East Side Mags: Montclair, NJ's Comic Book Heaven
Free Comic Book Day at East Side Mags had Cosplay, special guest appearances and of course free comic books for everyone that came by. Owner Jeff Beck describes the day as a day to appreciate your customers. Located on 7 S. Fullerton Ave in Montclair and a thriving business since may 2014, East Side Mags is that one place you're going to keep coming back too. In fact it has been named Suburban Essex County’s best Toy and Hobby Store in 2015 and 2017 as well as Suburban Essex County’s best speciality store in 2016. Furthermore the store is involved in a number of charitable organizations including Partners for Health Donate to Toni’s Kitchen.
I had the privilege of meeting the owner of East Side Mags: Jeff Beck (JB)
EM: What do you love most about Free Comic Book Day?
JB: The best part about Free Comic Book Day is all the kids that come in and hang out and grab free comics and have ear to ear smiles on their faces, that’s the best part.
I also met East Side Mags feature Sketch Artist; Angela Fernot (AF) who is a Freelance Illustrator/ Graphic Artist, and Creative Designer for Soldiers of Fortune comics.
EM: What kind of work do you do?
AF: I’m been working as a Freelance Artist for about six years now and I graduated from the Kubert School in 2012. I’ve been working for Greg Hildebrandt and his lovely wife and agent Jean Scrocco for about five years. When I’m not working for them I also do freelance art for Soldiers of Fortune comics.
EM: What kind of Sketches do you do?
AF: I am a fan of a lot of different things. I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I love Josh Whedon when I was growing up and watched everything he worked on and I loved Sailor Moon, so my influences are very wide and vary and the sketches that I am doing for Free Comic Book Day are a little bit of the things I love that I see fans appreciate as well.
EM: How do you get in the Art business?
AF: I got very lucky coming out of the Kubert School. I made contact with Gavin Spector, owner of Soldiers of Fortune and we did some work together and he hired me right away, so I’ve been working for him on the side since I graduated. Jean Scrocco, who only hires students from the Kubert School had recruited me and working with her has really help to building my career and my style. Other than that its been hard work, practice and putting myself out there.
EM: What advice would you give to upcoming artists?
AF: Don’t stop drawing, obsess over it, dedicate yourself to it. Greg taught me you have to dedicate yourself a thousand percent. You have to do it with passion and have someone honestly critique your work.
EM: What do you love most about drawing?
AF: I really love communicating with people and getting to talk to people. 'Nerding Out' with fans is always fun and getting to see what others like so that I might know about it and get to learn from them. Art never stops being challenging or interesting, I get to learn something new everyday.
East Side Mags also had a little cosplay as well. Mike Bufis (MB) came dressed as Captain America In support of Free Comic Book Day.
EM: Why did you come to East Side Mags to Celebrate Free Comic Book Day
MB: I love East Side Mags!, the guys here are great, I see them at conventions all the time. They always do a lot of different events, they have a lot of great products here so it’s the only place I go to actually celebrate it.
Everyone that goes to East Side Mags leaves extremely satisfied. Don't believe me, here is what Pele Marques; a regular at East Side Mags, who came to Free Comic Book Day have to say about this place:
'I love coming to East Side Mags, It like a second home to me. It’s very welcoming I love the owner Jeff he’s like of my best friends and all the events they hold here and everything is great. If I’m ever in the area I love stropping by just to say hi.' - Pele Marques
Overall, If you want to go to a place where they have a great selection of comic books and other awesome stuff come to East Side Mags. If you want to go to a place that holds awesome events and amazing people come out to support local businesses, it's East Side Mags; If you want to go to a place with a down to earth owner and an extremely nice staff, definitely come on down to East Side Mags.
As someone who frequently goes to East Side Mags weather its to take advantage of the amazing sales the store holds or to go to the extremely fun events they constantly have or just to say hi to Jeff and his staff, I can personally say I leave feeling extremely satisfied. In fact during my last visit I not only got several free comic books, but an autographed copy of Angela Fernot’s book Blackout: Beneath Iron House.
Below is a past clip in Regards to East Side Mags....Hope you enjoy it!!!