Spider-Man Kiernan and his sister JocelynOK, I love my job. How can you not like working at a place where you get to spend your Saturday visiting comic book shops? I mean, does it really get any better than that? Well, I guess it might if they bought my comics for me, but that is a post for another day.

I started off my day waiting in line at Starbucks. I needed my caffeine if I was gonna spend the day driving between comic shops. One Venti White Chocolate Mocha later I was caffeinated and ready for that long trek across the street. My first stop was the brand new Phoenix Comics and Toys location in Lansdowne, Virginia. I was there just after they opened at 10 a.m. and was very happy to see a crowd in the store already. The minute you walked in the door there were tables on either side packed with free comics. I saw everything from the Archie line and several all-ages books on one table to Wolfman #1 (Image) and the less kid-friendly titles on the other table. Don't worry, the employees were there to make sure that the younger shoppers didn't take home any books that would not be appropriate. As you picked up your comics they made sure to let you know to go register for various prizes at a table near the back of the store. (Great way to get people all the way into the store guys.) The traffic in the store was steady while I was there and there was a constant influx of new faces every few minutes.

I could have stayed at Phoenix and taken pictures there all afternoon but I had to leave after about 45 minutes to get to my next stop on time. Leaving early made me miss Darth Vader and a legion of Stormtroopers that were supposed to visit around lunch.

My second stop was Big Planet Comics of Georgetown across the river in DC. Georgetown is famous for a lack of parking, so I decided to take Metrorail. This gave me some time to read a few of the comics I had picked up earlier. I had no clue how to get to this store, so the night before I had printed out the driving directions. I got a couple odd looks from people for walking along following directions with a big Mapquest logo on the top of the page. After a few minutes of walking I found the store (and there was plenty of parking right in front ::sigh::) The first thing I noticed when entering the store were stacks of only a few titles. I guess I looked a little confused as the guy at the register was quick to point out that there were lots more books a little further back. Again the store was pleasantly crowded. I was happy to hear one woman asking what types of books would be good for her to read. After a few questions on what her likes and dislikes were, Fables was the suggested title. It was good to see that even though the store was pretty busy they were taking the time to find a good match for people that were in the store for the first time.

The only real disappointment of the day was something that was completely out of my hands. I had worked my schedule around to be at Big Planet at a specific time so that I could get some pics of a tv crew covering FCBD. Our local Fox affiliate was supposed to be there around 12:30 and I thought that pics of this would be great for the blog. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that they showed up 2 hours early. If I had known, I could have been at Big Planet to get a few pictures of the film crew, then head to Phoenix to see Vader. Oh well. It happens. I am still annoyed at Fox, but will get over it until they cancel another show I like.

Even with the Fox snafu I had a great time yesterday and with any luck I will still be doing this next year and get to spend another Saturday visiting comic shops. Hopefully you were able to visit your local store and pick up a few titles. With all the titles out there this year there was almost certainly something for everyone. If you made it out, what was your favorite title? (I am torn between The Astounding Wolfman #1(Image) and The Unseen Peanuts. (Fantagraphics))

Click the images below for more pictures from my Free Comic Book Day adventure.


More From ComicsAlliance