Today is Free Comic Book Day and boy is it gonna be great!
Today every comic ever is totally 100% free no matter who owns it!
Actually…wait. No. That’s a lie. Please don’t try just taking comics that belong to someone else. That’s called stealing and unless you’re a Storm or Gambit, stealing is not cool. But today some comics are actually free.
Here’s how it works:
Lots of comic shops will be participating. Not all, but definitely more than many. Check here if you want to see who your closest participants are: www.freecomicbookday.com/StoreLocator
You can visit as many locations as you like. Exploring new comic shops is half the fun! Many shops will even have local creators and such in for the event so check with your local stores directly to see what they have planned for you.
The free comics are specifically published for this day and participating shops will have a specific spot where you can pick them up. Depending on the expected customer volume and location, many shops will put a limit on how many free comics you can grab. This is to make sure there are enough to go around. It’s also a great excuse to visit more than one place. If you want to know what comics are being released for FCBD this site has a great breakdown of all the books.
Everything else in the shop still costs money. I know I used the joke in this post, but please do not ask employees if everything is free. They will have to hear that about a hundred times today and never once will it be funny. But feel free try it out if you don’t know what polite retail employee laughter sounds like so you can use it to gauge future experiences.
If you are in a position to do so, PLEASE BUY SOMETHING. If you can’t afford to buy something, skip this next part because the comics are still 100% free and you are 100% welcome. Get some free comics and make a damn day of it. But if you can buy something, today is the day to do it. Here’s the deal, the comics are free to you, but they are not free to the comic shops. The day is seen by the industry as a way to increase traffic for shops, not just for publishers to advertise new comics. It’s looked at as a marketing expense and the stores eat the cost of the “free” comics they provide. If it sounds shitty, it kind of is. However, it’s not even the worst aspect of the comic book industry and how shafted local shops get by the distributor and publishers who are much larger than them, but more on that in future posts.
Last, but not least, please be kind. It’s going to be a long and busy day for employees, creators, and collectors alike. A little kindness goes a long way to make sure everyone is having fun and enjoys full access to the event. Said another way: don’t be a dick. That’s my life’s motto and it’s serving me pretty well so far.
1) Find you participating shops.
2) Get some free comics.
3) Don’t make terrible jokes that the employees feel trapped into laughing at.
4) Buy something if you can.
5) Don’t be a dick.
And that’s it! That’s Free Comic Book Day! Absolutely nothing else is cause for celebration on this day, the 5th of May. Nope, not even that thing you just thought of. It’s not really even a holiday. Look it up. Happy FCDB!