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CBR News Editor Kiel Phegley here, reporting after a megahyperbossanova Free Comic Book Day trip throughout Southeast Michigan. I’m going to put up a longer post later at The Cool Kids Table, but for now here’s a rundown of the killer shops I hit!
I started out at Ann Arbor’s Vault of Midnight, which REALLY did the day up right. They had staffers in costume handing out Bartman buttons, power rings and other fun items, and the line to get it stretched nearly around the block. What’s more, they had a ton of special promotions going with local businesses so you could get a discount on food or skateboards or whatever if you came in with your FCBD bag. Sick, right?!?
The Vault also had a fun photo setup outside the store.
As I’m told, the dudes at Nerd Life Productions will be Photoshopping this out to make it look like an old comic cover. Maybe when they do mine, they’ll crop out my weird cowlick.
One cool promo Vault hooked up was that a shop called Antelope Antiques (which is down the street in the location that Vault occupied five years ago) also had a FCBD promotion where they set out some old dollar books for free next to a few sick classic books that were in decent shape at a decent price, as you can see above. I call this my “half a shop stop.” Nice people all around. I hear Vault opened a second location in Grand Rapids this year. Hope they did well there too.
After that, I picked up my buddy Action Jackson, and we headed to Fun 4 All in Ypsilanti. I just recently met one of the managers, James Conniff, of this shop which I think has been around maybe 30 years in town, but has only been in its current location about ten months. It’s a nice spot, though, and they seem to have a huge graphic novel focus as well as a big tabletop gaming section.
For a bit more of an old school feel, I headed over to Ypsi’s Stadium Comics & Cards, which was the first classic “half baseball card, half comics shop” I’ve been to in YEARS. But they had a huge selection of FCBD offerings including some things from years past that I’d missed, and the owner was ridiculously nice.
I wrapped the day in Canton’s Comic City – one of a number of stores in this Metro Detroit chain. I’ve been to this shop a few times, and it’s always struck me as a nice example of a really modern comic shop. Good selection on books in general there, though by the time I arrived they were almost entirely out of FCBD books.
But overall, I came out like a bandit this year with a lot of free comics and a ton of other fun stuff I bought. Check out my full report later on The Cool Kids Table, huh?