The first Free Comic Book Day took place in 2002 and since then it has developed into a wonderful event that comic book fans look forward to every year. The love for comic books spans generations. Parents and their children of all ages wait in line on the first Saturday of May to receive their free comics. The anticipation on Free Comic Book Day mornings is close to Christmas for those who can not wait see what books are being offered that year.
We gather as a group to participate in the love we have for this unique art. Instead of relying on words, the drawings must convey the story’s depth. It’s what makes comic books so well loved. It is a day that both the comic book industry and the public can share together as a whole. Artists are able to showcase their work to a new audience on this day. Some may even be discovered by one of the top publishers. Collectors and casual readers can both enjoy looking through the bright covers to pick out their favorites. The free comics offered each year vary; some are classic like Archie, and others are a brand new series like Steam Wars. The free comics are always a delight to read and share with friends.
Picture of store owner Ed with some heroic friends. I’m starting to believe that it’s the real Spider-Man…
My local comic book shop, All Things Fun!, at 185 C Route 73 N. West Berlin, NJ, always makes Free Comic Book Day a big event for customers. There are prizes for those who answer questions correctly, entertainers come dressed as favorite characters and of course there are free comics!
This year a couple of people from the NorthEast Remnant 501st Legion, a Star Wars organization, came so people could get their pictures with them.
It is still an amazing site to witness children with faces full of joy and laughing as they pick out their comics year after year. One child started screaming because he found an Adventure Time comic. And no it wasn’t me. (I was the one screaming because the Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comic was free.) Everyone was smiling and talking about comics and memories. I asked a few of the customers about their favorite comic series and here is the list: Nightwing, Hellboy, Batman, Superman, Star Wars, Zorro and The Walking Dead.
One gentleman named Dan, explained that he loves to read Johnny the Homicidal Maniac because of the line drawings, and its why he loves The Walking Dead comic series. Another young man spoke to me about his family being fans of DC comics for years. They are particularly fond of the Batman series but he admitted to loving Marvel’s Iron Man comics. Who could blame him? Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are awesome at fighting!
Speaking of Bruce, Batman came by All Things Fun to make sure the Riddler didn’t show up to ruin the fun.
Quite a few customers choose Batman as their comic of choice. It is heartening to realize how traditional comics are still part of our lives as we absorb new stories and art styles. Free Comic Book Day is a time for us to remember the past comics and begin to read the stories of the future. This melding of time within an American-original art form makes comic books stand out among entertainment.
The free comics I choose were the 1st issue of Archie, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and of course Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck.
Free Comic Book Day at All Things Fun was a blast and I hope all of you enjoyed the holiday too! Long Live Comics!!