Guest Author - Eugene Bradford
The comic book community has had much to celebrate with its amazing form of entertainment. It’s not hard to see why considering the decades of existence behind it and the inspiration it has provided. One way in which comic books are celebrated is comic conventions. Another event that has been very good for bringing in non-readers and the more casual fans has been Free Comic Book Day, or FCBD. Free Comic Book Day has been going on for some time and takes place every year on the first Saturday of May.
Retailers will order books from many of the publishers out there and provide them free to shop patrons. These books have already been designated by publishers and are tagged with the Free Comic Book Day logo on the covers. I would be remiss in my duties as both a fan and a writer if I didn’t say the name of the event can be misleading. Although, it is called “Free” Comic Book Day, you cannot stroll into a shop and just grab any books from the shelves. The list of books is available ahead of time on the FCBD website.
It serves as a way for the comic book industry to bring in new readers and provide the more hardcore crowd with different reading titles to sample. Whether or not there is a limit to the number of books you can obtain is dependent on each particular store. The shop I regularly visit does not limit the number of free issues a person may take. I will usually take advantage of this as I like to try different books all the time.
Your local comic shop, or lcs, as fans affectionately refer to them, will also hold sales and specials on this same day. This further entices the range of readers to come into the shop. If there are some titles out there that you were curious about or just couldn’t manage to snag, this is a great day to do so. I look forward to this day every year as I expect to spend several hours at my shop digging through the back issues. I have never been disappointed because I always find something that interests me. I have picked up stacks of random issues at times and multiple issues from the same series at other times.
As typical of celebrations, this day also serves as a method to extend the life of the industry. Readers support their local shops by participating and purchasing other books. New readers are likely to purchase other books as well as make future visits. Readership will increase for certain titles.
So mark your calendars and head to your shop to check out the books available. You never know what new titles might interest you enough to expand your reading list. Many events are better with friends and FCBD is no exception. This is especially true if they are already comic fans, and it's great for your friends who aren't comic readers. The range of free books and conversations started are sure to convert them.