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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #125

If you’ve been checking your calendars, you all know what today’s column is about. Yep. It’s that time of year again…


125. Free Comic Book Day

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You all saw this one coming, right? It’s time for everyone’s favorite day of the year– Free Comic Book Day, when the publishers and retailers get together to spread their love of comics to the masses who don’t get what all the fuss is about and don’t want to spend their hard-earned money on the things. Hard to believe they’ve been doing this for six years, now.

This year is an especially great one because there’s a ton of wonderful stuff coming out. For instance:

Brand-new Spider-Man comic by Dan Slott and Phil Jimenez!

Brand-new Image series, the Astounding Wolf-Man, written by Robert Kirkman, debuts!

Unseen Peanuts from Fantagraphics, finally reprinting Peanuts stories that’ve never seen the light of day since they were originally published!

Plus: Gumby! Wahoo Morris! Owly! Whiteout! Marvel Adventures! Mickey Mouse! Pirates vs. Ninjas! Little Archie! Umbrella Academy! Simpsons! Sonic! Transformers! And a ton of other cool stuff!

If you’re lucky enough to have a shop that’s celebrating this esteemed event, tell all your friends, and bring all the neighborhood kids.

Remember, look for the FCBD banner and snatch ‘em up while they’re still available.

For more information, click on the following banner. It’ll send you to the official FCBD website.

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I live to serve. Enjoy Free Comic Book Day, everybody! And don’t forget to check out yesterday’s reason to love comics further down the front page!


This was actually my first experience of FCBD. I picked up most stuff except Spider-man, which was all gone when I got there. Pretty disappointing, but I shouldn’t complain too much.

Umbrella Academy?


Might have to track that down if it’s got Ba art.

You know the big problem with FCBD? The free comic books are in *comic shops*, where they’re preaching to the converted. They need to be in libraries, arcades, wherever kids hang out these days…

Just curious…does anyone have any evidence anecdotal or otherwise that Free Comic Book Day brings in kids and new readers into the hobby? And I don’t think it’s quite correct to say bring new readers into the comics hobby since tons of people are reading comics, just not American ones. I notice Viz and Tokyopop never seem to feel the need to participate in these events since they have a tons of mainstream appeal already and do crazy bookstore business.

But yeah, even if kids are dragged by their comic-loving parents into a comics shopped and pushed into getting an American comic, do they come back next month on their own volition or do they go back to their daily routine of Manga and watching That’s So Raven without American Comics ever crossing their mind again until next year.

One more thing, most things kids like are things they consider their “own thing,” things they feel are alien to their parents, that their parents can’t “get” and need explained to them. They spend their whole lives having adults explain things to them and push reading material on them, that’s why they try to spend their leisure time outside of school looking for things to watch and read that they can “make their own.” I loved superhero comics when I was a kid precisely because my parents didn’t get them. Now when I see comic-loving parents trying to push superhero books on their kids, the only thing that crosses my mind is how these kids are that much more likely to be turned off by them because they are now associated with their square parents.

I don’t know about Viz, but I believe TokyoPop generally puts out books containing previews of several of their series. Each volume is the same size as a typical manga volume, so you get a good-sized chunk of several series.

And I’m a square parent whose five-year-old daughter is completely hooked on MARVEL ADVENTURES, TEEN TITANS GO!, and SPIDER-GIRL … books she picked out on her own. In fact, I had almost completely given up on super-heroes until I read these and a couple other books I’d bought for her. Now I have to say that MA AVENGERS is just about my favorite book.

I agree though that FCBD really ought to operate outside the LCSs, but how do you get other merchants to spring for the shipping costs on items that they don’t ordinarily carry? Some large chain bookstores carry floppy comics, but other than that you’d be hard-pressed to find them anywhere these days.

One problem though is that she’s five. Plus she’s a girl, who don’t tend to grow up with that strong independent streak boys have. Getting 8-15 year old boys is going to be much harder, I think. It is cool that Tokyopop participates though.

Free Comic Book Day is awesome, but it was pretty disappointing this year. The only thing I really ENJOYED was the Unseen Peanuts book. The Spider-Man story was formulaic and yet, confusing at the same time. The D+Q book really disappointed me, mostly because I really don’t like Lynda Barry. I got bored after the seventh time she told me to find an image. The Eddie Campbell book was really pretty, but a the storytelling wasn’t clear enough for me. I couldn’t keep track of which characters were which, etc. That was all that looked interesting to me at the shop.

The Unseen Peanuts has some great stuff, though.

I also bought MA: Avengers and loved it. I think I’ll be back next issue, too.

Oh yeah, and the new issue of Shazam! was fun, too.

Ah crap. I missed it. Got too busy.

And I didn’t even KNOW there was a Lynda Barry book. :(

Drawn and Quarterly’s offering for the day is an excerpt from Lynda Barry’s upcoming book “What It Is”.

Unseen Peanuts was worth the trip all by itself. That’s a really neat little collection, one I would’ve gladly paid for.

I loved the Unseen Peanuts book, except for the bizarre mathematical mistakes. At separate points in the annotations, we’re told that 2006 is 60 years after 1956 and that 8 days’ worth of 4-panel strips contain a total of 64 panels.

But I grew up with a square math teacher for a Dad. Other than that, it was gold.

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