Saturday May 7 is the fifteenth annual Free Comic Book Day. This is the day once a year (usually the Saturday of a big comic book movie opening weekend) when comic book stores provide free comic books for the masses. Usually you get to pick at least a couple of comics from the huge assortment, and some comic shops don’t even require you to buy anything else.
These are special comics prepared by all of the major and many of the minor publishers, designed to attract and entice new readers and lapsed readers into the awesome comic book store environment. Most stores turn it into a big day long party, with special events, attractions, cosplayers, and deals on other comic books.
This year, your PopCulteer and his wife plan to hit the road and take in Free Comic Book Day out of town, first at Hillbilly Toy Chest, 878 East Main Street in Milton, WV and then, at the Superhero Creamery at their two locations: 15th Street in Ashland, KY and the Hobby Lobby Plaza in Russell, KY.
We plan to enjoy taking a road trip, gathering our free comics, and otherwise enjoying the maddening crowd.
We hear that Books A Million is also participating in Free Comic Book Day, which I think may be the first time a major chain has played a part in what is usually an independent store event. If there’s time, we might pop by their Huntington Mall location to see how they’re handling it the great comic book giveaway.
Free Comic Book Day happens all over the country and I believe there are even a couple of stores in the Charleston area taking part. If you are near a comic book shop, you might want to pop in and see what all the fuss is about.
This year, the big companies like DC and Marvel are going to be pitching their major “crossover” events, Marvel’s Civil War 2 and DC’s Rebirth.
Smaller companies are giving away comics with a more unconventional bent, like Boom Studios Summer Blast Sampler and Image Comics’ Camp Midnight.
There will be lots of free comics aimed at young readers, and a few clearly marked for mature readers.
Dynamite Comics offers up Bob’s Burgers, Red Sonja, and Grumpy Cat. IDW is re-launching ROM with a guest appearance by Action Man, which hints at Hasbro’s upcoming unified comic book/movie universe. Archie Comics will give readers a taste of their “new look” Archie by Mark Wade and Fiona Staples. You can also find cool stuff like a Pokemon Digest, a 2000 A.D. Sampler featuring Judge Dredd, Love and Rockets, Hilda and more.
The whole point is that comic books are indeed a wonderful thing, but their population of readers is much too small now. This is some really cool stuff and you might like it if you try it. So get out and try it. You might as well, it’s free.
A full list can be found HERE, but take a look at some more of the highlights…
That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Speaking of comic books, the PopCult Bookshelf will return next week, along with the PopCult Toybox and all our other regular features.