For Geeks like myself, this coming Saturday is a holiday of sorts. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, May 7th is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!
And it’s exactly what it sounds like. Sort of.
For those of you unfamiliar with comic shops and how Free Comic Book Day works (or FCBD as it’s called — sort of like how we call the Justice League of America the JLA), comic book stores across the country — and the world — will give away free comic books by many of the existing comic book publishers (Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, etc.) to anyone who enters their store. It’s an awesome event held once a year so that comic book publishers and retailers can show their appreciation to not only existing fans but also open their doors to what is hopefully an onslaught of new customers.
The only caveat is not EVERY book is free and some stores will only allow you to have a certain number of free books. The “rules” differ depending on where you go. That means you shouldn’t expect to drive away with a trunk full of free stuff and there’s no chance you’re going to get that coveted Action Comics #1 (first appearance of Superman…duh!) from a generous shop owner without paying for it. There are special books that are put out just for the day, some of which have new content and some of which have reprinted material.
One of the remarkable things about Free Comic Book Day is that the comic books that the retailers are giving away are not free for them. They are actually paying the publishers for the issues they are giving away (albeit at a more discounted price than normal). The idea is to get people, especially families, into comic book stores in order discover the wonderfully educational and entertaining world of comics. Many of the retailers have special sales on other store merchandise, in-store signings by featured guests and comic book creators or appearances by some of the characters (a.k.a. friendly neighborhood human counterparts in rental-quality costumes). For this reason (and because I’m a big nerd) I always make sure that I still spend a little bit of money on Free Comic Book Day, as a sort of “Thank You!” right back to my favorite retailer.
It’s not required, mind you. It just always feels like the right thing to do. Sort of like what Superman would do if he went somewhere on FCBD.
Another great thing about Free Comic Book Day is that there are comics for mature readers, comics for kids of all ages, comics for boys and comics for girls. Pretty much anyone with any particular taste — even if they have never read a comic before — will be able to find a comic on FCBD to suit their style.
I will be in attendance this Saturday as a Comic Book Ambassador at Brave New Worlds in Willow Grove, PA. If you stop in you’ll not only get an opportunity to meet the Suburban Geek in person but you’ll also be able to meet:
•Rogue (from the X-Men), Kick-Ass and Black Costume Spider-man
•The creators of BNW’s own webcomic, The Comicverse!
•Local artists who will be giving away FREE sketches!
If you cannot make it to Brave New Worlds, no worries. There are plenty of other area comic shops that are also participating in and around Philadelphia and the surrounding ‘burbs not limited to BNW’s Center City location, both Comics & More locations in King of Prussia and Plymouth Meeting Malls, Comic Collection in Feasterville, and many more. To find a comic book shop near you that is participating in FCBD, click here and put in your zip code.
When all we see on the news is how much things are going up in price and how gas is over $4.00 a gallon, don’t you think you should reward yourself (or your kids) with something for FREE? And who knows…you just may discover that you like reading comics.