It's that time of year again, people! Free Comic Book Day lands on Saturday, May 7th at comic shops across the nation! Stores will hand out a wide variety of specially printed comics for FCBD (Free Comic Book Day) with the idea being that there will be something there for pretty much anyone. Like the hottest writers on the NY Times list? Then try James Patterson's Witch & Wizard. Want something to take you back to Saturday mornings and after-school cartoons? How about comics featuring the Smurfs, Darkwing Duck (Let's get dangerous!), Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers, or The Tick? Are you a fan of a more reality-based fare? Then look for Discovery Channel's Deadliest Sharks and Prehistoric Predators, or try Chuck Dixon's Civil War Adventure. Want your reality to be campy? There's Misadventures of Adam West!And the list goes on and on!
The idea behind FCBD started more than 10 years ago and has grown into a national (and even international) event. But why hand out free comics? Many of the stores and publishers see it as a way to attract people who may not currently be reading comics. For others, it offers retailers the opportunity to put new titles into their customers' hands, exposing them to new material to buy.
In the Charlotte area, there are three comic book stores- Pennyworth's (named after Batman's butler) in Matthews, located in a shopping center at the intersection of Hwy 51 and Monroe Rd. They have very limited space, both in the store and in the parking lot, and the entrance/exit is a little steep, so you have to catch a ggod break in traffic OR risk having the bottom of your car scrape hard several times. YOUCH!
Rebel Base Comics has the best parking of the three shops, located on Sharon Amity just off of Providence Rd and before you reach Randolph Rd. Rebel Base doesn't just hand out free comic books, they typically include the Imperial 501st as their special guests, put a bunch of stuff on sale, and they even bring in local talent to draw for fans. The 501st is a worldwide coalition of Star Wars re-enactors who craft their own costumes down to intricate detail. They then don these uniforms for comics and Star Wars related events, and for many charitable organizations. The store has one of the best selections of resale action figures and related toys you could imagine! For phone number, address, or other information, click the link under "Links For the Comics Fans in the Carolinas" (that's why I put the links there!).
Finally, there is Heroes Aren't Hard to Find. This store is the host of the annual HeroesCon and is the largest of the three comics stores, with tons of back issues just waiting to be grabbed up. Usually, FCBD at Heroes involves setting up some tables outside for people to get to meet some real comic book creators. Inside the store, free comics are scattered throughout the well-packed shelves, encouraging browsers to pick up more than just the free issues. The problem is, while the store is spacious, and they always have great artists on hand for the crowd, parking is very limited and shares space with shoppers from other stores and restaurants. Driving in a group and maybe walking a couple of blocks might be good ideas. Heroes is located on 7th street and Pecan near Showmars. For more information, again look for the link under "Links For the Comics Fans in the Carolinas."
For more about free comic book day, including the full list of titles that will be available, copy this address in your browser- http://www.freecomicbookday.com
Along with the free comics being offered in comic shops, a variety of publishers (mostly independent or small press) are offering free comics via download to your computer! You never have to leave the house to enjoy some of the fun! And unlike their printed counterparts, digital comics don't wear out, fade or wrinkle!