Lancaster comic shop First Age Comics will be celebrating today – not just because it’s Free Comic Book Day, which helps boost visitors to the shop – but also the fact it’s the company’s Tenth Anniversary.
As you can imagine, dedicated owners Lucy and Mark Braithwaite, who operate the Moor Lane-based store and a thriving web-based comic retail business, are determined to make the most of the day, to thank existing customers and a big welcome to new ones. And as this is my local comic shop, I’m more than happy to wish them a very “Happy Birthday”!
Their all-day celebration – which starts at 10.00am and runs until 5.00pm – will give local comic fans plenty of time to check out two floors of comics, bag some freebies, grab some sweets, and if you haven’t already, think about a costume!
First Age Comics have been based in Moor Lane since 2014, and previously had a stall in Lancaster’s Assembly Rooms on King Street. Selling a range imported US comics, just like many other fantastic shops up and down the country both big and small, they also offer tie-in merchandise such as figures, Doctor Who gear, and actively promote local independent comic creators with dedicated self space for small press titles.
They’re also one of the sponsors for Lancaster Comics Day, which will take place this year in Lancaster Library on Sunday 5th June.
At 2.00pm this afternoon, there will be a group photo opportunity for costumed people outside the shop. (We’re told heroes in their civilian disguises can also be in the photo). The highlight of the day will be cutting the birthday cake at 3.00pm, to mark ten years in business this year.
“After this we will be having a Joker’s Join so bring food or drink if you can,” says Mark, “or just bring yourself – all are welcome!”
• The national Guardian has this round up of just a few of the British comic shops also celebrating Free Comic Book Day (check in advance with your local comic shop to see if they’re involved)
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.