On Saturday, I visited four comics shops—both Zanadu locations, The Dreaming, and Comics Dungeon—on Free Comic Book Day. A few thoughts:

The downtown Zanadu Comics has been remodeled, and it's really nice. It's probably the best-looking, easiest-to-browse comics shop in Seattle now*.

The Dreaming ran out of FCBD books early, and they were giving away regular comics for free. I got a copy of a biography of Barack Obama. It was a weird comic to read; it was more about the writer of the comic book and a ghostly Abraham Lincoln trading lame jokes about Obama.

By far, the biggest crowd I found was at Comics Dungeon. For the first time in my life, I had to wait in a line of a dozen people to buy my comics. There were kids and men and women and teenagers everywhere, and employees on the sales floor, ready to help people find books. They were the friendliest, most outgoing store of the four.

The most fun comic being given away on FCBD was Drawn and Quarterly's John Stanley grab bag, full of old comic stories starring Nancy and Tubby and other kids comics staples from back in the day. The best comic for adults was Fantagraphics' Jim Woodring comic. But for the most part, the comics for kids were much more entertaining and in the spirit of the day than the mainstream comics for adults, which were mostly full of grimacing and posing. On the whole, I'd have to say that fun won the day.

* The Fantagraphics Store is an amazing, beautiful bookstore—I love that half-price room in the back—but it's not a place to go and pick up monthly comic books. It's a bookstore that carries books by Fantagraphics and other indie comics publishers. It's a minor difference to people who don't read comics, but a pretty big difference if you do.