Celebrated since 2011 but steeped in some interesting history, May the 4th is the official ‘unofficial’ Star Wars day. Embraced by LucasFilms and now Disney you’ll find events at local comic book and gaming stores, indie movie theatres, and more all around the world.
If you aren’t clued in by now, it’s a day when Star Wars fans can take to the social media websites and unite in their brief moment of solidarity. This is a very special May the 4th, too. It’s the first May the 4th since Disney took over the franchise and you can bet that all over the world in gatherings of new and old fans alike it’s the number one thing that will be on everyone’s minds. I even got to nod along in a brief conversation today with Michael Stackpole (who wrote I, Jedi and contributed to the X-Wing and New Jedi Order series) in which he explained his optimism that Disney can finally develop the franchise and show it’s full potential in a way that no else could have done.
Thinking about getting some friends together for a party tonight? Here are some food tips. And click around the Star Wars official YouTube page and you’ll find some decorating tips, too.
But before you do that, head on down to your local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day!
Yes, friends, today is the day that comic book stores around the world throw open their doors and invite you in to give you FREE STUFF. Publishers and store owners together chip in money and release a series of free comic books featuring new stories from many of their key franchises. Some are full comics, some are compilations of various properties. But they are usually complete stories and best of all. They are free.
Some stores will give out other freebies too like posters. Today I got a limited edition Iron Man 3 Heroclix figure that was free for comic book day. Phoenix Comic Con was on hand at Pop Culture Paradise in Tempe, AZ handing out free buttons. Several shops here in Phoenix had special guests (like Michael Stackpole) and did raffles for various events and such. They even had a Spiderman bounce house for the kids!
There’s still some time so if you’re free you should hope down to your local comic book store and see what’s going on!
Here are some of the things YOU can score if you hurry out to your local comic book stores.
- Dark Horse has a Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar the Last Airbender comic out; a Walking Dead release which features Morgan’s last Christmas with his son, Duane; and a Mass Effect/RIPD/The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys book out
- Marvel has a preview comic for their upcoming Infinity event out as well as a book featuring Hulk and the Agents of SMASH for the kids
- Heroclix is giving out a limited edition free Iron Man 3 tie-in figure
- DC has a Last Son of Krypton book out which sorta kinda ties into the upcoming Man of Steel film – at least that was how it was teased at WonderCon – and DC Nations Sampler featuring Teen Titans GO! and Beware the Batman
- IDW has an awesome Judge Dredd comic out plus a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures coimc and a prequel book called Banshee: Origins that ties into the upcoming Banshee show on Cinemax
- Dynamite has a Grimm Comic book with an all new original story
- 2000 AD has an old school Judge Dredd comic available – not to be confused with the revamped series being released currently by IDW
There were tons of indie publishers out in force today, too. Arcana, Aspen Comics, Avatar, Graphic India, Th3rdworld, Archaia, and Fubar got in on the fun. Even Sesame Street released a comic for the kids featuring Super Grover and his sidekick, Elmo, and you had best believe I got that shit. Super Grover is the man.
My favorite less traditional comic, though? Stan Lee’s Chakra the Invincible from Graphic India. Co-created with Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra, the story looks fantastic and was written by Stan Lee himself. Raju Rai is protecting the people of Mumbai while showing everyone that it’s not all about the Avengers and Spider-Man in NYC or Batman in Gotham. I am seriously into this thing if only because I have a thing for underdog superheroes. For whatever reason Charkra the Invincible reminds me of the old school Static Shock show on the WB.
If you haven’t, get out there to your local comic book store now! Even at 4 PM a lot of our stores here in Phoenix still have issues available. (Though I know the Forbidden Planet store in Ireland ran out of their stuff pretty quick, your city may not have!)