Free Comic Book Day in Florida is quite different from my experiences in Chicago. There are no decent stores in St. Petersburg, FL where I live so I traveled to north Tampa to Heroes Haven for my first stop on my FCBD tour.
At 9:45 in the morning there were about 400 people lined up to get into Heroes Haven at 10am. I was all the way at the back of the line. The wait was worth it as the store had a packed lineup of creators, well-known and up and coming, like Marvel Comics’ Mike Perkins and freelancer Jamie Jones.
My goal was to check out as many stores as possible Saturday but after meeting Heroes Haven’s marketing director Ivan, I end up talking about the industry and spent most of my day there. Around 2:30pm I took a 30-minute drive to Coliseum of Comics in New Tampa. They have several locations in Central Florida and this was their grand opening. Not going to lie, it was rather boring. There were three people in costume hiding in the back of the shop. After that I hopped in the car for 60-minute drive to New Port Richey’s Yancy Street Comics. They also had a huge lineup of creators headlined by Greg Land. This store was inside a mall which gave it a sterile feel. At Yancy I did run into a Chicago guy and a great artist in Angel Medina. He’s worked on Spider-Man and Spawn, his style is very Todd McFarlane.
Through all my travels it was a good day, saw some friends, met some new creators and got some free comic books.