The FCBD event hosted by Readers Den is one of the few major events I have on my calendar, and this year did not disappoint.
When I first started going to FCBD, I could get up at 7.30, leave the house just before 8.00, and still be near the front of the queue for the pop-up store when I got to Stadium on Main at 8.15. This year? No such luck.
I got up at 6.30, left just after 7.00, got to Stadium on Main at about 7.20 and there were already about 15 people ahead of me in the queue for the pop-up store! That’s not all. The queue to the main store had at least 50 people!
I joined the queue to the pop-up store, and waited for my “partner-in-crime” to arrive. A little while later Banzai joined me, and we passed the time making small talk with some of the people in the queue. Eventually the pop-up store opened at about 9.10 after all the announcements for the day had been completed.
It was a big improvement over last year with the stock accessible from both sides of the table. No more bunching up on one side and having to watch over someone’s shoulder as they flipped through the books! Readers Den also had beefed up the security whose main job was to control the flow of people into the main shop and pop-up store. This was great since you no longer had to deal with the over-eager hordes while browsing. If you got there early, you had the privilege of getting first pick without having to worry about people shoving and pushing in.
As usual there was a lot of superhero books available, but I still managed to score about R2000 ($200 dollars) worth of “alternative” titles. You can check them all out at the end of the post.
After paying for all our loot, Banzai and I split up to check out the rest of the event. A little while later the crowd got a bit much (the place was packed) so we regrouped and decided to pop over to Cavendish to get some paint that Banzai needed for his model kits. We then stopped by McDonalds for a mid-morning snack and to do the necessary introverted recharging. Another friend met us there and we all topped up our reserves before heading back into the fray. The raffle was next on the agenda, but as usual, I didn’t win anything. There were plenty of awesome prizes including a framed Star Wars poster, figures, signed comics, and vouchers for the vendors.
Not long after the raffle the cosplay event started. Unfortunately I missed the first few contestants and failed to get a good spot for photos. I had to go get my books from Banzai’s car since he was leaving early (he had a long drive back to his fiance’s place). I eventually managed to find a spot on the stairs that was a reasonable angle. I accidentally stole it from the Lone Ranger after he joined some people for photos, but he was a good sport and let me keep the spot since I was taking photos.
I was a little disappointed that there were less people in the official competition than I expected, but it probably has to do with FCBD’s cosplay rules about not using an old cosplay, and the fact that UCON and FCBD were so close together this year. A lot of cosplayers unveiled their costumes at UCON and wouldn’t have been able to put something completely new together just for FCBD. This was really unfortunate because there was some really good costumes that didn’t qualify for entry. Hopefully the UCON organisers can sort this out so there’s less of a clash with FCBD next year.
Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get photos of everyone and lost some shots to (extremely) poor camera work but I will be linking to the other albums I find at the bottom of this post.
After the cosplay event I found another friend who was willing to stash my booty (no, not that kind of booty) in his car. I then tried to touch base with the exhibitors I knew to find out how things had gone (for a list of all the awesome exhibitors check out the Readers Den page). Unfortunately time was short since my ride was leaving soon and there was no way in hell that I was walking home with all the books that I’d bought, so I only managed to stop by a few tables. I basically had enough time to say howdy and goodbye, and then rushed to find my lift, who would hopefully be easy to find in the madness.
(My apologies to Kay and Shameema, the photos I had of you guys and your work didn’t survive my shoddy camera/camera skills).
Thankfully I found my friend exactly where I’d left him earlier with his girlfriend. After dropping her home he decided to join me in the opening and reading of my newly acquired literature. I managed to get my hands on some awesome books:
FCBD 2014 was a tiring, but extremely awesome day. Despite the monstrous crowd (Readers Den might seriously have to start think about taking over the second floor of the mall, or finding another venue) I still had a lot of fun. I got some awesome books and spent some time with some amazing people, so overall: great success!
For more photos of the event, be sure to check out the various albums below.
Additional FCBD photo albums