Free Comic Book Day at Fantom Comics

Fantom Comics in Dupont Circle, Washington D.C.
Fantom Comics in Dupont Circle, Washington D.C.

It was a great day for Free Comic Book Day in Washington, D.C. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with temperatures hovering in the mid 70s. I began the day with a stop at one of my favorite brunch locations, Bob and Edith’s, with my girlfriend. After enjoying a country-fried steak and two eggs over-hard, we made the trek into the city to my not-so-local comic book store, Fantom Comics

As my girlfriend and I were about a block away, we could already see quite a bit of activity outside the store. There were a number of cosplayers decked to the nines as Harley Quinn, Squirrel Girl, Black Widow, and Maria Hill. Fantom also had a table set up with a bunch of their back issues and trades. They had a fantastic deal going where their trades were one dollar each. The table was so crowded with fellow comic enthusiasts it was nearly impossible to get close to see what the selection was.
If all of this excitement was happening outside the store, I couldn’t wait to see what was going on inside! I was not disappointed. Selina Cupell and Rob Reeve, the creators behind Blackout, a new neo-noir webcomic they have in the works, were offering their talents drawing any and all characters that were requested of them. There were also two costume contests, one for the kids and one for the adults. There were quite a few people dressed up from Batman to a Deadpool Robin combo.

After all of this excitement, I finally arrived at the free comic book display. Fantom laid out an entire table chock full of all of the free comics. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived they had already run out of some of my top picks including Lady Justice, Secret Wars #0, Dark Circle Comics #1, and the 2000 AD Special. However, I was able to pick up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergence, Valiant’s 25th Anniversary Special, and Mark Waid’s Avengers #1.

Outside of the free comics and the $1 trades, they also had a buy one get the second one half off for all of their trades and graphic novels. The shelves were picked pretty clean. I only saw two Frank Miller books, Daredevil Volumes 1 and 2. And for good reason, the store was packed full of people. I have never seen so many people inside on any of my Wednesday trips.
With so many people in the store, you would think customer service might be lacking. This was not the case at all. Fantom definitely had some foresight; could they have possibly gotten help from Ruth Aldine also known as Blindfold? There were staff and volunteers throughout the entire store. They were all extremely friendly, providing assistance and answering any questions you had.

Fantom is limited with their one register, so if you did pick up any of the trades, graphic novels, or back issues there was a decent-sized line to get through. This didn’t phase me one bit and was actually quite enjoyable as I was able to take in the entire spectacle of Free Comic Book Day and I got the opportunity to talk with other customers about what they were reading.

I want to thank Fantom Comics for making my first experience participating in Free Comic Book Day such a pleasurable one. I look forward to many more!

Well, that’s how my experience went with Free Comic Book Day. Tell us about yours in the comments below. Did your local store have one of your favorite writers or artists stop by? Did you get the free books you wanted?

All photos taken by Kate Todd Photography. You can follow her on twitter @KateToddPhoto and on instagram @KateToddPhoto

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