Did you celebrate this year?
Free Comic Book Day is 15 years old. This amazing concept was conceived by Joe Field in 2001, and supplied by the largest (and only) comic book distributor Diamond Comics. On Free Comic Book Day, participating comic book store retailers give away specially printed copies of free comic books, and some shops offer special deals and have creator signings to those visiting their establishments. However, retailers do not receive the issues for free; the shops have to pay per copy for the comics they give away during the event. In addition to comic books, some stores also give away other merchandise, such as mini posters, Heroclix, Pop Funko, Dorbs, and other movie/comic tie-in memorabilia.
Free Comic Book day has grown from the US to all around the world for this joyous celebration to promote literacy and encourage people to read. Remember even if it is a funny book it is still a book.
For the past 7 years I have worked at 3 Alarm Comics in Biloxi, Mississippi. Each year Free Comic Book Day gets bigger and bigger. The owner of the shop is Scott Hoverman and he has many many artist and writers that we actually call family more than friends. Mississippi and the surrounding Gulf Coast is home to many artist, writers, and creators in the industry. These comic book icons are always stopping by to hang out and enjoy time with the fans. This years guest list at the shop included published artist and writers Derek Donovan, Stephen B Scott, Victor Gischler, John Dell, and Pat Broderick. We also hosted some local artist that self publish work as well. Pat Broderick was amazing to talk to and watching him work live on commissions was something special.
Across the globe shops had a guest that included names like Jim Lee, John Romita Jr., and Greg Land. This event has been successful for over a decade and does not look like it is slowing down.
Free Comic Book Day for me is not just about the guest we bring in for our customers, but the for the look on the all the kids faces when they get to choose the three books they want and the excitement that goes along with all the cool art they get to see in person. Some of the customers that walk in bring in cool stuff for us to see. This year I got to hold in my physical hands a copy of Batman #1. Some customers bring in some original art that they have purchased through the year. I have seen some amazing things working at the shop all these years. One day I hopefully will see a Detective Comics #27. Hey it could happen since I have seen an Amazing Fantasy #15!!
Cheers to Free Comic Book Day! If you have not gotten out to see this event in your local area go to http://www.freecomicbookday.com and check out what shops participate in your area. Remember it is the 1st Saturday in May every year.