Sunday, May 6, 2012

FCBD 2012: Store To Store - The Hunt for Free Comics!

FCBD at Kinokuniya
As most comic fans knew in advance about DC artists Nicola Scott and Ardian Syaf's store appearance at GnB Comics, visiting Rochor Centre early in the morning seemed to be the majority's FCBD strategy.

Red Dot Diva was actually torn between heading to Kinokuniya first and then down to GnB. But not knowing if one would be able to grab some time with Nicola and Ardian before their allotted signing sessions, became the primary decision-making factor. Also, she wasn't too keen to stay out the entire day for their later appearance at the Cathay.

(For Red Dot Diva's Nicola Scott experience at GnB - click here for the blog article!)

Most of the geeks also expected the larger book store, Kinokuniya to have been able to stock up more than ample stocks of comics. But unfortunately, when Red Dot Diva and a small group of comic fans were at the flagship Ngee Ann City store before 12pm, all the bundled packs for members (20 comics!! plus a box of Thor Heroclix) were GONE. :(

Major Disappoints.

They were told by the Kino folks that a fair number of people had lined up in front of the store for free comics before 10am, waiting for doors to open. The managers admitted that they were hoping for the recognizable bunch of comic geeks to turn up early for the free comics, and claimed they were not aware GnB was starting their events early this year. Perhaps, for next year, Red Dot Diva recommends that the organizers should get down to the ground level, and sniff out the competition when it comes to event-planning.

Nevertheless, the Kinokuniya folks were very generous and tried to make amends about the situation. There were still small packs of leftover comic books and they handed these out to the group. The feeling of disappointment was immediately soothed when Red Dot Diva saw what was in the bundle -- Archaia's hardcover FCBD offering with the MOUSEGUARD cover! AHHHH! This was *the* book she was hoping to snag! Beautiful-Awesomeness! XD

There was also just one box of Thor Heroclix left, which Kinokuniya kindly gave away to one of us. Melvin opened it up so that the group could take photos of it. Red Dot Diva thought it was definitely a much nicer figurine than last year's Green Lantern Heroclix, and hopes mini-Thor has now made friends with other Heroclix companions in Melvin's home.

The next store that Red Dot Diva, Ryan and Melvin decided to visit was Harris Planerds, a mere walking distance away. And wow, was the store buzzing like it has never buzzed before!

There was a crazy birthday sale (Harris Planerds just turned one year old!), with 60% off for more than 6 items purchased, and shoppers were snapping up the goods like a zombie apocalypse was coming. (Er yes, geek products on sale are way more important than food, personal hygiene items, weapons... ... )

Another happy boy with his free comics!

Being prepared as well as a geek store should, Harris Planerds still had comics to giveaway to walk-ins when Red Dot Diva was there after lunch.

Wendy and Rudy at Planerds

Local artists and Red Dot Diva's friends Wendy "Mashi" Chew and Rudy Ao were nicely settled outside Harris Planerds, casually chatting with fans and drawing sketches. They were quite visible from the escalator leading to and from the food court, so Red Dot Diva hoped that they managed to catch more interested eyeballs from 313 visitors that day. They do deserve a lot more local support!

Freebies at PI, Midpoint
Next stop, was board game store Paradigm Infinitum (PI) at Midpoint. Red Dot Diva has to admit that the gaming world is not something she is remotely familiar with. She did not even know the shop existed until last week.

PI has decided to participate in this year's FCBD as they were going to launch a graphic novel section soon. The free comics for grabs were not the FCBD releases but there was still a bunch of interesting titles like DC "Darkest Night", Marvel "Wolverine: Origins", "Witchblade", "Alien vs Predator", loads of Tomb Raider and Tom Strong issues amongst other lesser known ones.

By this time, Red Dot Diva's load of swag was already getting really heavy. But there was just one more stop before Red Dot Diva could call it a day.

And that was Invasion! Toys & Collectibles. After lugging the bags of free comics in a cramped MRT to City Hall, and then walking to Funan DigitaLife Mall, Red Dot Diva was sooooooooo relieved to be able to rest her biceps when she finally arrived at the shop.

Shawn Yap at Invasion!
And it was wonderful to see those smiling familiar faces already there, giving support to young local artist/ writer Shawn Yap. Geek pals Edward, Andre and Andy, Alwyn "Da Boss" and a couple more of the usual suspects, were all chilling out very comfortably.

Shawn also had a strong show of support from his own circle of friends. And at one point, Invasion! was hopping with several avid toy collectors and comic geeks. Poor Shawn's fingers were kept busy for most of the afternoon doing sketches for the crowd, but he seemed really happy doing it!

Shawn's sketch for Andre aka Million Dollar Smile!

His art prints were particularly popular - especially the adorable Avengers one and the gorgeous Asian-influenced version of X23. They were sold out by the time Red Dot Diva was there! If anyone wants to get more art prints from Shawn, you can pre-order by getting hold of him from his Facebook page or his official website.

Shawn also had a copy of his new book "Letters" on display at Invasion!. The book is based on his childhood and Red Dot Diva had a chance to flip through a few pages. It consisted of a series of cute lovely yet convincing drawings about a boy dealing with family, acceptance, innocent romance together with a pen-friend he has never met.

A page from Shawn Yap's "Letters"

At this point, Shawn is still not sure when the release date of "Letters" will be but he promised to give Red Dot Diva the details once they are available.

By the time Shawn was wrapping up his session at around 4.30pm, Red Dot Diva could almost hear her bones beginning to creak with weariness. It was indeed, time for her to head home with her heavy but FABULOUS load of free comics.

All in all, it was an exhausting but fun FCBD this year. The FCBD comic releases were better than last year's (thank you Edward for initiating me to the world of "Yo Gabba Gabba!"), and it was heartening to see more local shops getting into the comics buzz.

An absolutely wonderful day spent with creative art and friendship for Red Dot Diva!


How did your FCBD go?
Share your experiences on the FCBD Singapore FB page to keep the love for comics going strong!


  1. haha, i thought i was the only one to go to more than 1 place for the freebies. i missed out on Kino though 'cuz i didn't know they were participating, and it's a damn shame 'cuz i WANT that Mouse Guard HC! was it only for members or what?

    1. Kino's FCBD giveaway was indeed for members only. I think many people thought they would have enough stocks. I know of quite a few people who was disappointed to find out there was nothing left after lunch!