A Super Powered Day to Read


Andrew McCollum, Writer

The first Saturday in May is an important day for comic book fans because they receive them for free from comic stores nationwide. This is a great way to help new fans or avid collectors add to their growing assortment of comic books and celebrate the long time continuation of this hobby.


This event originated in 2002 when a retailer named Joe Field realized that films released about comic book superheroes were a huge success. This sparked the idea to have free comics given out on a specific day of the year, but he didn’t know what date to choose. Image Comics publisher, Jim Valentino, suggested to Field that an ideal date would be the opening weekend of the much anticipated Spider-Man film being released on May 3rd, of the year 2002, this happened to be the first Saturday of May.


Cody Watkins, senior at Oakdale High School and a long time comic book enthusiast, participates annually in free comic book day. He continued the tradition on May 6th, but this year it was a different experience: “For the first time the comic book store that I go to had a cosplay contest that I participated in, I didn’t win but it was still fun to enter on top of getting comic books for free”.


Watkins also noted that there were writers and illustrators set up in booths for autographs: “The first couple of hours when the store opened the line was going out the door passed the other stores next to it,” Watkins added.


Hunter Moles, employee at a local comic store, “Beyond Comics”, has worked on free comic book day for the past four years. “Free comic book day is usually our biggest day of the year. It’s always crazy, we have people lining up outside the door as early as 8 in the morning.”


When asked how the store prepares for this day, Moles responded, “Usually they (comic book publishers) announce all the books that will be released on free comic book day around the middle of February and we get our orders anywhere between the end of February and the beginning of March”.


“We also do an array of sales throughout the store such as games, back issues, graphic novels, and even some of the smaller statues. Plus we have to move a lot of stuff around to display the free comics so there’s about a week of moving things out of the way.” Mentally preparing for free comic book day is a whole other story that involves a lot of swearing coupled with calming meditation. Moles said jokingly.


Some comic book stores will have food drives that reward people with the opportunity to get more free comics. This works out by bringing in a non perishable good which will allow you to receive five extra comics. This is a win for everyone as the homeless will be getting fed, comic fans will get more books, and the store will get more people to come due to the increased amount of available books.


Overall this day is a largely celebrated event that many fans, new and old, look forward to every year as they add onto their collections of comic books. Free comic book day will allow this timeless hobby to live on through future generations as a memento to comic book fans nationwide.