Got plans for this Saturday? Well, you do now!
The first Saturday in May is deemed “Free Comic Book Day”. Comic fans both young and old (both age-wise and metaphorically speaking regarding their knowledge of the trade) come together to celebrate this beloved art form in the hopes that more budding fans will join their ranks. It’s also a day for parents to lure their kids into becoming fans of reading and starting them young is the way to do it.
This will be my eighth year attending this event and, being a seasoned veteran at this point, I AIM-ed with the 2006 version of myself to answer the questions that he had before attending his first one.
2014 Scott: Hey, good to catch up with you. Do you have any questions about Free Comic Book Day?
2006 Scott: Alright, this is some kind of joke.
2014 Scott: Um, no. It’s me. I mean, you but from the future.
2006 Scott: Whatever…I don’t have time for this.
<<2006 Scott has signed off>>
OK, that didn’t go as planned. So here’s some quick details:
Check out the Free Comic Book Day website before you go. Firstly to check out the titles and make sure you know what your kids could be getting into. Not all of their stock is free. There are comics that are released specifically for the purpose of Free Comic Book Day. Usually the stores have limits on how many titles you can pick up so having a game plan will help you from being overwhelmed when you get there. If you’ve got younger kids, then maybe pick up the Hello Kitty issue or even the Kaboom! which will highlight a couple different characters like Snoopy, Garfield and even Adventure Time. If your kids are a little older, go for SpongeBob or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. If they’re even a little older and into superheros already, have them check out Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket Raccoon to prep them for the upcoming major motion picture! Also take a look for something you’ll enjoy because you deserve a treat too. Lots of independent titles available as well that you can take a look at before deciding if you want to start picking up the graphic novels.
The website will also help you to locate a comic book store near you. If you’re in Sonoma County I recommend Comics FTW in Santa Rosa. If you’re in Marin County, check out Blue Moon Comics. Tell Kris (at Comics FTW) or Sam (at Blue Moon) that ToyDad sent you and you’ll get no discount and likely a free shrug or a “oh…ok”! And there’s nothing in the rules about not hitting every comic book shop within a 50 mile radius….that’s just good parenting.
Also, there’s lots of cosplay on Saturday so expect to see some costumes. Stores often even have costume contests so put together your best Powdered Toast Man costume and enter!
Lastly, BUY SOMETHING!!! These stores are, in fact, stores. They usually have great deals going on so take a chance and pick up Volume 1 of a new title. Ask for suggestions if you’re not sure what might be up your alley. Let your kids pick out a couple from the regular racks. The more you encourage them and the more that they see you reading yourself, the more buy-in you’re going to have. When you get home, turn off the TV and read in the same room with them for a half hour. Then talk to them and ask questions about their comics and what happened in them. Reading can be great