Thoughtful Thursday: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Started in 2002, Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May. To get your free comics on Saturday, 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 2. 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 on Saturday, 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 2015!

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

Why You Should Read Comics: A Manifesto


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 (or did) pick up for free, and whatever else you want to say about Free Comic Book Day. 

One random commenter 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. I’m going to email my favorite comic store right now to see if they’re participating. If they are I might take a couple of friends in.

  2. Mason Radcliffe /

    I live too far away from the comic store so I usually get my sister to get the free comics for me on Free Comic Day!

  3. Melanie Goldmund /

    We even have free comic book day here in Germany, though it’s a week later. I told my son about it and as we perused the website together, I pointed out some manga that I thought he might not have read yet. He hadn’t. I don’t know if he’ll go down and try to get them, though.

    I don’t usually read comics, but recently, I’ve become interested in things like Hawkeye and Constantine. Sadly, though, they weren’t on offer. Ah, well.

  4. April /

    I don’t read comics very often, mostly because they are just too doggone short for me! I do love the visuals and have enjoyed one or two that had been bundled into a hardback book so that you could read an entire arc all at once.

    Mostly I like to read them online where I can enjoy the visuals and the shortness of the bits I have the chance to peruse don’t bother me as I tuck them into short down times.

  5. Melanie Goldmund /

    Don’t forget this givewaway! :-)

  6. Mason, 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!

  7. Melanie, thank you for the reminder!

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