Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 5, 2011

This Saturday Is Free Comic Book Day

imageThis Saturday marks the return of one of comics' odder traditions, the industry-wide promotion through Direct Market outlets that is Free Comic Book Day. It may be that the shop closest to me is two and a half hours away, but it's been a difficult things around which to wrap my head. For instance, I'm not sure exactly when the promotion shifted some of its emphasis from reaching out to new customers with a new comic book for every person to making sure regular customers are satisfied by getting one of everything they want, but I definitely see that element to it now.

A couple of things that haven't changed is that 1) comic shops are mostly wonderful places and if they didn't exist and one suddenly popped up out of nowhere we would all poop our pants over how amazing it was, so that despite their occasional annoyances giving some love back to that network of stores is worthwhile even if the bulk of your shopping is through now and 2) the Free Comic Book Day comics themselves have gone from tossed-together efforts with one or two half-way decent gems to much more deliberately planned offerings eight or nine of which I want to read right now. They are of a high enough general quality that I don't think it's worth reviewing them in advance -- the average person can pretty much decide by what's on the front cover if they want the individual FCBD comic in front of them or if they don't. I'm personally looking forward to the John Stanley (D+Q) and Floyd Gottfredson (Fantagraphics) efforts maybe a little more than most, but I also want that Thor comic and five or six others.

One thing that was pointed out to me by a couple of CR readers is that you can go to the FCBD site's news page and access a ton of interviews with various participants.

Two shops I hope do well this weekend are Comics Compulsion in Christchurch, which had to relocate after that area's earthquake, and Sho'Nuff Comics, a shop in storm-tossed Tuscaloosa that's doing a canned food drive with this Saturday's event.
posted 7:00 am PST | Permalink

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