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Just seven more non-shopping days 'til Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day

Just seven more non-shopping days ’til Free Comic Book Day!
Second round of this hopefully annual celebration has been set for Saturday, May 3. Then, comic shops across the U.S. will be offering a selection of freebies designed to theoretically lure young and old back into the comics reading habit.

Last year’s initial event was scheduled to pony on the weekend release of the Spider-Man movie; this year’s comes alongside the X-Men sequel. (Comics’ll have really turned a corner when we see a freebie day getting linked to American Splendor II.) But though the first Day’s more limited offerings pretty much stuck to the superhero ghetto, this year’s is more happily varied.
Among the Gold Sponsors (which should be available at all retail outlets) offering sample titles are such readily identifiable fare as DC’s premiering all-ages title Batman Adventures, Marvel’s reprint of Ultimate X-Men #1, and an Archie collection. Sample-this-please titles include CrossGen’s Way of the Rat, Dark Horse’s Rocket Comics, Future Comics’ Metallix, Image’s Leave It To Chance and Transformers: Armada.
Down at the Silver level (meaning, they may not be at all comics shops) are somewhat quirkier works: Alternative Comics and Slave Labor Graphics (home to Evan Dorkin’s Dork) samplers, James Kochalka’s kid-friendly Peanutbutter and Jeremy, Oni’s Courtney Crumrin plus other titles that I know I’ll be sampling because I know nuthin’ about ’em.

Also worth trumpeting in a separate paragraph: the return of a line of Donald Duck comics reprints gets celebrated with the repackaging of a classic Carl Barks tale that was initially in a giveaway comic fifty years ago, “Maharajah Donald.” Heck, that’s worth a trip to ye ol’ comics store all by its lonesome.
Retailers are hoping this event will spark more interest in comic book reading beyond the limited results seen from blockbuster superhero flicks. Me, I’m encouraged by the wider range selection being offered this year: if you can get people into the stores, the pickings should have something to appeal to a variety of readers. Here’s wishing the event is successful enough that it’ll be able to stand on its own next year.

About Bill Sherman

Bill Sherman is a Books editor for Blogcritics. With his lovely wife Rebecca Fox, he has co-authored a light-hearted fat acceptance romance entitled Measure By Measure.

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