Wow, it’s Free Comic Book Day again! 🙂 I kinda like the article by Polygon, the Free Comic Book Day was first conceived to support the small shops and honestly where can you get a better service than in a small shop.
These days it is not possible to escape the comic book industry anymore. What was reserved for kids, nerds and grown-ups who still love the media decades ago ist now part of our mainstream. Just in case you are not really that much into comic books but like to go the cinema, read magazines and are confronted with it everywhere and got curious – this is really the best for you to give it a try.
There are – in each country that participates – shops which will have Free Comics for every customer. Take a look, first at the art than at the script, the story that eveolves from panel to panel. Believe me – in many cases it is a very fine art.
It even doesn’t matter if you are interested in specific genres – there is someting for anyone – there’s Drama, Love, Fun, Comedy, SciFi, Horror, Thriller and potlitical cirtical Stories out there.
Why do I love comics?
I started reading comics as a kid and in those times it was Disney’s work that moved me the most. There was Uncle Donald, Uncle Scrooge and all the other nephews and inhabitants of Duckburg. They still move me nowadays, after all these years. Afterwards there was the time of superheroes, it all started with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four and in my Youth I discovered DC Vertigo. They already started with their stories for mature readers, aiming right at those grown-ups who still love the medium but the stories didn’t move them anymore. So the people from DC decided to move on and find writers and artists to bring stories with adult themes and issues out into the world. There were always writers and artists who already did that, and Will Eisner & Alan Moore were surely some of them but this new way of publishing changed a lot. Without them we wouldn’t have “The Sandman”, “Preacher”, “Books of Magic”, “Swamp Thing” and “Hellblazer”. So – over the years – they completely kept me reading.
After all these years, where can you start?
I know the feeling – someone tells you about a TV show and how great it is and then tells you that they are broadcasting Season 3 this week and you think “No way am I gonna watch two seasons” just to understand each little gag. It’s like coming far too late to a party, everyone is having fun and you don’t get any joke!
Have no fear – just tell the person at the desk what you’re interested in and that you are a newcomer. From my point of view go for so-called Trades, they usually contain a chapter of a storyline. Also look for specific authors or artists. If someone’s art looks interesting for you – go for it.
Just one thing you should always be aware – and this doesn’t only concern comics alone – never ever start with the classics, the best stories that have ever been written. If anyone tells you that, keep it in mind and then say “No, thanks, I’ll come back to that later”. Go step by step like others did before you. You can gain so much! 🙂
What about it, will I get them anywhere?
Welcome to the 21st century – nowadays you can buy comics digitally. But you shouldn’t do that right from the beginning – the feeling to have a comic book in your hands is amazing compared to a tablet. I do use both but only because of availabilty and comfort.
On the other hand – to be part of the Free Comic Book Day outside of USA, Canada or the UK is kinda difficult. There are well sorted comic shops in other countries, but surely not so easy to find. I wish you the best of luck – if you’re living in France, Belgium or Germany you already have your own comicbookstores already.
In Germany and Austria there is – for some years now – an independent version called “Gratis Comic Tag” happening a week later, this time on May 9th. I participated last year in Vienna and the show I was attending was decorated in a very fine way, they organized games for the kids and there were even some people who came in cosplay! 🙂
It is – no matter where and when it happens – a great event. Have fun and enjoy your free comics. 🙂