Friday, May 3, 2013

Why You Need Celebrate Free Comic Book Day

Did you know that the first Saturday in May is a Nerd-tacular holiday? No, I'm not talking about Star Wars Day which is celebrated every May 4th ("May the fourth be with you!") which only conveniently lands on the first Saturday this year. I'm talking about FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!
I said "free" and "book" in the same sentence so I know I have your attention. What's holding you back? Is it the word "comic"? Do you have some repressed (or maybe not so repressed) feelings about comic books and those who read them? Enough! Let it go! I'm going to allow Stan "The Man" Lee explain why:
Comics are an art form, like film, television, anything. People who look down on comics, I give them this example: suppose Shakespeare and Leonardo Da Vinci were alive today. Suppose Shakespeare said, "Hey Leonardo, let's collaborate and do a comic book." And Leonardo painted it and Shakespeare wrote it. Would anybody say, "Eh, it's just a comic." It really depends on who's doing it and how it's done. You can't condemn the medium. There could be comics that are masterpieces, some that are a waste of time. But that goes for every other form of the media. 

Perhaps you only have one view of what comic books are. Maybe you see the blockbuster movies released each summer (the hours can't pass fast enough until I get to see Iron Man 3 tonight!) and you're thinking, Superheros are for movies, not for my reading. Or maybe you don't even like the movies.... (really?) Anyway, the point is, just as there are a myriad of genres in the "regular" writing world, there are tons of different kinds of comics and graphic novels out there for you! You just need to find the right one for you.

This is why you need to celebrate Free Comic Book Day! On May 4, 2013,comic book shops are going to open their doors and give away comic books for free! You can grab a bunch of books just to see what you like at no expense to you. I can't think of a better deal than that.

In addition to expanding your own reading universe, if there are any children in your life (your own kids, nieces, nephews, students, etc), then you owe it to them to have a day that celebrates books and reading. The number of people who attribute their ability to read to comic books is simply astonishing. If you know of a struggling reader, this may be their ticket. As the video below explains, since comics contain both art and words, they activate both parts of your brain!

Since I am fairly certain that I have now convinced you to come and celebrate Free Comic Book Day this year, I thought I might share with you how I will be celebrating the day.

It's All About Comic Book Jones

If you live in Staten Island, or near enough, then you must come visit Comic Book Jones on Forest Avenue. One step inside and you won't need any convincing to come and join the legions of comic book readers worldwide. This store is fun, friendly and comfy (I opt to sit on the couch instead of the chair shaped like a hand!).

In order to fully celebrate tomorrow's holiday, Comic Book Jones will have artists and writers on hand to sign books and do sketches. Here is their flyer listing who's going to be there:

The thing is, if you don't live anywhere near me, you probably have a Comic Book Jones-like place near you (okay, honestly, it probably won't be as cool... sorry). You can use the Free Comic Book Day's comic book shop locator to find out where it is.

What I'll Be Picking Up

Obviously, with a giveaway of any sorts it is always first come, first served, but after checking out the Free Comic Book Day website's list of Saturday's free books, here's what I have my eyes on:

Kaboom! is a publishing company devoted to kids. They publish Peanuts, Garfield, Adventure Time as well as some other familiar favorites. First of all, I am a huge fan of the Peanuts and collected Garfield as a kid, so any time I can gobble up one of those stories I'm happy. But, thanks to my good friends at Word Of The Nerd, I just found out that there is going to be a Herobear and the Kid story in there! Herobear is a comic I used to collect that I long gave up on. It was created by a former Disney animator and, as would be expected, is amazingly drawn. The story is adorable and fun for all ages. I am so excited this book is back! (I am now wondering what happened to my Herobear stuffed animal that used to live inside the back window of my car!).

TMNT New Animated Adventures Okay... full disclosure here. My husband and I love the brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series. I sing along to the song, have an obsession with the Crang and how they talk and I think Michelangelo is just the funniest guy on TV. When I saw there would be a comic book based on the series, I added it to my list. I don't know if I will follow along with this book, but this is the perfect day to give it a shot!

Mouse Guard/Rust Flipbook This book is from my current favorite publisher in the comic book/graphic novel universe, ARCHAIA. Archaia's books are just plain beautiful. Last year's Free Comic Book Day book was a small hard covered book jam-packed with some of my favorite Archaia characters. This year follows suit with Mouse Guard and Rust the two Archaia books that my husband and I just happen to be following at the moment. Arachaia is a great company to check into if you want to find some rich stories with artwork and beautiful book binding to match!

There are lots more that have caught my eye - The Walking Dead, for instance (but I know my husband will pick that up!) - but these three are the ones I'm honing in on in case the crowds get restless and I need to move fast!

Go ahead and check out the Free Comic Book Day website to pick out the books you might find interesting. The site not only provides the titles and covers of what will be available this year, but there are also links to previews for some of the books!

A Final Message From Mr. Hugh Jackman

Happy reading!
What are your feelings about comic books?
Do you have a favorite comic book (either current or past)?
How do you plan on celebrating this year's Free Comic Book Day?

1 comment:

  1. Lisa Buie-CollardMay 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Oh man. I have two favorite comics right now, Elfquest (and anything to do with Elfquest or Windy Pini) and Thorgal, a French comic series. I've read comics all my life. My sister has collected them since the 1970s. French comics helped dramatically in my learning to speak and read French. Can't think of a more fun way than that to learn another language! Thanks for this post. Did you visit the "Left and Write" blog of Mark Means ( during the A to Z challenge? He did histories of "lesser" known comic heroes and it was FANTASTIC!