I am insanely excited for this weekend to arrive. Not only will I get three days off work (It’s a bank holiday in the UK so we get Monday off as well, EEEEEE!!) but it also falls on 4th May, Star Wars Day for those of you that don’t know – May the Forth be with you!! Aanndd, added to this, Saturday just so happens to be Free Comic Book Day.
Free comic book day is celebrated all over the globe. On the first Saturday in May, every year, you can go down to your local comic book store and get your mitts on a load of one off comic books, for free. There will be over 60 different comics available this year. These are published by both large well-known companies, like Marvel and DC, and smaller Indie companies, such as Action Lab, and Boom! Studios. Companies occasionally give out free toys as well, if they’re feeling generous.
You have to be pretty prepared if you want to have a successful Free Comic Book Day. Firstly, not every comic store is going to be participating, so you should probably check before you make the trek. Big companies like Forbidden Planet and Midtown comics in the US, will always get a load of issues in, so there’s no need to worry if you’re stopping there, but smaller, privately owned stores can opt out if they like, so double check or you may be disappointed.
You also need to prepare to arrive early. Last year I didn’t get to Forbidden Planet until about 3pm, and nearly all of the best issues had already gone. They only have a certain amount of each comic available, so if you don’t get there on opening, you may not receive one of the more desirable titles – though they are all free, so you can’t complain too much! You may also need to prepare for queues, but I guess this depends on how popular comics are in the area you live.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could always visit a couple of different comic stores. Each will have picked the titles they want to give out, so you may find that a different store is giving out comics that weren’t available in the previous one. You’ll also come away with a larger collection as there is generally a limit on the amount of issues you can take from each shop.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling particularly un-adventurous, or don’t live anywhere near a comic store (poor deprived you) certain companies will supply you free comics online, though you usually have to spend a certain amount of money with them first, so whether they’re technically free or not is an issue to be debated. Forbidden Planet offer a pack of 5 free comics, if you spend £30+ on Graphic Novels. This is handy if you were planning on doing that anyway.
Here are some of the one off comics I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the most; Futures and Spec (Batman Beyond), Guardians of the Galaxy, Rise of the Magi, Rocket Raccoon, Grimm Fairy Tales, Zombie Tramp, and Teen Titans Go. Check out the rest of the titles available here.