Monday, April 9, 2018

Free Comic Book Day Festival 2018 Guide

We're giving away 20,000 free comic books on Saturday, May 5, 2018, at our annual Free Comic Book Day Festival that includes a charity raffle, live wrestling, roller derby athletes, West Coast Avengers cosplayers, Stormtroopers, face painting, balloon art, food trucks and more! 

Free Comic Book Day Festival 2018

DATE: May 5, 2018

Doors open at:
  • 8 a.m. for Savings Club Members
  • 9 a.m. for Guests


  • 25% OFF Graphic novels, collected editions, toys, variant wall (variants and back issues on the wall), and variants in the boxes behind the counter. 
  • NOTE: art on the art wall is not on sale, but is available as priced. 
Back issues
(not including back issues on the Variant Wall) 
  • IF COVER PRICE is $15.01+ = SALE is 75% OFF cover price 
  • COVER PRICE $1-5 = ON SALE FOR .50c 
  • COVER PRICE $5.01-10 = ON SALE FOR $1 
  • COVER PRICE $10.01-15 = ON SALE FOR $2 


Parking is available on Larkspur. It's the street next to the shop.

(Click to expand)


As one of our Guests enjoy:
1. The wrestling, 
2. Cosplay,
3. Free face painting and balloon art for the kids,
4. The sale,
5. Local creatives,  
6. Games, 
7. Charity Raffle, and
8. Select up to 10 Free Comic Book Day titles! 
Be sure to check out the full list of exhibitors below.


(If you're not a Member, you can skip this section. Or maybe read it. Sign up by 12/31/2018 to receive these benefits in 2019.)

Members, this year you may choose between the following two options:
(1) pre-select 10 FCBD titles as part of their May benefit (Must have signed up by 12/31/17) or 
(2) get in line on Free Comic Book Day and take up to 1 of each title. If you choose option 2, then come at your leisure and go straight to the Members' Only VIP Line, a.k.a., the short line. 

Also come at 8 a.m. for one hour of private, early access to free comics, and to take advantage of the sale. 

After the FCBD Festival ends, we began celebrating Free Comic Book MONTH every Saturday in May. It features FCBMonth-exclusive comic books, collected editions, and posters -- for FREE. Members can come any Saturday they want or every Saturday. NOTE: Only Savings Club Members who enrolled by December 31, 2017, are eligible for this benefit.


Here's a complete list of participants at this year's festival.

Artists and Writers
  • Bianca Kim: Bianca is the owner of FRESHbiscuits and the maker of illustrative prints/paper goods, handmade accessories, gifts and home décor. Past creations have ranged from soy candles made from diamond-cut and polished glass bottles, chokers made from vintage velvet ribbon and a removable charm, aprons made from vintage sheets, and any number of imaginative, but useful items. Bianca creates in small batches in order to limit excessive waste. Find her online at: Etsy | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
  • Crystaline Owen: Etsy
  • Dan Bethel: D. Bethel has been writing and drawing comics since 2007. Simultaneously a comicker, a podcaster, and a professor of Composition and Rhetoric at CSU, Sacramento, he co-created, co-wrote, and illustrated his first webcomic, Eben07, for six years from 2007 to 2013, publishing over 200 pages and seven books. In 2014, he started his second webcomic, Long John, an introspective western about a famous gunslinger faced with betrayal when he is left for dead in the middle of nowhere with no guns, no friends, and no clothes. With the first two chapters published to critical acclaim, the third chapter makes its print debut at Empire’s Comics Vault’s FCBD 2018. You can find his work at
  • Daniel Stiner: 
  • Eben E. B. Burgoon: Eben has been writing comics independently for more than a decade. Coming from a background in short fiction and sketch comedy, Eben's first foray into comics was with Eben07: Covert Custodian -- a webcomic about spies and their janitorial staff. Currently, Eben is working on new episodes of B-Squad: Soldiers of Misfortune while collaborating on various projects with Starburns Industries startup imprint, SBI PRESS, and their project "The Book of Nightmares" and working closely with artist Danny Scheible on international Tapigami exhibitions and creating how-to books and kits. In addition to writing, Eben's been out in Sacramento advocating for the use of comics in schools as literature and arts. He can frequently be found in the world teaching kids and adults how to bring their stories to life. Eben is based in Sacramento, CA with two cats, two dachshunds, and one very special lady. His beard is as big as your head. 
  • Ghost Thunder Collective: GhostThunder is a Sacramento-based collective comprised of writer David Andry and artists Christopher Alvarez and Hannah Moore. Together they create comics, prints, t-shirts and other cool things. 
  • Heather Merrifield: Facebook | Instagram 
  • Jared Konopitski: | Facebook | Instagram. Jared Konopitski is an artist living and working in Sacramento, California. His work has been exhibited at galleries, festivals, and museums internationally and across the US, including The Smithsonian, Washington D.C., The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, and The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Jared has had his work featured in The New Yorker (2014), Color Ink Book (2013), Papercut Magazine (2013), Arcana’s Steampunk Originals (2013), Heavy Metal Magazine (2012), Catapult Magazine (2012), DisColouring Book (2012), Penumbra eZine (2012), and Wow!cool! Psycho Nurse Calendar (2011). Jared has worked with many clients such as Universal Studios, Showtime, Art O Mat, Turning Art, PBS the offices of MAD magazine and more. In addition, Jared has curated numerous gallery shows and corporate art seminars. In his spare time, he enjoys facilitating art workshops, with focus on early art education. His art has been compared to a rush of sugar, appealing to children and wonderfully strange to adults. 
  • Jen Monson: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
  • Julie Okahara: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram - Julie was born in Osaka, Japan. After graduating from Osaka Industrial Arts High School, she started her career as a graphic designer. Wanting to further her studies in studio art, Okahara came to California in 2005. Since then her mediums have expanded into acrylic painting, ink drawing, sewing, and plaster, wood, and clay sculpture. She still likes to claim herself as a self-taught artist, since she didn’t take any painting classes in college, yet most of her works are mixed media paintings. Her style is influenced by both Japanese and American pop art culture. She likes putting different everyday life items together to create her own world. Her first solo show took place in Midtown Sacramento in 2010 where she won acclaim and a following for her signature use of bright colors and mixed media. She has since put on more solo shows and has been in multiple group exhibitions in Bay Area and Sacramento. Julie's artwork was featured at Empire's Comics Vault in March.

  • Kristine Balog: Kristine is a Sacramento based artist, scholar, and author. She is an Associate Professor of Art History and a freelance illustrator. She's the creator of Caravaggio’s Darkness, a comic book series based on the life of Baroque painter Caravaggio, in development for a two-volume graphic novel edition. Kristine is the creator of a series of adult coloring books titled Coloring with the Masters. She has had both academic nonfiction and historical fiction works published and has been making appearances giving lectures on both her research and her books. Her first novel, "Caravaggio: Of Oil and Blood" debuted in May of 2017 and her second, "Caravaggio: Of Iron and Steel" was published in February 2018. Book three, "The Colonna Conspiracy" is slated for publication in the fall of 2018, with book four, "The Dark of Knight," and book five, "Whispering Blade" projected for early 2019 release. As an Art Historian, Kristine blended history with fantasy and released never-before-considered theories about Caravaggio in the timeless tradition of novel form. Kristine is an oil painter, with her focus rooted in sixteenth-century classical traditions, but she also works in silverpoint, pen and ink, charcoal, pastel, and watercolor. At this year's Free Comic Book Day Festival, Kristine is elated to launch her new project, "Alchemental: Rise of the Celestial Sphere," a fantasy trading card game where Dungeons and Dragons meets Final Fantasy meets Magic. Find Kristine online at: | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
  • Kyrun Silva: After launching and running his first comic publishing company, Kyrun decided it was time to start his second company, Taurus Comics. The first book from Taurus Comics is Shaman's Destiny; a six issue mini-series, written and drawn by Kyrun. The book follows a neophyte shaman who must stop a madman from stealing the source of all the shamans powers. Along with Shaman's Destiny,  Kyrun will be launching Xob the Lightning Wielder, written by Kyrun and featuring the artwork of David Jaxon and Federico Sioc Jr. Xob follows a young woman who must balance her duties of being a college student along with being a superhero. Connect with Taurus Comics at: | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
  • Lee Nordling: Lee is an Eisner-nominated and award-winning writer, editor, designer, book packager, and creative director. He worked on staff at the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Disney Publishing, DC Comics, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Platinum Studios. His sequential art book, “The Bramble,” won the 2013 Moonbeam Gold Medal for Picture Books (ages 4-8), and “BirdCatDog,” a 2015 Eisner Awards nominee, received the 2015 Moonbeam Spirit Award Gold Medal for “Imagination,” and was chosen by “Kirkus Reviews” as one of the best children’s books of 2014. “SheHeWe,” the third book in his “3-Story Books” series, was a 2016 Eisner Award nominee for Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8). His current young-reader comics series, “Game For Adventure,” with Scott Roberts and Flavío Silva, is being published by Graphic Universe. Lee is the author of “Your Career In the Comics” and “Comics Creator Prep,” and he lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, Cheri, and numerous pets that earn their kibble by offering inspiration. Connect with Lee online at: LinkedIn | Facebook 
  • Matt Marchetti and Cory Patten: Cory Patten is a co-creator of the Plotless Comics universe and the artist/writer of Sadocat. Sadocat follows the hilarious adventures of a super-powered cat and his electric-tongued sidekick, Flatline Frog, as they battle unlikely villains in an attempt to be superheroes. When Cory’s not drawing the hijinks and shenanigans of crazy super-powered animals, he enjoys laughing at his own jokes, procrastinating, and falling off of surfboards.
  • Hainanu "Nooligan" Saulque: HaiNaNu “Nooligan" Saulque is an artist, comic creator and graphic designer based in Sacramento, CA. An old soul in a young body, HaiNaNu finds inspiration in times past. His style is contemporary with a flare of nostalgia. From the cartoons of his youth to films he missed by decades, from golden age comics to classic newspaper strips, you will find a creator who has immersed himself in what he loves. | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
  • Rachel Strum: Local wand-maker Rachel Strum handcrafts fantasy wands. With a background ranging from illustration to stained glass, Rachel’s experience in mixed media has inspired wands, unlike any others. Beginning by hand selecting quality supplies, pairing gems individually with wood bases, and then intensively layering mixed media, her wands capture the imagination and inspire a sense of beauty. The delicate balance between beauty and practicality within all her whimsical creations has sprouted from the needs in her life, be it simple toys or giant strawberry pillows. Transforming common materials into playful creations is a labor of love inspired by Rachel’s belief that every day should come with a touch of magic. Connect with Rachel online at: Etsy | Facebook | Twitter
Community Groups
  • Supreme Pro Wrestling: enjoy live wrestling. Supreme Pro Wrestling was founded in 2000 and has run monthly shows ever since.  Members of the SPW Roster have gone on to work for every major company in the world, including WWE, Impact, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Lucha Underground.  Each year SPW does charity shows to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand (a children’s cancer charity), Sacramento Food Bank, and the Children’s Receiving Home. SPW prides it’s self on being family friendly and being a positive in the community.
  • The 501st Legion: Mingle with the Empire's baddest troopers. 
  • West Coast Avengers: Cozy up to Northern California's coolest cosplayers. The West Coast Avengers was founded to provide a collective identity for costuming fans in California with similar interests and promotes creating, owning, and wearing the costumes from the Marvel Universe featured in films, comics, and television. We are proud to put its resources to good use through charity work and volunteerism.  We regularly make appearances at hospitals, children's charities, and community events.
  • Sacramento Roller Derby: Have wheels, will fly! But they're always happy to stop for a photo.

Friday, April 6, 2018

FCBD Festival Map 2018

We're about a month out from Free Comic Comic Book Festival. As usual, we're taking over the parking lot for all of our festival activities: live Supreme Pro Wrestling, West Coast Avengers cosplayer, Vader's 501st troopers, face painting, balloon sculptures, games, and more. 

Plus, this year, we're planning to have our exhibitors out-of-doors! It's going to be an amazing comic book festival. Coming soon, we'll post complete festival details. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sketch model "November Cosplay"

We're gearing up for Free Comic Book Day on the first Saturday of May. Until then, here are three in-store events just for you.

03/28 Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Live Model Sketch

Bring your easel and paints, or your sculpy and stand, or you sketchpad and pens! Model "November Cosplay" will pose while you create your art. Click image to view the Facebook calendar event.

03/29 Thursday at 5:00 PM
Writing at Empire's

Sharpen that pencil. And let's get the lead out, so to speak. It's writing time at Empire's. Click to view the Facebook calendar event.

03/30 Saturday at 8:00 PM
Comedy Night

Laugh it up. Adults only. After hours with Empire's. Click to view the Facebook calendar event.

4/01 - FCBD Guests Art Gallery - April
4/26 - Avengers Infinity War Movie Crew
5/05 - Free Comic Book Day Festival 2018


Special Interview Video with
Sacramento Artist Nooligan:

Monday, March 19, 2018

Meet local author Kristine Balog

Not only can you join us to write your own book, but we'll bring in an author for you to meet and speak with.

Here's the details.

03/22 Thursday at 5:00 PM
Writing at Empire's

Let's do this together. Writing together may be the boost you need to get that great American novel out of your head and onto paper... or, you know, your computer. Click to view the Facebook calendar event.

03/24 Saturday at 2:00 PM
Caravaggio v2 Book Signing
with Author Kristine Balog

Here's the line-up: Spectacular Spider-Man, Reaper, and Wonderfalls. Check our event page for movie synopses. All ages welcome. Click to view the Facebook calendar event.

3/28 - Cosplay Model "November Cosplay"
3/30 - Comedy Night at Empire's


Special Interview Video with
Sacramento Artist Nooligan:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Meet Sacramento artist Julie Okahara

It's another full week here at Empire's Comics Vault. Come on out and get creative with us. For one, we have Sacramento artist Julie Okahara joining us!

03/15 Thursday at 5:00 PM

Writing at Empire's

Everyone is welcome.

Need a place to write. Come sit with us. And write. We'll have music playing, or bring your headphones and jam to your own tunes. Feel free to bring a snack for yourself. See you there. Click image to view the Facebook calendar event.

03/16 Friday at 7:00 PM

'Too Good for Television'
Movie Night

Here's the line-up: Spectacular Spider-Man, Reaper, and Wonderfalls. Check our event page for movie synopses. All ages welcome. Click image to view the Facebook calendar event.

03/17 Saturday at 11:00 AM

Sacramento Brick
Builders Meetup

Build something great.
Get your bricks ready. Let's build.

03/17 Saturday at 11:00 AM

Julie Okahara Art Reception

Meet the creative mind behind some of the most imaginative pieces you've ever seen.
Let's meet Julie Okahara. Click image to view the Facebook calendar event.

3/24 - Caravaggio v.2 Book Signing with Kristine Balog
3/28 - Cosplay Model "November Cosplay"
3/30 - Comedy Night at Empire's


Weekly Comic Book Highlights Video: