Before Ash was diagnosed with fanboyitis, I thought FCBD stood for “Fat Chance Belly Dance.” I thought it was really odd when one day a few years ago he was talking about how he was so excited about FCBD. I was confused because I didn’t think he even knew what American Tribal Style belly dance was at the time, let alone why he was so interested in it. It turned out that FCBD refers to “Free Comic Book Day” for fanboys and their ilk.
Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May, and it is when comic book shops give away comics and other stuff in order to entice the geeks and nerds in the community to go to their stores instead of ordering their comics online. It’s a big social outing for fanboys as well because they get to interact with people in meat-space instead of just online in forums and on blogs.
Last year, Ash convinced me to go along with him so he could get twice as much stuff. Little did I know that I would have to sit on the sidewalk outside of a comic store for hours waiting for it to open. Most of the people in line were children, but at least the big family behind us was pretty well-behaved because the parents brought snacks and activities to keep the kids occupied while in line. Aside from sitting on cement for such a long period of time, the biggest annoyance was the group in line ahead of us. In the group, there was a chain-smoker who thought it was a good idea to keep smoking even though it was a crowded area mostly made up of children, including his own. He was also dressed head-to-toe in Punisher regalia. The smoker had annoying children who thought it was good idea to tear up the plants outside of the store and throw rocks. The other grownups in the group thought that the little vandals were hilarious. They also thought listening to all of the ringtones on their phones was hilarious as well. I know that it’s a stereotype that people who like comics are anti-social, but it was like those people had never been in public before FCBD! Unfortunately, they didn’t uphold the stereotype that comic fans are smart.
Right before the store opened for the festivities, a half-dressed Darth Vader pulled up in a minivan and hobbled into the store. That was slightly amusing, but it was also unnerving. I suppose he couldn’t drive with helmet on, but it did destroy some of the mystery of what Darth Vader looks like under the mask.
Once inside, the store was set up like a maze that required all of the fanboys and their hostages to snake through the store to encourage them to buy lots of extra merchandise. Ash actually had a list of what comics I needed to grab for him because the store limits how many people can take. Since Ash also got free comics from DCBS, the new ones in the store, plus mine, it left me with being able to pick out a comic of my very own. Since I had no idea what to take, I just grabbed the one with William Shatner on the cover. I thought if I was going to nerd-out I better go all the way!