Tuesday, 15 May 2018
Free Comic Book Day
The First Saturday of May was, traditionally, Free Comic Book Day.
For the past couple of years, Bert and I have been going to Mekanik Strip in Antwerp for it, where they always make a super fun event out of it.
This year was no different.
I have to say that Free Comic Book Day is getting bigger every year.
Even our local geek shop got a small box of free comics to hand out on Saturday the 5th. They're still handing it out mind, because contrary to the big(ger) cities, FCBD hasn't really seeped through to small towns like the one I live in. But it's super cool Shop for Geek got a box! They do sell some trades, so it does make sense.
Anyway, back to Mekanik.
A few years ago, we got there when the shop opened, and there were only a handful of other people waiting along with us.
The next year, we got there a little later, and didn't have to queue long at all either. This year, we got there less than an hour after opening time, and it was madness.
But not in an annoying way, because as always, the party was on, and bigger and better than years before. And it was always excellent so 'nuff said.
We would have been there 20 minutes sooner, BUT the NMBS once again decided that being on time was not something they were going to go for. Because the weather was nice, they had also put all their big trains on the coastal routes, so the train we were on (going and returning) was far too small for the amount of people traveling on it.
It also didn't help that they HELD the passenger train, purposely causing the delay in the first place, to give priority passage to a freight train! Which I think is disgusting. We pay a lot for train tickets as is, and to then let the freight trains go first and make us late is simply NOT on.
But you know, it's a government company, and the government keeps protecting them, so they get away with this crap.
Won't stop me from calling them out on it on my blog and social media though!
The weather was lovely (huzzah) so they had set up the free comics outside on the shop terras, where there were some comfy seats in the sunshine, a small café set up by The Geeky Cauldron, who are opening a geek café this summer (same area as Mekanik is in, the St-Jacobsmarkt) and free ice cream by Scoop. They had three flavours (Strawberry, Cookie Monster and Cotton Candy) and delcious ice cream on a hot day is insta win! I got strawberry, as did Bert, and Lora was braver than the lot of us and went for Cotton Candy). Normally I don't like ice cream horns, but this one was really good! So total win all around.
Last year, Lora and I discovered that the green screen photographer had a Mystery shack background (from Gravity Falls), AFTER the event when the photos were online. We had vowed we would not miss out on Mystery Shack this year, and so we didn't. The actual photo isn't available yet, but I took this one so you get the idea.
There was also free candy, and free bottles of water (which was excellent thinking with the weather being that warm).
And the first x-amount (I forgot how many exactly) that bought something, also got some extra things in their bags: a lollipop (I gave mine to my dad, who loves this sort of thing), a notebook and pen, a bookmark. Very awesome! I got these things because I was also picking up some issues of Moon-Girl and Devil Dinosaur as well as the final issue with Jane Foster as Thor and X-Men Red #1. I'm not going to go into any of these, because you know: spoilers (what I've said is what's been communicated by Marvel before, so no spoilers there).
Aside from this they had a DJ
and cosplayers liven up things even more.
We ran into Maarten, who was mixing up his Star-Lord cosplay with Revenge of the Fifth.
Three times a day they did the geek quiz, which I didn't participate in because I kinda missed out due to me not being near the start when you know, it started. Shopkeep Jens did properly communicate the times, it was my own fault entirely!
I feel that Mekanik really went all out and spared no costs for the event this year, and it really showed because FCBD has never been this epic before!
Mekanik sure has set the bar very high for next year's edition. Which collides with May the Fouth, so I am no secretly at all hoping it'll be Star Wars themed :D.
After comics (we were allowed to pick 5 this year!) we went to Kaiseki for all you can eat Japanese food goodness.
We braved Primark (together with Lora's friend Alyssa, apologies if I've misspelled your name!!!!!) and a couple of other shops. I only got a €2 headphone splitter for Bert and I to use when we're on train journeys. I spent the grand total of €3 at Flying Tiger Copenhagen on a pair of rainbow socks and a sheet full of cute stickers. So I didn't do much shopping at all.
Finally we picked up Bert's Tamron lens at Grobet, which is hopefully repaired. Bert and I still feel Tamron is totally ripping us off, but we have no proof so yeah. NEVER EVER are we buying another Tamron product ever again.
We ARE totally shopping at Grobet again mind, the staff there is AWESOME. No bad word about Grobet. The bad words are all for Tamron.
It was 5.30PM when we got back in town, and as we had half an hour before shops closed, we went to pick up a free comic at Shop for Geek as well.
All my FCBD photos are here.
Incuding the ones from the past years!
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