Here’s the deal with Free Comic Book Day. It’s a day of free comic books. (Truth in advertising; that’s a plus.) It’s been going on for five years now. (There’s history; good.) It’s sort of an industry-wide consciousness-raiser, a way for the moms and pops—pops, mostly, as you’d expect—of comic shops to reach out to their communities. (Look, some of these people don’t get out much. But why should they? You can come to them.) It’s supposed to be fun.
So, on Saturday, May 6, comic-book shops all over the planet will give away comics to whoever wants them. Even in Sacramento. By now, you may be asking, “Are they really free?” I looked into it. That’s question three of the FAQ. Answer: “Yep!” Another question, not in the FAQ: “Are the comics they’ll give away just the crappy ones?” It’s true that the event relies on sponsorship from various publishers, who sanction a list of what’s fair game for giveaways (not everything, of course). But the idea is to seem welcoming to new readers and to make veteran readers feel like they haven’t wasted a Saturday (relatively speaking). With that in mind, the offerings don’t look half bad: various issues of X-Men, Superman and Batman, Justice League, Star Wars, Archie, The Simpsons, and more.
Many local shops will participate, including, among others, Broadway Comics & Cards (1508 Broadway; (916) 446-0108), Empire Comics Vault (2357 Arden Way; (916)482-8779), and Big Brother Comics (718 K Street; (916) 441-6461), described as the best comics store in the world by some dude on its MySpace page. For more, you may also consult the “Free Comic Book Day Store Locator” at www.freecomicbookday.com.