May The Fourth Be With You For Free Comic Book Day!

It’as almost here…Free Comic Book Day, this Saturday- May 4th!

What is Free Comic Book Day..?

Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) is the biggest event in the comic book industry—a single day when participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops! Founded on the belief that for every person out there, there’s a comic book they’ll love, the annual event offers a huge selection of free titles designed to appeal to a broad range of age levels and their tastes.

Every year, on the first Saturday in May, the industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage both curious, first-time comic book readers and seasoned comic book fans to flock to the best place in the comic book community: local comic shops. Each one is unique in its community, with a style and personality all its own, and each one carries a full line of comics, graphic novels, toys and related products. Local comic shops are the hubs of our community, where fans can come together to discover new comics, make lifelong friends, and find a sense of commonality.

Major publishers such as DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, and Image Comics, along with a slew of independent publishers, put out free comics for fans to enjoy at the more than 2,300 local comic shops that participate in Free Comic Book Day. The diverse range of titles available each year proves that there’s truly a book for everyone: from superheroes, to popular film and television shows, to beloved video games, and all-ages tales. Popular series available in the past include Pokemon, Doctor Who, SpongeBob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Riverdale, Overwatch and Star Wars.

Here in the M-town 901 Comics (Cooper-Young) is having an in-store signing with comic artist Dexter Vines. Born in Atlanta, GA- Dexter has worked on a multitude of titles for publishers like DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

The MSCA will be set up out atthe  901 Comics East (Macon Road) location from 10am-2pm. I’ll be out there  with some fellow local comics creators  Kevin L. Williams, Lee Raggs (the artist formerly known as “Abby”), and Kevion Baker. We’ll be selling our wares while drawing funny,- I may even try to record some for the “Drawing Funny” podcast.

You can really make a full day of FCBD and visit any or all of the local Memphis area comic shops! All of the comic shops in town (901 Comics, 901 Comics East, Comics & Collectibles, and The Cellar) are participating in FCBD,  Batcave Treasures is holding a “Beyond Con” off Germantown Pkwy., and 901 Toys (Cooper-Young) is having a “May The Fourth Be With You” sale on all their Star Wars toys. If you’re not in the Memphis area you can fine a shop near you by using the FCBD Store Locator by clicking HERE.

Some words about Free Comic Book Day from comics writer extroidinaire, Gail Simone:

Hello again, everyone.
I say a version of this every year, many of you have seen many variations. I apologize for repeating myself a bit, but it’s kind of important.
Really, it’s vital that you know, comic stores love having you come to Free Comic Book Day. Many of them make it a kind of all-day party and we all love having new people and long-time readers come by a great store and leave with some fantastic comics. It’s a great experience for almost everyone. Kids love it, adults, it’s just a great time for all.
Lots of stores have sales, guest appearances, cosplayers, sometimes even cake or other treats. I love it, one of my favorite days of the year.
This year, in just a couple days, I will be at THE GOLDEN AGE 1942 store in historic Maryville, Tennessee. Come say hello!
Now, there’s a couple things I say every year, just for the record…
First, most people think that the comics that the stores give away for free are free to the stores.
They are not. Each comic is paid for by the stores. At a greatly reduced price from normal comics, yes, but they are sold to the store by the bundle, and with many many dozens of FCBD comics, it adds up hugely fast. Multiply that by gosh knows how many people in line, it’s a significant number, all given away for FREE, no cash coming back to the retailer at all.
But that’s not all. They also have to pay shipping, which anyone who runs a business knows, is astronomical.
So, every book they give away is paid for by the store, twice, really.
On top of that, it is almost always necessary to hire extra help for the day. They might have to purchase more stock, after one of the slower parts of the year, sales-wised.
If they have decorations or publicity or cosplayers or creator guests, they are paying for each of those expenses. There’s a lot of expenses I am missing, I’m not a retailer. But they are there.
Free Comic Book Day is darn expensive for comics retailers. Most are delighted to have it, it’s a great day to get people to come and celebrate comics and learn about the stores. None of them would want you to feel guilty about coming and picking up the books, that’s what’s SUPPOSED to happen.
However, I would ask everyone going to Free Comic Book Day this weekend to do me a personal favor and SHOP a bit there, too. Even if it’s busy, hang around, have fun, and do a bit of shopping.
If each person purchases something ON FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, it helps justify all the expense, and ensures that the store will be able to continue ordering great stuff, and having the annual event again next year and beyond.
If there’s a TPB you have been thinking about, or a statue, or an action figure, I urge you to consider buying it ON FCBD, if at all possible. If your budget is tight, even buying a comic or some comics off the rack or back issue bins helps a LOT, I promise you, and you are doing something awesome for the community.
Comic shop owners and workers work long hours, often for thin profit margins. But they’re the ones who will look for that book you want, that will special order things, that will recommend you a book not to make a sale, but because they know you will love it. They are the force keeping the hobby fun, social and convenient.
So please, if you have ever really loved shopping at a great comics shop, look around and purchase something on this fun day of celebration in particular, okay?
You’ll be my hero. 🙂
Thank you,

And don’t forget that the next MSCA monthly dinner meeting is next Tuesday, May 7th from 6-8pm at the U of M Garibaldi’s Pizza off Walker Avenue near Tiger Bookstore and the Highland Strip. It’s free and open to the public, but be sure to bring a few bucks to order off the menu and something to draw on/with.

And speaking of free and open to the public, the second annual Memphis Public Libraries’ Comic Con happens on Saturday, May 18th from 10-3pm at the main library on Poplar Avenue. This year’s comics guests are Matt Wagner and Gene Ha, and many of the MSCA will be set up there as well.

Hope you can make it out!