Tomorrow (FCBD is always the first Saturday in May) is Free Comic Book Day! If you are in Seattle you should totally stop by Arcane Comics and More in
Ballard Shoreline. Not only is it a great shop, with a great selection of kids’ titles, but Parenting Geekly will once again be hosting a table of activities for kids. We’ll be there from 10 am until 4 PM with a coloring contest and free balloon swords! Stop by, say hello and pick up some comics!
If you’re not in the Seattle area, you can find a participating retailer at the Free Comic Book Day website here: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/
One of my favorite parts of Free Comic Book Day is hanging out at the comic shop is seeing people come in to get their first comic books. I love introducing new people to awesome comics and I encourage you to use Free Comic Book Day as a non-intimidating, no cost way to check out current offerings. That being said, after seven years of watching newbies nervously creep into the shop I have a few words of advice:
- Don’t be afraid to ask where the free comics are. We know why you’re there, don’t be embarrassed. It’s a fun day for us and we want you to find all the cool free stuff!
- Respect limits. Comic shops have to pay for the free comics they give out. Most stores have a limit of two or three free titles. If there’s a fourth comic you are dying to check out or if you are planning on making a purchase in the store it doesn’t hurt to ask if you can grab an extra, but be reasonable.
- Make sure the comics you are getting are actually free. This is pretty easy since they are all marked with a big blue “Free Comic Book Day” logo. Also, show the cashier what you are taking before you leave. My local shop had the free books on one side of rack and graphic novels on the other side. An embarrassing moment with a customer would have been avoided had he checked with someone at the shop before trying to leave with a $30 copy of Blankets. Also, if something is marked $30, there’s a good chance they aren’t giving it away.
- Check out the stuff for sale. We know you came for free books, and we’re totally cool with that, but if you take a minute to see what your local shop has to offer you may be pleasantly surprised. Arcane carries toys, collectibles, trading card games, clothing and whole bunch of other stuff you never knew you needed. You don’t have to buy anything on Free Comic Book Day, but it’s a great opportunity to get to know what the shops in your neighborhood offer for the next time you have a little spending money.
- If your store is hosting a special guest, talk to them! Comic book creators are usually super excited to talk about what they’ve done. If you haven’t heard of them, ask them what their book is about, they are there to talk about it!
I hope this post has inspired you to find a comic retailer near you on Free Comic Book Day! Come back here on Saturday and let me know what books you picked up in the comment section!