Today was Free Comic Book Day, a day when comic book stores and publishers give out free comics to those who love both superheroes and comic books in general.  This unofficial geek holuday -- the first Saturday in May -- was an opportunity for comic book stores to draw the interest of both potential new readers and those who have collected comics for years or decades.  And several stores had additional ways to celebrate -- as did the fans!

I was able to get to two local comic book stores (Apocalypse Comics and Players Choice; both in South Carolina) before work.  Alas, getting to Apocalypse Comics 10 minutes after the store opened meant, today, a long wait on line.  Fortunately, it was worth the wait: The store had large stacks of different titles, and while I'm sure they didn't last the day, I was able to get one of every one I wanted -- or that looked interesting.
As with most years, there are a wide variety of genres and publishers.  Marvel Comics had a preview for its upcoming Secret Wars special, while lots of independent publishers used the day to roll out their titles.   There are also lots of books based on television shows (The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers), video games (Street Fighter), and even movies (Fight Club).   And in addition to new characters, old favorites like the Tick, Judge Dredd, and others appear in comics released during the day.

 Both stores and customers got into the spirit of the holiday.  Stores had different events and incentives to draw customers of all ages and get them to spend as well as load up on freebies.  Apocalypse Comics had lots of discounts on various books, games, and figures; they also had lots of other events through the day, from bouncy castles (below) to radio folks doing a live show to "pro" wrestling events.
 As for customers, there was lots of cosplay (glad to see Squirrel Girl [below] is growing in popularity) and discussions about everything from the comics there to the current and upcoming superhero movies.  The little kid behind me had a toy Wolverine claw, while folks dressed as various heroes, villains, and groups.

Free Comic Book Day was, as always, a lot of fun and left me with lots and lots of comic books to read over the next few days.  Now I just have to wait for the first Saturday in May, 2016...

Written by James Lynch

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