Comics Are Great To Read, Free Or NotFree Comic Book Day (FCBD) is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, but various comics shops have mixed things up to get new readers into the fold. Regardless, it’s been a great idea. FCBD has its start with Joe Field, comic book retailer and columnist for the Comic Buyer’s Guide, a now defunct comic industry magazine. He recommended the practice of comic book stores giving away to increase the readership of comics since people were going to the theatre to see comic book movies. His suggestion was very popular among his readers.

Jim Valentino, one of the co-founders of Image Comics, was the one who suggested that FCBD should be the first Saturday of May. This was because Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 was coming out the first Friday of May in 2002 and the cross promotion benefits are obvious.

So, every year the comic book industry gets together and publishes a multitude of comics for retailers to give away to the public and to their loyal readership. This year they released fifty different titles from forty different publishers. The comics themselves range in content from all ages comics featuring the Simpsons and Monster High to those strictly for adults like The Incal and I Hate Image (that’s from Image Comics by the way, no one’s trying to start something).

Many of the local comic shops had special sales and offers to coincide with FCBD. But regardless of whether you’re going on FCBD or any other day, I highly encourage all of you to take the plunge and find something that you can start enjoying. I bring this up because even though you will be getting these comics for free they are not free for the retailers who order them and are offering them to you. The purpose for FCBD is to bring comics to the masses and it’s important that comic book stores see the benefit of continuing the practice. It takes a lot of effort to prepare for this event and they deserve to see new customers not just Saturday, but year round.

Many comic book stores and some publishers promote FCBD. One place you won’t see FCBD being promoted though is at the movie theatre. I just got back from seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and I was hoping to see an advertisement about FCBD, but not a thing. I can’t really say that surprises me, because despite the fact that fourteen out of the sixteen years has had a major comic book movie (always a Marvel movie for some reason) come out the day before FCBD I can’t remember once seeing an ad promoting FCBD before the film started. The best I saw was the theatre had a stack of cards for a free download of a Guardians comic, but for me one: I only read one digital comic and only because that’s the only way it’s distributed and two: I’m not a fan of Brian Bendis’ run of Guardians. Pick up the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run if you see it for sale this weekend.

If you want to learn more about Free Comic Book Day they have a website, To learn more about the history of Free Comic Book Day, I used Wikipedia,, and before my journalistic integrity (don’t snicker) comes into question, the FCBD FAQ page points you to Wikipedia to “Learn more”.

Comics Are Great To Read, Free Or Not
Ryan Franks has been into comics for as long as he can remember. He first started collecting back in 1993.It didn't become an obsession until 2009, but still remains one...
Comics Are Great To Read, Free Or Not

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