For those of you not in the know, the first Saturday in May has now become an official holiday for comic fandom in the form of Free Comic Book Day! Wondering what “Free Comic Book Day” is? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like; free comics!
Setup as a way to bring in new readers and thank old fans in the flagging world of comic book publishing, this once a year event brings free books from participating publishers to participating stores. New fans get free comics, publishers get fresh eyes on their old characters and comic shops (which are already having a hard time of it) are getting potential new customers in the door. It’s a win-win for everybody!
This past Saturday, The Daughter and I decided that we definitely needed to take part in the festivities again. Luckily, we found ourselves up and awake by 10 am, which happened to be perfect timing to get make it to our local branch of Down Town Comics when they opened the doors at 11 am.
For The Daughter, still somewhat new to the idea of events and conventions in the world of fandom was a bit taken aback at the sight of a line at Down Town Comics. Myself, having been a veteran (victim) of a fair share of cons and the like, knew full well that there would be lines involved. Seeing something like a lengthy line can definitely be daunting to an excited eleven year old. Thankfully for all involved, Down Town Comics is a pretty stellar shop and they had things rolling in quick order.
The level of participation for Free Comic Book Day varies from shop to shop. Some set limits to two or three books per customer, some offer up unlimited freebies. To our excitement, DTC is of the latter variety so we were able to load up. This is great for our situation, myself getting back into comics after some absence and The Daughter, discovering the world for the first time. Sure, she’s been reading a few books here and there that I have passed down to her, but with Free Comic Book Day, she gets to take a large sampling and discover what she likes. That’s the way it should be done, isn’t it?
So this past Saturday, a great follow up to The Daughter’s birthday mind you, was pretty grand. We followed up Free Comic Book Day by going to see “Thor” that night and an afternoon of reading comics on the couch. Though we have a long way before we clear out the entire monster stack, we’ve both already found a few books that caught our attention. For myself, Mike Mignola’s “Baltimore” seems pretty great and the “Magic the Gathering Planeswalker II” title was confusing to say the least, but was entertaining as it got rolling. The Daughter found herself drawn to the Captain America/Thor cross over early on with a keen eye on the “Sonic the Hedge Hog” freebie and “Bongo Comics Free For All”.
With all that said, you should be sure to check out the Free Comic Book Day website and mark your calendar for next year. It’s a good time, you get some good stories to keep you occupied and despite what that jock back in high school told you as he stuffed you in your locker; comic books kick ass. It’s a great way to introduce a fun hobby to your kid and fun way to spend the day together.