The 1st Saturday in May is my favorite holiday of the year, Free Comic Book Day.
Comic shops all around the country offer up a vast array of comics to their customers FOR FREE! Smart retailers make this into an event. They have sales on other stock, they have comics creators come to the store for signings and to do sketches, some even have people dressed up as their favorite comics characters. It’s a great time for everyone, but especially for kids.
I was very happy today when I was in line with my purchases at a local shop here in Southern California (Nuclear Comics). I was behind a guy in line with 2 young sons, the oldest was 10. They had free comics & were also buying comics. He told me they had gotten into comics at last year’s FCBD and had been voraciously reading comics ever since.
This is the real point of FCBD, to get new readers into comics. I was so happy to see the smiling kids with their hands full of comics. A lot of them free and some extras purchased.
This year there were 52 different free comics offered up as part of the event, over half of them were either targeted directly at a young audience of very kid-friendly. I’ll be doing some summary reviews and spotlight reviews of the FCBD comics over on the Comics Reviews page, I got my hands on all 52 comics today between Nuclear Comics and my primary Local Comics Shop – Comics Toons’n’Toys.
Nuclear Comics had 1000s of comics on sale for $1 each, all their newer comics & back issues were 50% off, and they had a couple of artists in the shop doing sketches & signing autographs. They also let you snag as many free comics as you wanted, I got 48 of the 52 and bought a big pile of stuff from their sale. I picked up the 4 I had missed & an Iron Man HeroClix at Comics Toons’n’Toys who had a huge event: a store-wide sale, free cookies & candy, and they had several “easy ups” out front to provide shade for a LOT of local artists drawing sketches & selling their wares, as well as a really cool food truck. They even did a short Clerks-inspired video promoting the event:
If you missed it, you should still check out your local shop. Many of them will have free comics left over after May 4th & will be happy to hand them out to customers over the new few weeks while supplies last.
Support your local comic shops, and encourage your kids to read. Comics are a great way to inspire kids with a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
Bob Bretall: firstname.lastname@example.org
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