My favorite part of annual Free Comic Book Day actually isn’t the free comics, at least from the big two companies, DC and Marvel.
They usually offer a preview of one of their on-going works and that’s nice but it’s generally something that will get your kids hooked on comics.
I love Free Comic Book Day because of the independent publishers.
Over the last two years, I’ve discovered Boom! Studios’ Incorruptible and Irredeemable, Owly from Top Shelf, and Spinner Rack Comics‘ Honor Brigade and ToyBoy, written by now-fellow GeekDad Tom Stillwell.
The offerings from independent publishers allow readers to get hooked on series that they might otherwise miss, especially all-ages stories.
In other words, it’s a great day to get your children excited about comics even if a store near you isn’t planning an event beyond handing out free comics.
Of this year’s free comics, there’s Top Shelf’s kid friendly sampler that includes Owly, Ape Entertainment’s Kung Fu Panda and Richie Rich, Sonic the Hedgehog from Archie Comics, Jake the Dreaming from Radical, which I reviewed last month, and plenty of others.
How many comics you can take for free depends on the individual store policy. My local shop let my four kids take one apiece but some stores have no limits.
However, if a local store is having events, that’s even more reason to go and take the kids as well.
There’s a state by state list of creator signing and events and a FCBD locater on the event’s website. And MapHook has also gotten into the act as well, with Events West, Events Central, Events North and Events South.
As a sample:
In Portland, Things From Another World’s guest list includes Terry and Rachel Dodson, Steve Lieber and Dustin Weaver. On the East Coast, Jim Hanley’s Universe store has a guest list that includes comics legend Joe Staton, and, in the middle United States, Chicago’s Comic Vault has a long guest list that includes the aforementioned Tom Stillwell and creator Jonathan Hickman, known best for his work on Marvel’s line of superheroes.
And if you can’t make the day because of other plans, the FCBD has put together a list of kid-friendly comic stores and suggested titles.