This past Saturday was the “Black Friday” for comic book shops around the country; “Free Comic Book Day.” It is always the first Saturday in May, hearkening the Summer in with free comic books, sales and special events at most comic book establishments.
Given the current economy, and I’m not just talking about comic books, I do believe that there is a correct way to celebrate the day.
It’s not just to go out, grab some free comic books and go home. It’s to go out, grab some free comic books, purchase something and then go home. The free comic books that you get may be free for you, but they are not free, for the purveyor of the comic book store, who gives them out. With that in mind, I try to make sure I buy something and make it more of a personal, “buy this, get that free” sale for myself. I also attempt to spread the love around and hit up at least two shops, as my schedule permits.
This year, armed with only $50, I headed out the door and hit up two of my local comic book shops.
I came back with quite the haul. First off, the freebies, I ended up with FUBAR The Ace of Spades, Giant-Size Action TESLA, Guardians of the Galaxy and Zombie Tramp. I have yet to read them, but am interested in what they are teasing, and the Zombie Tramp seems like it’ll be worth a laugh, one way or another.
I also picked up the West Coast Avengers Volume One Omnibus on sale for $28. This kind of sale is common, although if you aren’t there early enough, those sales may be limited to what is left of the shelf or table.
At one store, they were having a convention of sorts with a few visiting artists and a $1 comics long box sale. I didn’t have the time to stay for the talent, but I did pick through the long boxes and score 14 comics.
I’m not the most religious reader or avid collector, but I do have a collection and I do enjoy them. So from time to time, I pick up one-shots or books that seem interesting or are off the beaten path.
Of the 14, and I’m not going to list them all, I did pick up two Marvel One-Shots, X-Women and Dark Reign New Nation, as well as, quite a number of the older, smaller publisher books, from Apple Comics and Eclipse Comics.
Lastly, since I’ve been writing about “Old School Magic,” I picked up two Soldevi Excavations from Alliances, as when going through my stash, I realized I don’t have that many and I also picked up an opened booster pack of Fallen Empires. Which just seems like a nice way to time travel back 20 years for only $5.
Overall, that’s two comic book stores, four free comics, 14 $1 comics, an omnibus, two Magic: The Gathering singles and one 20 year old Magic: The Gathering booster pack, all for $50.
To me, this is success. I have taken advantage of Free Comic Book day, without actually taking advantage of my local shops. Seems like a win-win to me.