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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Free Comic Book Day 2007 -- This has already been the busiest Free Comic Book Day I've experienced, and it's not even here yet. (It's Saturday, May 5th, FYI).

A few months ago I was thinking about how the radio station I work for could get involved with FCBD, and put together a proposal for a promotion that would include prize giveaways and a live broadcast on the day. To my delight, the radio station was behind the idea 110%, and fully half of the comic book stores in our region signed up to be a part of the promotion.

So for the past few weeks I've been working with folks at the station and with participating comic shop owners on putting together prize packages and, most exciting for me, scheduling our live broadcast this Saturday afternoon. I'll be live from Comic Depot in Greenfield Center, inviting listeners to stop by and pick up their free books and register to win free graphic novels and other prizes from a ton of great publishers, like Image Comics, Top Shelf, Dynamite Entertainment, Dark Horse, Fantagraphics, Top Cow and others. You can get details about FCBD at Comic Depot by going to the Comic Depot FCBD page.

Darren at Comic Depot was kind enough to set aside a set of FCBD books for me, which I went through last night. I wasn't able to read every page of every one, but I have to say that DC and Marvel seem to have made cannier choices for their free offerings than in years past. Marvel's Spider-Man freebie is new material by solid creators, but unfortunately is tied into current, godawful Marvel Universe continuity. So, a good effort, but as a reader I found the story (and the current state of both Marvel and DC's collective universes) very disappointing.

DC's freebie is a reprint of the first issue of their Legion cartoon adaptation, and that should go over well with kids on FCBD, although as Johanna noted, a lot more story and a lot less introductory material would have made the issue a lot more compelling and much better served its purpose, which of course is to get readers to come back for more on the regular monthly title.

There seemed to be quite a few quite awful FCBD offerings by folks you've never heard of, and probably never will. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who can come up with the cash to print their own comics, and yet never really stop to evaluate whether those comics are at all worth publishing.

That aside, though, Free Comic Book Day is always a great opportunity to get out and support your local comic shop, and pick up some free comics in the bargain. Make sure you bring as many non-comics readers as will fit in your car/truck/mini-van/stolen city bus, and find a comic shop near you right here.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Free Comic Book Day!

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