KCRA Free Comic Book Day 2014
When I was handed this assignment I absolutely couldn’t wait to get there. The subject was Free Comic Book Day — something that I had never heard of, but which I learned has been going on for eleven years.
Comic book publishers send out cases of slimmer comic books to introduce new superheroes or series or concepts, as well as special versions of standards like Superman and Batman, as a way of trying out the new material. Most importantly, they do this to try and attract new readers and to get people reading. Comic Books Vs. Illiteracy.
When I was a kid I loved comic books. When my mom or dad would take me with them to the drug store they’d give me a quarter and I’d disappear to the comic book stand. Comics in the ’60s were only 12 cents, so I could get two. I had stacks and stacks, almost all World War Two themed comics. I had no interest in superhero, sic-fi, westerns or funny comic books.
My dad was a WWII vet and I couldn’t get enough of his war stories, war movies and war comic books. I even still have a few, most of them written & drawn by the prolific Sam Glanzman.
As much as I loved comic books I must make a confession: I almost never read them. I loved the artwork. They were like movie storyboards.
I was curious when shooting this story and in asking the people there whether they actually read the books? To my great surprise, they did.
Free Comic Book Day was taking place in comic book stores all across Sacramento and all across the country. I chose to visit the Comics & Collectibles store near my home at Fruitridge & Freeport Blvds., where my grandson Sam haunts whenever he is visiting from Philadelphia.
Just as when I covered the Sac Anime Convention last year, where I discovered lots of very diverse people of all ages who came together for a common interest, I got the same sense of devotion here.
Super-wide shots like this were shot with my Canon 7D with a Tokina 11-16mm and incorporated with the Sony XDCAM footage, edited in Adobe Premiere.
The story was originally given to me to turn into a same-day natural sound package for the 6 o’clock news. But I found the people there so open and eager to talk about their passion for comic books, I knew that I wanted to expand it into a longer story for KCRA-3’s once-a-month magazine program Common Ground.
This is the expanded version for KCRA-3’s Common Ground: