Major Spoilers’ very own Brian had the opportunity to talk to artist Khoi Pham about his experience at this year’s Free Comic Book Day event held at the Comics and More store, and also had a chance to speak with the store’s general manager about the titles that were available this year and his thoughts on what many fans consider to be a “holiday.”
The First Part: Khoi Pham
Inbetween autographs and sketches, Khoi had a quick second to talk to me about Free Comic Book Day. After the interview, I got an Ironman sketch from him.
Brian: Today’s Free Comic Book Day. You’re signing at Comics and More in Plymouth Meeting Mall. So what do you think of the day?
Khoi Pham: It’s been fun. It’s the second year in a row. Last year was a lot of fun so, definitely, I was coming back for this year. A lot of great people. I’m glad it’s on a weekend this time so there’s been a lot of people. I’ve been doing free sketches and watching the free comic books go. Generally having a good time and seeing familiar faces. That’s the best part about it; seeing the same people coming back.
Brian: Now, you’re doing sketches and signing copies of what?
Khoi Pham: Whatever they give me to sign. But it’s been a bunch of Mighty Avengers stuff.
Brian: Are you getting one sketch requested more so than another?
Khoi Pham: People are liking Thor everywhere I go, which I don’t do, so I guess that’s a sign telling me to do Thor.
The Second Part: Raymond Bistline
I was also able to talk with Raymond Bistline, the general manager for Comics and More in King of Prussia and Plymouth Meeting Mall about how the day was going.
Brian: So today’s Free Comic Book Day, how’s it turning out for you?
Ray: Today has been absolutely wonderful. We’ve had a lot of great support from talent and people coming in making this a great event. The community really came out for this. We’re very, very pleased.
Brian: So what kind of talent have you had into the store today?
Ray: We’ve had some cosplayers in. We’ve had a very wonderful Black Canary. And we’ve had the PA Jedi do a great job coming in with their costumes and their light sabers. We wanted them to duel today but there wasn’t enough space and the mall wouldn’t allow it. But we did well with what we had. The kids loved it. The fans loved it. The grown ups loved it. It’s been a very good day. We’ve been very fortunate.
Brian: What do you think of the comics this year?
Ray: The amount and quality of books this year went above and beyond. And the fact that they released Ironman a week after Free Comic Book Day helped a lot more this year. You could tell, every time a screening of a superhero movie would start [because] it would become a ghost town. I think with the combination of the people who helped us out, the quality and amount of books really helped to make this an amazing Free Comic Book Day.
Brian: Of the free comic books, have you read any of them yet and if so, do you have a favorite issue?
Ray: I actually have not had a chance to read any of them. I’m really looking forward to reading the Ironman/Thor and I want to check out the War of the Supermen. I think that’s very exciting. Fraggle Rock! I mean, does it get any better? Mouse Guard is amazing. I’m putting on my twelve year old geek hat here for a second… the G.I.Joe book #156?! I mean does it get any better? It’s been a very good crop of comics this year. A lot of good books for younger readers this year. Much more than before. It’ll allow the children to get into this more than they have in the past.
Brian: Do you have any plans for next year?
Ray: Next year we’ll be asking Khoi Pham back. We’ll be asking Black Canary and the PA Jedi back. The gentleman with the balloon animals, Josh, will be back. We’ll probably have the magician back next year. He couldn’t make it this year.
Brian: Is there a way people can reach you?
Ray: You can friend us on Facebook.com by searching “Comics and More Plymouth Meeting Mall” or you can follow us on www.twitter.com/comicsandmorepm or you can email us at email@example.com.
Our thanks to Comics and More, Khoi Pham and The Philadelphia Jedi for an amazing show this year! Be sure to visit their official websites!