What other industry makes it a priority to give away free products Country-wide throughout different independent businesses and corporations to every customer that walks through the door? I don’t see Toyota fixing their reputation by giving away cars, or restraints everywhere giving out free food. But since 2002 comic books have been free to any customer or browser in a comic shop on the first Saturday in May. Some places give out one book, most give out a plethora of goodies and offer great deals.
Free comics are great for everyone. The people who show up Wednesday after Wednesday to pick up their favorite titles get a great thank you from their publishers of choice and the shop they frequent. For people who have drifted away it can get them hooked again like a sober man touring the PBR brewery. Also The newest customers discover a whole new world, and for people who think comic books are bad for the imagination I beg to differ.
My son falls into the later category, nearly two years old his library consists of board books. This year I took my son for his first FCBD and we hit two shops, our nearest Newbury Comics and our local shop That’s Entertainment in Fitchburg, MA.
At our first stop we hit Newbury at 10 AM and they gave us:
- DC Kids of him (Sort of like a cutesy JLA for the earliest readers.)
- The Amazing Spider-Man – Grim Hunt: The Kraven Saga for me.
Newbury was also offering grab bags of back issues for a buck a bag and I picked up:
- Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man (Issues 1-4)
- Iron Man: Armor Wars (Issues 1-4)
Eight issues for $2.00? If it couldn’t be free, that is pretty darn good.
After finishing up at Newbury we headed over to our favorite Comic Shop for their 11am opening. We try to hit this shop weekly and if I am looking for an issue I always try to buy it there to support the local family owned shop, as everyone should. That’s E was more than generous to their customers. They were giving out 5 issues of your choice per customer and they had a local artist sketching superheroes all for free. This also coincided with the shops 30th Anniversary which gives 30% off one category per day for the month of May and back issues were 30% off today.
To cap it off, while you browsed the free comics and the new releases on the racks an artist sketched up a great Spidey for my boy, it will hang in his room for a great reminder of how generous the Comic World is to their customers and fans.
At That’s E my son chose:
- Fraggle Rock
- Toy Story
- YOW! ( Some collection quarterly of old comics like Nancy and Melvin Monster
- Owly & Friends
- DC Kids (again)
- Gi Joe #155 1/2
- Artifacts #0
- Shrek (For my boy, more for him)
- War of the Supermen
What a great day to lounge around and read the spoils of our pillage! Thanks Newbury & That’s E! And thank you comic industry for embracing this yearly event!