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Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Usually when I sit down to write a post for this site, I start by trying to encapsulate what I love most about the topic at hand. I tell some goofy story about how I first encountered it, or try to explain why it’s my single favorite thing in the entire world. Often I’ll incorporate a drug reference, because it’s important to me that I really get my point across. This time, though, I don’t need any of that. To communicate the complete and utter awesomeness of this subject, all I need is four simple words.

Free comic book day.

On the first Saturday in May, for the last ten years running, the comic book industry goes freaking nuts. Comic publishers print special editions of their favorite titles and ship them out to comic book shops all over North America, who give them out free to anyone who walks in the door. We’re not talking about crappy little 8 page throwaways, either — the whole point is to give out the first one free like your neighborhood dealer does (see, there’s your drug reference right there), in hopes that you’ll get hooked. So the stuff they on hand is generally awesome.

Like these!

DC, of course, is pushing Green Lantern in conjunction with the upcoming film. Their 40-page book reprints a recent retelling of GL’s origin story, and also features a preview of Flashpoint, the big summer crossover event. For the younguns, they’re also giving out a comic based on their Batman and Young Justice cartoons (I love Young Justice, you guys).

In a similar vein, Marvel has the heroes of their upcoming movies, Captain America and Thor, teaming up on some kind of wacky time travel adventure. There’s a Spider-Man book, too, where he teams up with SHANG-CHI, THE MASTER OF KUNG FU (you can count on Marvel to bring out the big guns for FCBD).

Boom Studios has a 32 page preview of their new Elric: The Balance Lost. I will tell you straight up that the old Pacific Comics Elric of Melnibone, based on the Michael Moorcock fantasy novels, was one of the first comics I ever loved, and a big reason why I became such an avid fan in the first place. Elric is a morose, albino hero from a degenerate, doomed people who wields a sentient, soul-devouring blade and walks the Earth righting wrongs because he’s the Eternal Champion and he pretty much has no choice. I’m psyched out of my mind for this one, y’all.

Image comics has the secret origin of Super Dinosaur. I have no idea what Super Dinosaur is, other than the fact that it’s the new series by Robert Kirkman, the guy who created two of my favorite books (The Walking Dead and Invincible). Really, though, I think the words “super” and “dinosaur” pretty much sum up everything you need to know on this one.

There’s tons more, too — almost 40 different books from all corners of the industry (how many you get to walk away with depends on your local store’s FCBD policies, and on how many other people show up). There’s Star Wars and Avatar the Last Airbender and Atomic Robo and The Simpsons and The Tick and manga based on a James Patterson book. There’s Mickey Mouse, Kung-Fu Panda, Betty & Veronica and Darkwing Duck. There’s a whole big mess of stuff. And it’s all free!

Here’s a video they put together which mostly focuses on how comics can help kids develop a lifelong love of reading (which may very well be true, but I will tell you right now that if your kid tries to score my copy of Elric before I get to it, he or she will develop a lifelong love WHOOPASS, and I am not even kidding).

To find your local comic shop, you can use this handy locator! Get your self out to one this Saturday, and get some free comics!

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Matt Youngmark is the author of Zombocalypse Now, a full-length zombie choose-your-own-ending novel (for grownups!) from Chooseomatic Books. Back in the day, he worked the newsprint mines at Tacoma Reporter and Pandemonium Magazine

One Response to “Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!”

  1. kormantic says:

    I’m looking forward to GL and Super Dinosaur!

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