Today is the first Saturday in May, which makes it Free Comic Book Day. Hard to believe today is the 11th edition of Free Comic Book Day in specialty shops around the country, but it is. If you haven’t already, stop by your local shop and pick up some free goodies.
The promotion was begun on May 4, 2002, the Saturday after the release of the first Spider-Man movie, and the event has often tried to ride the publicity coattails of a major live-action film adaptation. This year, that big movie is Marvel’s The Avengers. (And that is one mighty terrific movie!) At right is my haul from this morning’s quest.
For you newbies, it’s important to note that not all the comic books in the shops are free – it’s just the books specially published for the promotion. You’ll still find some good stuff, so it’s worth it. The Free Comic Book Day web page can help you find a comics specialty shop near you.
Oh, and one more thing: Don’t just go into a comics shop to load up on free goodies and then split. It’s polite to try to buy some new comics as well. It may be called “Free Comic Book Day,” but your local retailer still has to pay for all those comics – the books aren’t free for the merchant. (Yes, the wholesale prices are greatly reduced, but they still pay.) And besides, you’re bound to find something you like.
I haven’t read them all, but my favorite book so far is the Dark Horse flip-book featuring The Guild and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I didn’t even realize it was a flip-book until I got it home. I thought I was just sampling The Guild. The Buffy story is a fun quickie that puts Buffy and Spike on a spaceship filled with alien insects – and one particularly nasty Alien insect easily recognizable by movie buffs and those familiar with Dark Horse’s licensing history. It’s a charming little winner.
So get out there and find your own winners. Free Comic Book Day is meant to attract new readers, lure lapsed devotees back into the fold and thank regular customers for continuing to seek out paper products in this soulless digital age.