Flying Colors celebrates Local Comic Shop Day with Darick Robertson

Will Nevin, Staff Member


On a rainy Saturday afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Field opened their Flying Colors Comics doors to dozens of awaiting fans celebrating Local Comic Book Store Day and showcasing a famed cartoonist Darick Robertson for autographs.

Joe & Libby Field first opened Flying Colors on Treat Boulevard in 1988, hosting hundreds of autograph signings throughout the years. Including a Stan Lee visit awaiting hundreds of people, turning Flying Colors into an East Bay comic book icon across the nation.

Mr. and Mrs. Field grew up in the East Bay, Joe started writing for the DVC Inquirer when he first started community college, and both finished school with a keen interest in comic books and business.

“Since we’ve opened our store,” Joe Fields explains, “we try to be fair and offer a good price. Fairness is a big part of what we do and our goal is for each customer to look forward to the next time they visit.”

Mr. Field invested in Flying Colors during one of the heights of the comic book era: the 1980’s. Where famous comics such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1984),  West Coast Avengers (1984), Zot! (1984), Watchmen (1986), and X-Factor (1986) were circulating around the world like hot cakes on a cold winter morning.

Mr. Field has accumulated an untold amount of comic book knowledge, and acquired national recognition for being a local and family owned comic book store.

“Comics were very popular in the 1940’s due to Superman contributing to the war effort. After the second world war, Japanese and European markets that were never accessible before were now open for business.” Mr. Field said, “Allowing each decade to have an imprint or their own unique identity within comics.”

“Today, we’re inviting back an old friend Darick Robertson for autographs and questions.” Mr. Field explained, “as well as Q&A with fans during the signing. Been about ten years since Darick was last here [at Flying Colors] signing his Marvel comics for fans.”

Dozens of children, adults, and teens waited patiently in line to meet famed cartoonist Darick Robertson. Signing autographs and answering fan questions about anything, but usually focused on his work in the comic book industry.

Robertson is notorious for his work in DC Comics Justice League and Marvel’s Wolverine, garnering him millions of comic book fans around the world

“Comics today are all style and none of the substance (from before),” Derick explaining the current state of the comic book market to an eager fan.

Mr. Robertson went on to describe how “Co-operating with other artists allows a comic book character to gain more depth and details compared to individual work. Even famous and iconic images from the Superman and Batman comic series, as well as their on screen adaptations, were developed by co-operating artists.”

Mr. Field added, “Nothing strikes out of the corn rows like they used to. Tough for new comics to have mass exposure. However, we do order special edition comics for Free Comic Book Day as well as other special events like today.”

During a break between autographs Mr. Robertson asked Mr. Field, “Has the new Marvel movies increased the popularity of your store (Flying Colors Comics) in any way?

Mr. Field replied, “The classics are always going to be relevant. But yes, we’ve started to see more people walk into our store looking to expand on the characters they’ve see on the screen. Our store supplies new issues continuing series. Allowing anyone to gain more details about their favorite stories.”

Darick Robertson started chuckling and stated “Reminds me of when I was in Comic Con a few years ago signing autographs and answering questions. On my break walking around I saw a woman with her very young kids and everyone looked miserable. You know, pouty and starring at the ground. The kids were not have fun and the mother didn’t know what to do. I approached them and asked if the kids liked any comic books, the kids said no. The mother explained how her kids liked television cartoons and thought these cartoon characters would be here at Comic Con. I then asked if she liked comics, she again said no. I began to list all of these comics she might like with no avail. She could not understand how comic books could be something she could read.”

“Nice to see fathers and mothers who were once eager comic book followers come back and bring their families to find a comic book.” Field’s explained. “There’s always a comic for someone, just have to find the self space for them to find it.”

Recently, Robertson has collaborated in a new DC Comic with Warren Ellis titled Transmetropolitan, about a journalist who goes rogue and fights against a futuristic government.  

Looking through the three displayed Marvel classics Darick drew and co-operated in, I started reaching for one of Darick’s old Marvel classics to purchase when Robertson says “No. This comic is the one for you.” Darick begins to stand up and brings out a different series. “Transmetropolitan is perfect for a journalist.”

After reading the first issue of Transmetropolitian many more questions were raised by the end of the pages, but one thing was clear, this series raised above the corn fields.