Clearly, I've been spoiled by so many years of having the awesome Ralph's Comic Corner as my local comics shop. Here's how Free Comic Book Day works at Ralph's: you walk in and Mike gives you three big bags full of every single free comic available. No muss, no fuss.
Here's how it works at Austin Books, which has a reputation as one of the best comics shops in the country, let alone just Austin: you walk in and see piles of comics spread out all over the front desk. So you have to pick them out yourself. And when you do, an employee snottily informs you that you can only take ten. And when you leave, you get stopped by a couple of other employees stationed by the door who fastidiously count the books you've chosen, to make sure you weren't planning on stealing an 11th "free" comic!
Ten! Out of forty available titles. And many of the titles (as listed in this article) weren't available at all, such as the three Neotopia graphic novels which I was especially interested in checking out.
So I went to Dragon's Lair, another comics shop near my house. And I found just a handful of free comics available, less than ten titles in all, randomly scattered over several tables. I was there before 11 AM, less than an hour after the store had opened, and already they were nearly out of everything. At least the employees there didn't treat me like a thief.
I never realized how well Ralph's was taking care of their customers, what with, you know, planning ahead and everything. Making sure they ordered more than enough comics to cover the crowds that would be checking out the event, and making sure they had every title being offered. Plus there was crazy old man Mike to entertain you with stories of the good ol' days.
Anyhoo. I wound up with exactly thirteen comics, which is such a small sampling it hardly seems worth going to the trouble of reviewing them here. (But I probably still will.) At least I know most of the ones I picked will be worthwhile, thanks to this rundown from Dorian.
Oh, and Iron Man was sold out at the Alamo last night. This is turning into a real sucky comics-themed weekend!