Once upon a time, the great Stan Lee described it as “One of the greatest comic book stores in the world." Now, in a time as uncertain as Peter-Parker-post-spider-bite, Concord’s local comic shop is powering up to get the people what they need.
Flying Colors Comics has been slinging comic coolness to Concord, Contra Costa County, and the cosmos since 1988 when owner and comic enthusiast Joe Field started it. Now, come hell or high-water, or in this case Coronavirus— this little comic shop is making sure the comic community can get their superhero fix.
With great power, comes great responsibility: Something every comic reader and store owner knows.
“I know what a great diversion comics can be in difficult times,” Field said. He explained his responsibility to the loyal customers the store has accrued in its 30-plus years. “I had to come up with a way to do that, while keeping everybody in the process safe.”
Now, he and his staff are keeping the store clean while also giving their customers the stories they crave.
Even as major distributors pause shipments, Field said never fear: “We’ve got a lot of comics that people coming in here every week haven’t read and haven't discovered yet… Readers have a chance to find new things to fall in love with, and come back to issue after issue.”
Throughout history, Americans have turned to superheroes as a distraction from real-life economic distress. Comic books stand alone as entertainment that lets people escape to a fantasy world where good triumphs and problems of the world are righted by larger-than-life heroes.
Field knows this, and throughout his time involved in the comic world, has been an advocate for getting new readers hooked on the medium that’s as unique as the stories found on the thin pages.
The annual world-wide “Free Comic Book” day was brainstormed and started here in Concord by Field back in 2002-- a time when comics were seeing a slowdown. The industry followed suit and traditionally holds the event the first weekend in May.
Having operated out of Concord for more than 30 years, Field has become a staple in the community. We might be living in a digital age, but there’s nothing quite like running to the comic shop for a page turning floppy-- that’s an individual issue, for non- comic book fiends.
Field explained comics haven’t seen the same migration to digital that other traditionally print industries have. “Besides being entertainment… comics are art objects. People like to hold, collect, and keep them,” he said.
Plus, for those who read comics, there’s more to the story: “There’s one thing comics have that most other media don’t,” said Field. “That’s community.”
Shops all over the world have developed their own special communities to discover new worlds. Field explained, that’s not something that can be duplicated in a digital world.
To start tearing into your own comics, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stay in touch by following Flying Colors Comics on their social media. Each week, their website will be updated with comics available to purchase. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for specials to come available soon.
To leave you with another Stan Lee quote, “Every comic is someone’s first.” Why not make this yours with the time that’s on your hands?