Thoughtful Thursday: Free Comic Book Day 2016! (15th anniversary!)

Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May and this year marks the celebration’s 15th anniversary. To get your free comics on May 7, you’ll need to locate a local comic bookstore and, if in doubt, give them a call to see if they are participating. Chances are, if it’s an independent comic book store, they are offering free comics, because FCBD is designed to celebrate comics, to introduce comic books to new readers, to celebrate the unique independent comic book stores that sell them, and to support comic book stores by bringing in new customers in addition to the regular patrons.

If you are new to comics, FCBD is for you just as much as it is for those of us who can’t make it through a single day without reading comics. For me and others like me, it’s a day of celebration. But we also want to reach out to new readers.

So, if you have never been into a comic book store before, please do so on Saturday, May 7. And don’t feel bad that you are going into a store you’ve never visited in order to get free books — that’s one of the main goals of FCBD: Getting people like you to come to the store without feeling as if you must spend money. Perhaps you’ll like what you read and enjoy visiting the store and will return to pay money for comics. And if you feel that bad about getting free comics, pull out your wallet and buy some comics along with your free ones to support these wonderful stores, many of which struggle to stay open. If you are a supporter of independent bookstores in general, you also should be a supporter of independent comic book stores. So, go and get some free comics and enjoy Free Comic Book Day 2016!

Here are a couple of resources I wrote for readers who are new to comics:

Why You Should Read Comics: A Manifesto


You can follow Free Comic Book Day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news and updates.

So, readers, will YOU be visiting your local comic shop to get your free comic?

If so, comment below, telling us the name and city of your local comic shop (and any comments you want to make about how awesome it is, and maybe even a link to its website), which comic you will pick up for free, and whatever else you want to say about Free Comic Book Day. 

One random commenter with a U.S. address will, as usual, be chosen to pick a book from our stacks.

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BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Read Brad's series on HOW TO READ COMICS.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up.
    My local comic store is an independent one, and I usually visit them once a month with my son. He’s too young to read most comics… Actually I should correct that: he’s too young for me to read him most comics (because he’s currently learning to read & write), but he’s excited to go there nonetheless.

  2. I just sent an e-mail to find out if they’re participating. I hope they are!

  3. Alix D. /

    I am embarrassed to say I have never been to a comic shop but maybe I will change that on free comic book day!

  4. Collectively, they’ve created a seize-and-go restaurant focused on dishes that style so good you won’t even realize they’re healthy.

  5. Yagiz, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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