Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is tomorrow! It is held yearly on the first Saturday in May. Our family plans our weekend around this fun, family tradition. We plan out which comic book character we’ll wear on our shirts, rearrange the pins on our lanyards, and try to remember that the temperature inside the shop will get warm despite the fans blowing. This is how I show off part of my pin collection:
This year, my son has invited his friend to come with us, his second time, but because of the early start time, he’s sleeping over! My son is thrilled with this year’s event!
Comic books are an original American art form, created in the early days of the twentieth century. They are fun to read, featuring a wide range of diverse story lines that capture the imagination of the readers. That’s worth celebrating in our book – we’re proud to be a part of this wonderful medium. [Source: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/984]
As an Early Childhood teacher, I tried to promote comic books as a form of reading alongside picture books and other periodicals. Kids are already familiar with them and they are often overlooked as a valuable medium. Fortunately, that stigma has slowly been removed.
Free Comic Book Day began in 2002 as a way to bring more customers into the store. In addition to introducing potential fans and customers to your store, it is also a chance to meet and get to know comic fans in your neighborhood. In fact, at a comic book event modeled after FCBD I was convinced by another participant not to wait for the DVD like I was planning and to see Guardians of the Galaxy which turned out to be one of my favorite movies.
Free Comic Book Day has worked so well that last year we comic regulars had to wait in line with the new folks for almost half an hour and this year our home shop is opening , in its own words, at the “ungodly hour of nine.” That’s two hours earlier than last year and practically banker’s hours!
With no time for breakfast, I’m putting together goody bags for the kids with fruit snacks (Avengers, of course), a granola bar and a bottle of water. I even know what I’m wearing. I’m not sure we’ve been this organized, but getting there before 9am will be a challenge. A heroes’ quest, if you will.
Different shops have different activities. We go to a pretty big store, and they’ve got a good system down with lots of staff, handing out bags, pins, taking photos and having fun despite the large numbers. The photographer comments on how much our kids have grown. In 2002 at our first free comic book day we had one child who was just finishing kindergarten and now that child is eighteen and graduating from high school and he has two siblings who began as young as four months.
Our shop also has a couple of cosplayers – this year is Spider-Gwen and Earth Girl. Joining the fun is artist John Hebert, a fan favorite. They offer John’s artwork for sale as well as a free print usually of this year’s cosplay/superhero. They also give out pins and rubber bracelets, lanyards and stickers, HeroClix and of course, comics. It varies from year to year, but one thing that never changes is the fun for whole family.
There’s even a website!
Find your local comic shop and stop by, pick up a couple of free comics and bring a friend.