Who doesn’t like free stuff? The answer of course is very few people. Of course anytime you are getting something for free there is usually a reason why it is given to you. Sometimes it might be because the items isn’t that great or in the case of Free Comicbook day it is often done to try and get people into a comicbook shop.
The 90s were not kind to the comicbook industry. There was a glut of comics that were based on big guns, big muscles and disproportionate women. In addition the idea of triple trifold gold embossed laser cut limited edition covers became a common place and alienated many readers who wanted good stories rather than fancy covers. Enter Free Comicbook day which started 15 years ago this year. Back in 2001 a gentleman by the name of Joel Field wrote an article in which he pushed the idea that with comicbook movies starting to gain steam the industry should embrace the media coverage and give away books to get people into the shops. Using the push behind Spider-Man. The first free comicbook day was held on May 4th 2002, the same weekend that the Spiderman movie came out. Some shops even went as far as working with the movie theaters to give the comics away at the movie. Most of the years Free Comicbook day has been associated with a movie, and most of those weekends have been dominated by Marvel movies.
The event within the industry has gotten bigger with each passing year. Many comicbook shops now have local writers and artist come by and have lots of in store events to draw the crowds in. Diamond Comic Distributors has announce that for 2016 over 2300 shops are participating and 6 million books have been ordered. The event allows old readers to come back and try out some new comics, while passing down their love for comics onto their kids, nieces, nephews, and friends. For the person that already is reading many comics it gives them a chance to pick up a comic that they might not have normally tried. One thing to remember as you go pick up your comics is that the shops that you are going to still have to pay for the comics that they are giving away from free, so while there be sure to shop the rest of the store and pickup some other things be it a t-shirt, comics, or other merchandise. Increasing people buying stuff in the store only leads to everyone having a much better time and the chance for more successful events later on.
We encourage the readers to share pictures of the events at your local shops with us. We want to see all the fun you have at Free Comicbook Day
You can find a list of all the comics available for FCBD at their official website: http://www.freecomicbookday.com
Overwhelmed by the amount of free comics that are offered or heading to a store that only allows one or two choices? Here are a few suggestions from our staff to help:
- Where were you when you read your first Archie comic? Or have you ever read an Archie comic? I was about 10, in a 7-11, on the corner of a very busy intersection, unaccompanied. Come to think of it, my parents probably shouldn’t have let me wander around town and into strange convenient stores as a child. No matter; I remember very fondly picking up the Archie comic and flipping through the pages. I had no way of getting to a comic store, nor did I know what a comic store was. So the endcap stocked with muscle mags and Cosmo, sprinkled with Archie, Betty & Veronica, and some other blonde girl (I can’t remember which) would have to do. I adored Archie then, and I adore Archie now. This FCBD, do yourself a favor and spare the read for Archie #1. Story by Mark Waid, art by (swoon) Fiona Staples, and coloring by Andre Szymanowicz. The colors are vibrant, the art is fun, and we could all use a dash of that nostalgia. Any reboot is bound to draw some criticism, but this beloved classic stays pretty true to its Americana roots. This comic is sure to be fresh, and welcome with open arms a slew of new readers into the halls of Riverdale. Don’t you that love the old Archie worry! Archie is still crushing hard on…ahhhh, guess you’ll have to read it to find out! I recommend this title as your Free Comic Book Day pull. Psst, we won’t tell if you bring your little sister or brother along to your local comic book store just to get this one along with everything else you’re excited for.-Heather Fischer
Avatarex: Destroyer of Darkness
- Getting free comics is already the best deal you can possibly imagine but getting one written by someone like Grant Morrison seems too good to be true. But it isn’t! Avatarex will be Morrison’s latest offering, this one from publisher Graphic India PTE. Whether you’re a Morrison fan already or are interested in reading some of his non-mainstream work, there’s plenty reason to get excited on FCBD. –John Dubrawa
Civil War II
- Many people may pick this up thinking it is attached to the Civil War movie that is coming out this weekend. It of course is not instead this is the kick off for the next major Marvel event. Pick it up to see if you think that the event is something that you might be interested in. –Greg Brothers
Boom! Studios Summer Blast
- Boom! Studios has been putting out some quality comics as of late and this book will give you a sample of both some new series and some of their well known ones. Included in the book are David Patterson’s Mouseguard, Jim Henson’s Labrynith, Adventure Time, and Lumberjanes.-Greg Brothers
Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #1
- I’m totally stoked to pick up Bruce Lee, The Dragon Rises, from Darby Pop. Why is this my recommendation? Because it’s a comic about Bruce Lee. Oh. I have to say more? It’s a comic about Bruce Lee and he’s alive!!! OK….Bruce Lee, The Dragon Rises is and all-ages comic written by Jeff Kline and Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, with art by Brandon McKinney and cover art by Bernard Chang. The comic brings Bruce back from the grave and drops him in modern times, with no memory of who he is. He can still kick ass though, and teams up with a couple of teens and an old pal from the 70’s to fight a mysterious villain. As a Bruce fan, the fact that his daughter is involved in the book is super cool to me, and I’m totally down with Jeff Kline because of Jackie Chan Adventures. I like to think Bruce would smile at the thought of his legacy continuing through the pages of comic books, and that a whole new generation (and loyal fans) can appreciate his awesomeness through reading and art.-Mimsy Breeze
Dark Horse All-Ages Sampler
- Each FCBD, Dark Horse typically puts out a collection of short stories from their various kid-friendly offerings, but this one is particularly exciting because it will be the first comic released for Legend of Korra. It is also written by Michael Dante DiMartino, one of the creators of the Avatar TV universe. If the Avatar comics are any indication, this free offering will be a great way to get more Legend of Korra in all our lives.-John Dubrawa