Saturday, April 24, 2010

Support Your Local Comic Shop

Magnet # 225:  DC's Finest

Material:  Metal, Paper, Mylar Shell

Purchased By:  Me

So have you got any plans for next Saturday?  If you don't, and you'd be interested in scoring some comic books for free, you're in luck.  The ninth annual Free Comic Book Day is being held all around North America and countries all over the world in just one week on May 1.

Free Comic Book Day was dreamed up by Joe Field, the owner of Flying Color Comics in Concord, California.  He introduced it to the masses with an article in the August, 2001 issue of Comics & Games Retailer magazine.  In less than a year, the first Free Comic Book Day was held on the first Saturday in May, and it's been scheduled then ever since.  Over 2000 comic book stores in more than 30 countries joined in, and the event met with great success.  Thanks to the coordination of Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor in the comic industry, comic publishers were able to sell comics to stores for between 12 and 50 cents apiece.  By giving these away at no cost, the stores have drawn in crowds of enthusiastic potential customers.  And as the popularity of comic book superheroes has grown on the big screen with films like Iron Man, Hellboy, and The Dark Knight, it's only brought more attention to the industry and more interest to an event that gives comic away for free.  In fact, sometimes Free Comic Book Day is specifically tied in with a recent superhero film release at the theater, like last year's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  To date, more than 15 million comics have been given away.

Quite a few less independently owned comic book stores have closed over the past 15 years, and Free Comic Book day has been an important part of keeping more shops open.  As anyone who is familiar with comics can tell you, these stores are the best places to find local comic book experts - people don't get jobs at these places unless they're really into the industry.  Here, you can almost always find really nice, very knowledgeable owners and employees who can help you pick out the right stories and characters to match your interests.  They're also a great place for comic book fans to gather, and sometimes, they even set up places for them to play comic related games.  So it's definitely in the industry's best interest to keep these shops around.  And if you're wondering if any of your local shops are participating in Free Comic Book Day, just visit to find out.  There are a wide variety of comic genres available, from traditional superheroes like Iron Man and Superman to more edgy and independent comics and even kid-friendly books like Archie, Toy Story, and Shrek.  And some comic book stores are even holding signings by popular comic book creators.  Stan "The Man" Lee, creator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, and many other Marvel heroes, will even make an appearance at a Pasadena, California comic book shop.  So, whether you're a longtime comic book fan or are interested in giving them a try, this might be a great day to stop by a local store and see what all the fuss is about.  You may even find yourself going back time and time again.

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