The industry-wide celebration known as Free Comic Book Day began in 2002 and is coordinated by the country’s the major distribution venue of comics, Diamond Distributing, to bring attention to the uniquely American form of entertainment known as comics. Here in Bridgeport, Free Comic Book Day will be hosted by the owner of Rogue Comics, Michael Fuller.
An event of epic proportions that will occur on Saturday May 3rd at Rogue Comics, located in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT is the 12th anniversary of Free Comic Book Day, which is always celebrated the first Saturday in May, and, as usual, there is a big-event comicbook movie slated to debut on this weekend. This year, it is Marvel Studios, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Comicbook fans have already been treated to Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier which brilliantly tied into the company’s weekly TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) As usual, most of the major comicbook companies as well as numerous mid-sized and independent publishers have also chosen to roll out what they each feel are their best efforts in order to attract the attention of the comicbook reading audience. Publishers use this event as a way to celebrate comicbooks as a uniquely American art form. Each of the participating publishers have prepared special comics that are to be given away free to patrons of participating stores (like Heroes).
This year, there are nearly 50 comicbook publishers (including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Archie, and others) giving away some 60 comics — the most ever produced in a single year for the event (sorry kids, not all the comics in Fuller’s shop are free). While not all of the comics are necessarily “kid friendly” most of them are suitable for general consumption. This is because the participating publishers want to reach the widest audience possible with their products. FCBD is considered by all who participate in it a way for comicbook companies to make their comics available to potential new readers who might not have tried reading their comics, or might not even be aware that these titles exist. It was initially conceived as a way to help promote the industry and to help increase readership. To be sure, each comic shop is allowed to set their own policy as to how many free comics each customer can receive Fuller assures us that while supplies last, every patron to his shop will receive at least one free comic.
Fuller indicated that Free Comic Book Day is a really big-deal celebration in the comicbook industry, and he really enjoys hosting such an event at his shop. He stated, “This event allows fans to check out comics from publishers that they might not have ever picked up before.” He then went on to state that the comics that have been specially-produced for FCBD are specially designed to promote that publisher’s line of comics in the attempt to (hopefully) hook new readers, both from within and from outside the industry, into picking up new material. “It’s a really great idea, and it not only helps bring new customers into my store, but new readers to comics themselves.”
This year, the comic book companies that are providing comicbooks include: Archie, Dark Horse (Star Wars), Marvel (with a pair of Guardians of the Galaxy tie-ins), Perfect Square (Hello Kitty), Walt Disney (Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck), DC (The New 52), Valiant, Red Giant, Archaia (Mouse Guard) Papercutz (Smurfs), New England Comics (The Tick), FUBAR, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and many, many more. Needless to say, in addition to all of the free comics that Rogue Comics has stockpiled, Fuller’s store is full of comics and comic-related merchandise, including trading and gaming cards, and so much more!
For more information about Free Comic Book Day call Fuller at Rogue Comics located at 3002 Fairfield Avenue, (203.334.5566). Store hours are Monday and Wednesday: from Noon to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from Noon to 2:40 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday Noon to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. Free Comic Book Day begins at Noon on Saturday May 3rd and continues all day until Rogue Comics closes at 7:00 p.m.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.