Transforming Comics – Free Comic Book Day, The Gateway In

Hello readers, I am here with a new weekly article that will center news for comics and related media. The focus will sometimes run into my current favourite on-going series Transformers, but today is more of a look into getting started with comic collecting and reading. For that purpose I am going to tell you about a big event happening today.

For those who haven’t heard of this event in the last few years, Free Comic Book Day is exactly as it says. Once a year, publishers give out issues to hand out to consumers for free, at the shops discretion. It is not free for the shops, but it helps bring in customers and new readers. Some places will hold events like my hometown, which does a year crawl across the down town area into the East side. This has been going on since 2002 and has been gaining ground every year.

If your wondering why companies are willing to do this, the answer is simple; it brings in new readers. The big companies and some smaller up and coming ones will usually show off previews of things to come, like the new Avengers team debuting later this year, or the annual Sonic/Mega Man crossover over at Archie comics. Some series are given their first issues as a test to see if there is interest in them. This can be disappointing for the ones you like that never come out (looking at you poorly departed Virgin Comics.) Other will post previews or past issues to draw in readers, especially comics prints that are available online like Keenspot did one year.

The event also has spread into a Halloween based event in October, although it hasn’t reach the height of its springtime counterpart. During both events you can see a wide assortment of costumes from all ages. I myself have dressed up in the past, along with friends. Have yet to win the local cosplay contest, but one year one of us will get it. Where I live, local comic book store staff even dress up to join in on the occasion. Here is a pic from 2012 from one of the busier stores cheering up the crowds outside.

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The Thor of London, Ontario keeping skies clear.

Most places will also have sales and other giveaways to help draw in people. Generally to entice new comers to come back and get more of the comic they have picked up. Not that this is a bad thing, as some books that are in need of attention will gain new readers and others something new to follow. It also helps fill in gaps in collections. I have collected all of the old Dazzler series this way (pick it up if you can, great read.)

If you want to learn more about this day and how to find somewhere near you celebrating, go here. There is also previews of this years comics, past media coverage, their own guide into getting into comics available year round, and events that span over the year. You can also find out how you can join up and sponsor the day as well through their contact page.

Next week I will talk about one of the best series of comics for the past 30 years, Transformers. From the comics, to toys, to on your TV they have been more then meets the eye. I will go more into the comic side and maybe a little into the current toyline promo, Combiner Wars.

 

Robert McConkey

Long time resident of South Western Ontario. Comes from a wonderfully mixed background which leads to confusion of what race I am. Lover of pop culture and taker of all media.