Geek On A Budget: July 2011
Jul 29, 2011 by     5 Comments    Posted In: Columns, Geek On A Budget

Do you want some fee comic books? Would you like to know how you can get some free comics? Would you like me to stop asking rhetorical questions?

There is in fact a yearly event that all comic book shops participate in which is dedicated to free comic books. It’s even called FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. What is it? FCBD is a promotional event held annually by comic book stores in which comics are given away for free to patrons. Comic book publishers use this even as an opportunity to gain new readers or to get current readers to try comic books they might nit usually try. Retailers generally use this as a means to attract new customers. Stores will usually host special discount sales and provide face painting services for kids, do BBQs outside if the weather permits and stir up all manner of promotional shenanigans.

The event first kicked off in May 2002 and coincided roughly with the release of the Spider-Man live action film. This has become somewhat of a tradition with many FCBD events tying in to comic book movies.

For the Geek On A Budget, FCBD is an important event. With just couch cushion change you can buy a stack of comic books from the $0.25 bin. Or if you like softback comics stores will often sell them at two for one prices. Not to mention the free comics available such as the first chapter to the Blackest Night Saga that was published for free in 2008. The idea of the event is to gain readers. So bring your kids and friends and just enjoy a fun day out that won’t burn your wallet.

A few things to know:

  • Ask you local comic book store when the exact date will be. It should be the first Saturday of each May.
  • Ask ahead of time what sorts of discounts will be available. I’ve heard of stores even doing time sensitive discounts or special pricing events leading up to FCBD.
  • I suggest arriving early. There is a limited amount of comic books available for free and once the supply has dried up no more copies are available.
  • Ask the retailer how many free comic books you can take. Generally, in an effort to spread the comics to as many people as possible retailers cap the amount of free comics you can take.
  • Be kind, don’t push and shove others to get to the free comics. And always always always let kids go first.
  • If your town has more than one store, you could check each store to try to collect more free comics or compare discounts. Plus it’s kind of fun to run around town to comic shops. Why not hit up flea markets while you’re at it?
  • And when the day is done and you’ve amassed a pile of comic books, come to to catalog your books into your collection and tell fellow fans what you got on FCBD!

Have fun next summer at Free Comic Book Day!

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5 Comments Add Comment

  • Kenny July 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I missed Free Comic Book Day this year. Made me sad. My store was having a big event, too.

    Cool thing is that these free comics can also be acquired later pretty cheap in my experience. I have a couple that were FCBD prints. As far as I know, the material is the same as retail copies in some of these issues. It’s just easy to acquire the FCBD version cheap-as-free.

    Got myself a Green Hornet comic that way. 😛

  • chipreece July 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I went to my very first FCBD this past summer! It was great. My LCS did a deal where you got 2 free, and could get another for each book you bought from the store. I thought that was a great way to bring revenue to the store with that event, and also control the amount people take!

  • Chance July 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    FCBD is awesome! I mean whats not to love about free comic books. The one thing I have to make sure is my timing. I have to go to my LCS at just the right time or things don’t go over well.
    As far as I know there is no limit to the number of books you can take. but I have not gone into my LCS without picking up a few other books in a while.
    I’m not to sure about this statement you made “Be kind, don’t push and shove others to get to the free comics. And always always always let kids go first.” I have seen things get a little rough and some of the kids are the worst. That’s one of the reasons I need to time my trip.

  • Jason Newcomb July 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Well, there’s exceptions I’m sure but I’ve seen kids be really disappointed and sad at not getting the comics they wanted because some bully in a greasy spider-man shirt cut in front. It’s not a good look.

  • Chance July 29, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I know what you mean Jason. I try to let kids get their books before I take mine. I almost got into a fight my first FCBD because some guy was just pushing through everyone and messing up the piles of comics. Some people can get to worked up over free books. My LCS is fairly accurate though on how many to get so there is not much worry if you can’t make it on FCBD cause they stay free for a while.