Nerd on Free Comic Book Day
I keep getting asked, “What is Free Comic Book Day?” Well, the answer can be both detailed or simple. The simple answer is, it is a day where you get a free comic book or multiple comic books and is celebrated on the first Saturday in May. Before I get the detailed answer let me first give you some background on the concept of Free Comic Book Day. The first thought of such a day was made in 2001. However, it was a year later that the day was first celebrated. And normally each year Free Comic Book Day is held in conjunction with a major comic book movie release.
|1||May 4, 2002||Spider-Man|
|2||May 3, 2003||X2|
|3||July 3, 2004||Spider-Man 2|
|4||May 7, 2005||None|
|5||May 6, 2006||None|
|6||May 5, 2007||Spider-Man 3|
|7||May 3, 2008||Iron Man|
|8||May 2, 2009||X-Men Origins: Wolverine|
|9||May 1, 2010||Iron Man 2|
|10||May 7, 2011||Thor|
|11||May 5, 2012||The Avengers|
|12||May 4, 2013||Iron Man 3|
|13||May 3, 2014||The Amazing Spider-Man 2|
|14||May 2, 2015||Avengers: Age of Ultron|
|15||May 7, 2016||Captain America: Civil War|
|16||May 6, 2017||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2|
|17||May 5, 2018||Avengers: Infinity War|
|18||May 4, 2019||Untitled Avengers film|
Now for the more detailed answer. Free Comic Book Day is a day where local brick and mortar comic book shops spend money to provide free comic books for customers. The idea is to bring in the customers, and while they are looking at the free comic books, they will go ahead and buy other merchandise and more comics. Some stores take additional comics that are in their $0.25-$1.00 boxes and give them away for free as well. One store in my local area throws a small comic-con bring in local artists and comic creators, where a portion of the proceeds go to charity. Each store is allowed to do as they please to celebrate, what is often referred to as Christmas for Nerds. But all-in-all it is a great way to introduce readers of all ages to new or different titles that they might not read.
I remember reading the comic series ‘The Tick’ back in the mid to late 90s, watching the animated series, and even the live-action series. However, the book stopped being published over ten years ago. The only time you can find a new ‘Tick’ comic is on Free Comic Book Day, and believe me, they get picked up quick. This is just one of the instances that Free Comic Book Day is a blessing.
Another instance is when major comic book events are happening, or going to be happening, and you receive a prequel or tie-in issue for free. This is proof with Marvel’s ‘Secret War’ Issue #0 and DC ‘Convergence’ Issue #0. And even this year with a ‘Secret Empire’ tie-in issue put out by Marvel this year. These issues add more backstory and more detail to the story arc itself to make it all worthwhile.
But more often than not the issue that is released on Free Comic Book Day are what called One-Shots. This term is used for a comic that a complete story. No additional books are needed, nor does it fully tie into any ongoing story arc. It’s pretty much used as a starting point to bring in new readers. Thus the case with me a few years ago when I picked up the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ free comic, and it got me interested in reading more about this team. And thanks to Marvel Unlimited and their $9.99 subscription I was able to read all the back issues and nearly all the current run of the comics.
But in a discussion I had with a good friend of mine, we thought of an awesome idea for a one-shot. Currently, Marvel has the title character Man-Thing in a 5 issue story arc being written by R. L. Stine. For those of you who do not know that name, he is/was the author of the Goosebump Series and Fear Street Series. The idea that was hatched between my friend and I was a Goosebump inspired Man-Thing comic. Since Man-Thing is considered one of the Marvel Monster Characters, it would be fitting to have the author that gave us all Goosebumps (in both senses of the word) to blend his incarnation of Man-Thing with his iconic Goosebump series. We think that this would be the most iconic Free Comic Book Day book in history.