It was a nerd implosion yesterday as comic book stores all around this great nation celebrated a recent tradition, FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. According to the Free Comic Book Day website, Free Comic Book Day has three main purposes:
- To introduce everyone to the joys of reading comics.
- To Call Back former comic book readers
- To thank current comic book buyers for their continued support.
Publishers produce special edition comics geared to attracting new non-comic readers. There is a wide diversity of comics available, from traditional comics fare like Archie and Disney, super-heroes from Marvel and DC, manga from Tokyopop, as well as work from independent publishers.
In its first six years, more than 2000 retailers in more than 30 countries have given away more than 12 million Free Comic Book Day special-edition comic books. The success of the promotion rests with each participating retailer. Most participants agree that Free Comic Book Day has been part of a healthier comics market and growing comic book sales over the last several years. Free Comic Book Day has also garnered tremendous press coverage in all media helping the comic book industry. – Free Comic Book Day website
I’m not a huge fan of comic books. I read a few of them when I was younger but pretty much grew out of it, though adult themed comics like THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, WATCHMEN, and THE KILLING JOKE definitely showed up on my radar. Nevertheless, I enjoy a geekfest as much as anyone, maybe more than most. This year rose to expectations due to the simultaneous celebration of the anniversary of Star Wars tearing up the Internets, with all that “Fourth be With You” hoopla that has been all over the place on the internet lately.
I dropped by two local comic book shops, Victory Comics in Falls Church, VA and Phoenix Comics in Fairfax, VA. It was a mob scene both places. Victory has become kind of a fallback gaming spot for me in the past six months, and they were having a great 25% sale on non-comic stuff– so that’s where I went first. Long lines, free comics. I was kind of surprised at what was being offered up as free– advertising material, manga and reprint stuff from the 40s. I picked up Buck Rogers, Prince Valiant, Walking Dead 2000 AD and a few other things for Garrett.
Sure, it was crowded, sure, they only let you take a tiny amount of free comics. So what? It was a fun time.