What Is Free Comic Book Day?

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Today is Free Comic Book Day. Following the link will take you to their official website and use their location finder to find your local participating comic store. This is a family tradition for many families, ours included since the beginning.

Free comics, stickers, cosplay. It is great fun for all ages. Our comic shop collects for local charities as well, so it’s also a great community event.

Free Comic Book Day – A Preview Before the Big Day

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​Comic books – the bane and the blessing in our home. My middle son is a kindred spirit to my husband, taking on the mantle of collector, organizer, and archiver. My husband doesn’t even know which comics to buy anymore. Middle guy makes the list and if he had the cash, he’d be able to go himself. He points out gifts for everyone and looks forward to payday so we can go down to the capital and buy this week’s stash.

This translates into an entire industry of movies, action figures, and Lego. We could open our own store and never buy anything new to stock it. Unlike most collectors, they believe in playing with their toys; not keeping them boxed up in pristine condition. There is always something strewn about the living room in need of a pick up.

In just three days will be the biggest comic weekend of the year. Free Comic Book Day. This is the fifteenth year, and it is held annually on the first Saturday in May.

The basic premise is that there is a comic book for everybody. Although in our family I read the least amount of comic books, as a child and young person, I read comic books often. Star Trek, Green Arrow. My husband gave me a signed Sandman as a gift early in our relationship. For parents who are concerned about appropriateness, the FCBD website has an age rating system you can check out for yourself, and make the paternal decisions for your families.

It is also the opening weekend of (typically) a Marvel movie. This year’s selection is Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2. Vol. 1 was one of the best surprises I had. I had no intention of seeing that first one until it came out on DVD, but it happened to be the only one playing on our anniversary, so we went. It was really the best! The perfect blend of humor and humanity and an awesome soundtrack. It was full of surprises and unexpected moments. I can’t wait for this new one. The first Saturday in May has become our tradition to see the movie after our Free Comic Book Day adventures.

We pick up my son’s friend, wear an appropriate comic related tee shirt (I will be wearing my Supernatural this year), get up extra early and head down. Our comic store is located centrally in our state capital on a busy street and they get many rubberneckers looking at the superheroes holding the advertising signs in front of the store. They used to start the day at 11, but now they open at 9. We begin the line around 8 or 8:30, meeting other fans and early risers. It is usually still very cold on this May morning. Layers are they key because the inside of the comic shop gets pretty warm.

There is a selection of free comics for everyone who comes – there is something for everyone’s tastes – guaranteed. last year I picked up Representative John Lewis’ first of the trilogy called March about the March across the Pettis bridge where he was beaten to the point nearly to death. I always grab the book from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF). Scooby Doo shares space with The Walking Dead. There is a photo contest, sometimes free Hero Clix, amazing donuts for sale (similar to Portland’s Voodoo Donuts), stickers, pins, and costumed characters. Last year we met Harley Quinn; this year Wonder Woman will be there in advance of her June movie – one of the ones in a slew of good movies we’re anticipating and looking forward to. I even have  Wonder Woman earrings especially for the occasion. Artist John Hebert is there signing free drawings and selling more.

After that, we will sometimes make the rounds at other area comic shops. In the next county over, one always has pizza and cupcakes. Several have costumed characters and local writers and artists selling their things and signing autographs. One year, my kids sat in the actual Batmobile from the 1966 television series! It’s a great day to meet other like minded fans, collectors, and kids.

To find your local comic store, call the Comic Shop Locator at 1-888-266-4226 or visit their website.

To find a shop participating in Free Comic Book Day, check out their website

Instagramming Across May

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When I first heard about Instagram, I thought, oh no, not another social media thingy. But once I began to use it, I really enjoyed it. Especially the way I can post directly from it to my Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Because those two latter ones are more anonymous than my FB, I do need to be careful not to post any identifying information or at least to be aware of it when I do.

In getting my new smartphone, I’ve discovered that its camera is better than my camera-camera and my Kindle camera and having 4G that actually works is the bonus, so I’ve been using it more lately. I also love the way the layout on multiple pictures looks. It lets me be creative and really use my imagination.

This May has been incredibly busy as you’ve read in the posts I’ve made and in the lack of posts I haven’t made. But I have managed to make Instagram posts because they are just so easy to upload.

I wanted to share them with you.

As a writer, I hate the saying, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Rundown and Reviews

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When last week started I thought I had all the time in the world. The first half of the week was an empty calendar, and I tried to set up the incredibly busy weekend, not only for us to participate in, but for me to write about. I have a long list of ideas and WIPs and I thought the early part of last week was perfect timing to get a few things started. And then it was Thursday. Ascension mass, catch up on Supernatural, writing class, get ready for the weekend. Sleepover, Free Comic Book Day, Lunch at Dairy Queen, mass for the anniversary of my friend’s death, seeing Captain America: Civil War, meeting my son’s new girlfriend, and Sunday for Mother’s Day and Fear the Walking Dead. This week started the same way.  Nice and quiet, time to write and yet still unused. Damn. Next week isn’t going to be much different. It’s feast or famine, isn’t it? Feast or famine.

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Free Comic Book Day

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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:

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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.

Free Comic Book Day Recs

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Aftershock Comics – new start-up with former Marvel editor Mike Marts as Editor-in-Chief. Article here and Mike’s Twitter to find more information about this new venture.

Free Comic Book Day

Comic Book (dot) Com

Comic Shop Locator

Green Lantern Corps Webpage

Green Lantern Corps Webpage Tumblr

Please add your own recs in the comments and I can add them into the post!