out faster than we do,etc).  The lack of consistency of sales from issue to issue of the same title increases our risk.

* The dominance of Marvel Comics and DC Comics on this list of best-selling comic books is clear. The large lead The Big Two have in the periodical category is due to familiar and popular characters that have been around as long as 85 years.

* There are lots of awesomely entertaining and engaging comics from publishers large and not so large, from well-known companies to more obscure small press.  We invite you to explore what we have in stock and try something new outside your usual comfort zone. New entertainment awaits!

* Notable best-selling comics NOT published by Marvel or DC include:
--- CHARLEY & HUMPHREY #1, the cool comic from 10Ton Press that's drenched in Bay Area kids-TV nostalgia
--- STARHENGE, the absolutely trippy series from amazing artist/writer and FlyCo Fave LIAM SHARP.
--- SAGA, Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' sci-fi epic from Image Comics.
All of these are in stock and highly recommended!

* Crazy Factoid: During 2022, Flying Colors sold at least one copy of 9790 different comic books. That big number includes variant editions of the same issue, plus some special single issue requests for items we didn't have for rack sales. So 2301 out of 9790 line items we sold just one copy each.

* Our challenge at Flying Colors is to find the right combination of what we stock, what we sell and what we have left over.  Our goal for 2023 is sell more, for sure, but to have less left unsold. For that, we need the help of every one of our FlyCo Faithful. If there are titles you know you want to get issue after issue, please add them to a reservation list at our shop. That way, you'll never miss what you want and you'll be helping us make more educated guesses when we place our orders.

THANK YOU to all those who shop here at Flying Colors. As we head into our 35th year in Concord, we know we couldn't be here without your kindness, your support and your regular visits to shop here!

Comments about these best-seller lists are welcome! You can add to the discussion with a comment here, or join the discussion on our Facebook page, follow me on Twitter or better yet, visit the shop and we can discuss it there.

Happy 2023, FlyCo Faithful!
--- Joe "FlyCoJoe" Field