Free Comic Book Day 2014
So today just happened to be one of the best days of the year – Free Comic Book Day! Celebrated ever year on the first Saturday in May the way things work is pretty simple: you show up to your local comic bookstore (LCBS) and they give you free comics. The event started back in 2002 when the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films were jus starting out as a way to help bring attention to local comic book shops and encourage people who might not have gotten into the actual comics to check them out. It’s since become an annual tradition with shops from all over the world participating. Big name publishers and indies alike publish books specifically for Free Comic Book Day and it’s a great chance to check out not only what’s on offer but other things as well. Some shops even go all out with auctions, giveaways, bounce houses, and more and most tend to have some kind of special deals on comics and merchandise.
The greatest thing about Free Comic Book Day, though, is getting to really see the community come out and come together. New fans can ask just about anyone in a store for recommendations and people are more than happy to give them. And everyone gets a chance to see people and talk comics which is something they might not get to do all that often. Plus it’s an opportunity to support small, local businesses buy picking up a few extra books or some nerdy merchandise. If anything you can feel confident knowing that you’re putting your money in a good place – your local economy!
We’re big fans of Free Comic Book Day here at Nerdophiles and a few of our number ventured forth today to our very own LCBSs across the country. Here’s what we saw and here’s what we got!
LCBS: Ash Ave. Comics (806 S. Ash Ave, Downtown Tempe by Cartel Coffee across from the Circle K)
Free Books: Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon, V Wars, the New 52 Futures End, Project Black Sky
Also Bought: Saga Vol. 2
LCBS: Pop Culture Paradise (715 S Forest Ave, Just off University Dr. across from ASU behind the Chuck Box)
Free Books: Teen Titans, All You Need is Kill, Uber
Also Bought: Saga Vol. 3
Other: Got the coolest Captain America pin ever from the Phoenix Comicon table and my roommate got Therese an equally awesome Wonder Woman pin
– My day started at 9 AM because Ash Ave. Comics decided to open early so I definitely slept for like three hours before venturing out into the Free Comic Book Day chaos. I tried to wake up Therese but she wasn’t having so I went alone. I’ve been to Ash Ave. Comics a few times before it’s really nice. Totally a little hole in the wall sort of place but the guy who runs it is super nice and the people who work there are awesome. Plus they probably have the best trade selection in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. They had a 20% off deal going so I saw and grabbed Saga Vol. 2 because I’ve given up hope on getting a fancy hardcover collection of that series ever.
– Also got to meet some people some ‘Very Awesome Girls into Nerdy Activities’ at Ash Ave. comics which is a pretty great name for anything. They were selling some super cool little art-bead pixelated ornaments, keychains, jewelry, and magnets to raise money for charity. I wanted to go back and grab some this afternoon but due to the whole not sleeping thing I kind of crashed after going to Pop Culture Paradise and totally napped until like… 4 PM.
– Speaking of Pop Culture Paradise, I grabbed my roommate and went over there around 11:00ish AM when they opened up. While Ash Ave. Comics is definitely a comic shop, Pop Culture Paradise sort of plays double duty as a comic/game shop and event space. So they had opened the place up to some local comic book creators and such. Phoenix Comicon was out there, too, raffling off some event passes which was pretty cool because Phoenix Comicon is a lot of fun.
– Pop Culture Paradise also had a 50% off back issues and trades deal going so I almost walked out of there with the first three volumes of Y: The Last Man and two volumes of Chew before I reluctantly decided I would rather have the hardcover versions. I did pick up Saga Vol. 3. Seriously if they had all the hardcover editions I wanted to get I probably would have spent like… $100 or something.
– While I was walking around with all those TPBs, though, someone told me I had good taste in comics which totally validates my life even more than the fact that I’m about to get a JD, I swear. We had a good convo, too, and I got some great recommendations for stuff to read.
– Oh, also, Spider-Man totally touched my ass. I mean, it was on accident. But still. (He was actually a super cool guy and I totally had a straight faced conversation with him about comics while he was all decked out in the full Spider suit.)
— Sam Wildman (@samaside) May 3, 2014
– Over all, another great Free Comic Book Day here in Tempe. I was disappointed, though, that NO ONE had the 2000 AD book. I needed some Judge Dredd in my life.
LCBS: Criminal Records (1154-A Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 in the Little Five Points neighborhood between the Porter Beer Bar and Bang On)
Free Books: Rocket Raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Tick, Kaboom! Summer Blast, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Hello Kitty and Friends, The Adventures of Jellaby, Hip Hop Family Tree Two-In-One, Cortney Crumrin, Armor Hunters
Also Bought: East of West #1 (Image First Edition), Adventure Time 2014 Annual, Bravest Warriors Vol. 1, The Umbrella Academy: The Apocalypse Suite, Captain America: Man Out Of Time #1 and 2, It Girl and the Atomics #2, Blackest Night: The Question, Ms. Marvel #35, 37, and 48
-As much as I hauled away, I actually spent less money today than I did on Record Store Day! (Yes, as the name implies, Criminal is both my local record store AND local comic book store.) Criminal Records had an awesome sale going where everything in the comics section was 15% off and you could get the $1.50 back issues for a penny with a purchase of a graphic novel. Hence why I finally picked up The Umbrella Academy. It was probably a good thing I couldn’t find Pretty Deadly: The Shrike or Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake, otherwise I would be broke.
-I also got The Dream Merchant #1 and Dancer #1 for free from Nathan Edmonson as well as a grab bag from My Parents Basement that includes Cable #1, Kabuki Agents: Scarab #8, and Codename: X-Men #1 and Cara McGee‘s Sharks Are Kinda Dumb sketchbook. There was also some free self-published book one of the artists was giving away, but it didn’t grab my interest when I took it home and tried to read it.
-I also bought Sam Spina’s Grandma Stories and Joey Weiser’s Kaijuphabet. Grandma Stories gave me the feels and Sam Spina gave me a weird sketch that is hella awesome. My bag also now has buttons from Cara McGee and Meg Has Issues.
-Cara McGee started my Captain Marvel sketch collection! I wanted Shivana Sookdeo
to do one for me too, but she was slammed every time I went back to ask.
-Speaking of sadness, I TOTALLY MISSED BLOCKHEAD ATL IN THE STORE. I hope they went to a good home because they were so rad.
-Afua Richardson is a total sweetheart and I will buy her art whenever I see her next.
-I really dug the Creative to Corporate panel that ended the programming Criminal had for the day. Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, and Nathan Edmonson had a lot of great stories and insight. Also, Nathan Edmonson’s personality is making me want to go back and catch up on the new Black Widow series. There was also not a no when Criminal Comics Department head Zano asked if The Punisher and the new Ghost Rider were going to cross over.
-Basically, Criminal Records is the best and they have all my money forever. The end.
LCBS: Third Eye Comics (Annapolis, MD)
Free Books: Rat Queens (Image Firsts), East of West (Image Firsts), Zero (Image Firsts), The New 52 Futures End (DC), Manifest Destiny (Image Firsts), Finding Gossamyr/Past The Last Mountain (Th3rd World Studios)
Also Bought: Hawkeye Vol. 1
– I don’t have my life together, so I didn’t actually get out of the house and on the hunt until around 3 in the afternoon. My first stop was actually my local library because I’d heard they were actually hosting a FCBD event, which is… somewhat of a rarity I think. Unfortunately, they ran out around 1, but the event was so successful that they plan to make it bigger next year.
– After that strike out, it was on to my ‘local’ shop. Third Eye Comics in Annapolis is actually the flagship to my local shop, but I was headed to the area and wanted to check out this one for the first time. Unfortunately, I also brought my mom – who knows zero about comics and nerd culture in general.
– She proceeded to go, “Look at that person in the mask!” at someone with a Guy Fawkes mask on and then point out a Sherlock (or maybe Doctor Who?) cosplayer to me and then wander around a comics shop for the first time. She pointed out “that green guy from Batman” as someone my sister liked and took a picture of a Tyrion figurine.
– I picked up my free comics and then mulled over getting Chew Vol 2 or Hawkeye Vol 1. Sam convinced me I needed Hawkeye in my life yesterday, so that’s what I went with. However, no one told me that we’re all apparently reading Saga on Nerdophiles. Thanks guys!
– Third Eye actually had a lot of crazy-fun things going on, I just didn’t get there in time to enjoy them. They had a lot of guests doing signings, Doctor Who and the TARDIS photobooth, the 501st, and a lot of child-friendly stuff. When I checked out, they threw in a few stickers and a coupon for 1 Free Comic and 20% off any 1 Graphic Novel or game between 5/8 and 5/11, so that’s nice. Maybe I’ll go back and pick up Chew Vol 2.
– My copy of Finding Gossamyr was signed by the writer, David Rodriguez. My mom actually took the comic because “what if it becomes like The Walking Dead and then it’s signed and worth lots of money?” and told me she’d get it signed, but as soon as we walked over she handed him the comic and went, “She’s the comics person!” Thanks, mom. I don’t know anything about Finding Gossamyr and it’s actually aimed at 8 – 12 year olds. I picked it up because I thought it was a girl on the cover… it is not. So, apologies if I was weird or sounded like an ass, David Rodriguez, I am a socially awkward turtle.
— Kylee (@kyleewho) May 4, 2014
Salem + Keizer, OR
LCBS: Tony’s Kingdom of Comics (Keizer, OR)
Free Books: Infinity (Marvel) + Hellboy (Darkhorse)
Also Bought: The Spirits of Independence: A Ghost Walk Companion (local writer)
– I was somewhat disappointed I wasn’t able to find Saga Vol 2 because I was hoping to pick it up in store instead of online and support my local shops. I might check back after they get a chance to get more inventory.
– At Tony’s Kingdom of Comics I met an awesome local comic book guy who had a comic for sale titled The Spirits of Independence: A Ghost Walk Companion. I asked him about it and he explained that it was his first commissioned comic and that the city of Independence here in Oregon asked him to do it. Since Independence, OR was built on a Native American burial site, there are a lot of local ghost myths attached to it. Every year Independence as their Hop & Heritage Festival which includes a ghost walk through all of the documented haunted buildings in the area. The comic was only $5 and all of the proceeds go directly to this festival, so I decided to support a local writer. In the comic he brought to life some of the better known myths. The writer’s name is Benjamin J. Kreger and you can check out his website the Warrior’s Inn Keeper. Go, look, buy, and support a really cool dude.
– Also at Tony’s, the show runner heading up Cherry City Comic Con was there with his wife selling tickets to the event next weekend. It is going to be the first comic book convention held here in Salem, OR, and it is going to be AWESOME. Unfortunately, next weekend I’m going to be working all day Saturday and then doing a graveyard shift Sunday, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to attend this year. I’m hoping to swing by and go in for a couple hours to check it out, but if you’re in the Salem area you should go and let me know how it is!
– At Borderlands I was a little disappointed with their for-sale comic book selection, but to be fair they are mostly a shop that caters toward gamers (both the online variety and card game types). So it wasn’t a huge surprise that their comic book selection was lacking. Also, for all I know people earlier in the day bought them out of stock since I didn’t get there until after 3pm.
– In conclusion, I’m content with my Free Comic Book Day. I got my free comics, got some other fun toys, and a deck of Game of Thrones playing cards. It has been a good day.
Did you go out to your local shop(s) for Free Comic Book Day this year? We’d love to hear what you got, what you saw, and how it was. If this was your first time, congrats! We’ve all been there before and we hope you picked up some awesome free books. Let us know if you need any recommendations or anything going forward. We’ve got some real comic nerds on staff who would love to help you out! And if you missed the festivities this year don’t worry – there’s always next year. Also, some comic shops will be having Star Wars Day events tomorrow. So there’s still plenty of stuff to do at your local shop.
Happy Free Comic Book Day and May the Forth Be Will You!