Free Comic Book Day: does what it says on the tin

The first Saturday in May is the day to get hold of some free comic books

Free Comic Book Day: does what it says on the tin

Like a Record Store Day aimed at those who’ve never visited a comic shop, or at least haven’t been in one since their youth, this year’s Free Comic Book Day is upon us again on the first Saturday in May – and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the incentive is.

FCBD has been happening since 2002, and it's increased in popularity as comic shops have begun to rise from the doldrums the 1990s’ industry crash left them in. ‘Things were stagnating a little bit a few years ago, there weren’t so many younger folk coming in,’ says Chris Dugan of Forbidden Planet in Edinburgh, ‘but it’s a lot better now with films like Avengers and Captain America out. We’ve been getting a lot of new custom since then, and Free Comic Book Day is important because it lets our regulars try new comics without having to spend anything.’

He says that a lot of the fifteen to twenty special FCBD anthologies issued reprint already-published material and aren’t necessarily collectable, but the most prized are the ones which preview new stories. ‘The Marvel one last year was pretty cool, it previewed their year’s big event,’ he says. ‘Dark Horse had a Hellboy story and a preview of the new Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance) comic The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. You get a lot of good ones from independent publishers like Fantagraphics too.’ Casual browsers shouldn’t hang about, though. ‘It gets very busy, I’d say if people want to get the comics they should come early. It’s the one day of the year we have a queue outside when we open.’

At comic shops across Scotland including Forbidden Planet, Edinburgh; Forbidden Planet, Glasgow; A1Braehead, Glasgow, all Sat 3 May.

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