FCBD is a whole mess of fun. I’ve made appearances many, many, many times and have enjoyed them all. But I understand not everyone is familiar with the event, so I’ve put together a little helpful guide to FCBD.
What is FCBD and why should I even care?
Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is when participating comic book shops, around the world, give away select comic books for FREE! A lot of shops have all sorts of stuff going on like huge sales, costume contest, prizes, local charities, special giveaways and costumed guests. One thing I love about FCBD is seeing all the comic book creators who come out to support the shops. They sign books and sketch for everyone who stops by and they usually do it for free. They often bring exclusive items for purchase or for free. Things you’d have to go to a comic convention to find.
Each shop is a little different in how they participate, but regardless what’s going on, Free Comic Book Day really is a fantastic way to celebrate comics and get new readers into comic shops. So mark your digital calendars for a repeating event because it is always observed on the first Saturday in May each year.
Where the heck am I suppose to go?
I’ll be enjoying Free Comic Book Day again this year at Richard’s Comics & Collectables right down the street from Greenville’s other comic shop Borderlands. But if you don’t have the pleasure of living in beautiful Upstate of South Carolina then you need to use the handy-dandy FCBD Comic Shop Locator. Why not make a day of it and visit all the shops in your area. Every shop is individually distinctive and may even have different free comics available.
What in the world should I expect?
Free Comics of course! But not every comic book in the shop is free. Retailers purchase special books that are offered by various publishers just for the day. Most shops have them obviously set apart from the regular comics and may have a limit to how many you can get. It’s a great time to pick up something different or get something new from an old favorite. Not all of them are kid friendly but good shops make sure you know what you’re getting into. Here is a listing of all the comics available but remember not every store has them all.
If you get there early then prepare to stand in line for a little bit. Going later in the day does cut down on line standing but it also limits your choices because some of the more obscure titles get wiped out early. I’d suggest not getting any Marvel or DC books at the first stop if you’re going to multiple places. Shops know those titles are popular so they order plenty of those books and always have them on hand by the end of the day.
Also expect lots of smiling faces and friendly people. FCBD is like Christmas and a birthday party all rolled into one. Some shops take advantage of the day and treat it like a tiny convention with tons of things going on. Others just have the comics set out with no fanfare at all. Again, each shop is different so your experience at each will vary. It’s a great excuse to try all the ones in your area.
But I live in the black mining hills of Dakota and there isn’t a comic shop around. What ever shall I do with myself on Free Comic Book Day?
I understand that some folks just aren’t lucky enough to have a comic shop in town. It’s ok, I feel your pain. Fear not! There are plenty of digital comics available online for FREE. I even helped produce 4 anthologies that you can go check out right now. They’re available from Wide Awake Press: Eats, Piltdown, The Ancient Age and Off The Wall
Do you really expect me to read all this nonsense? Don’t you know I’m a busy person?
I totally understand. Click play on the video below for your information. I didn’t create the video, and I cover some things not mentioned here. But it’ll do for getting you up to speed and hopefully convincing you to come celebrate Free Comic Book Day!
If you’ve never been, then you should come out and see what’s going on.
Saturday May 3rd from 11am until 7pm!!
The guests at my shop will be signing and sketching throughout the event for FREE!!! They will also have books/creations for sale!!
- Bradd Parton – Alpha Sketch Artist http://alphasketch.wordpress.com/
- J. Chris Campbell – local illustrator/design http://jchriscampbell.com/
- Duane Ballenger – local cartoonist http://meatloaffreak.com/
- Ryan Bray – local indy creator http://bray-art.tumblr.com/
- Tracy Yardley – Sonic the Hedgehog Artist http://yardley.deviantart.com/
- Chris Sparks – Team Cul De Sac http://teamculdesac.blogspot.com/
- Christopher Lockwood – local artist
- John Aston – Creator of Rachel Rage!