Every year in May, comic book shops in the US participate in an event known as Free Comic Book Day, a tradition that started in 2002. I don’t remember when it started in my country (I live in the Philippines), but comic book shops have been doing it here at least as early as 2006. Each year, comic book companies sell FCBD-exclusive comic books to retailers and they in turn come up with a distribution scheme for these free comics.
This year (May 7, which was last Saturday), Marvel offered up two FCBD-exclusive comic books that I know of while DC offered one. For Marvel, they had an Amazing Spider-Man issue that involved a fun story between Spidey, Spider-Woman, and the Mandrill. Their other comic book was a Captain America/Thor adventure that was okay by my standards. DC’s comic book is a modern retelling of how Hal Jordan became a Green Lantern. There were a lot of other free comic books from different publishers that were handed out that day, but these three were what got my attention.
The comic book shop that I currently patronize has a neat setup for Free Comic Book Day. The giveaways are handed out on a first come-first served basis, and no matter how many comic books you buy – whether it’s none, one or one hundred – they’ll have you choose three out of the many FCBD releases for this year. They will then give you a bag of old comics completely for free, as well some other swags (more on this later). If it isn’t obvious, I chose the three comic books that I talked about earlier:
I also got my bag of old comics, and well, they’re free but… for someone who’s been collecting comics for quite some time now, these free comics are really more of a burden for me, both in terms of storage and having to carry all that weight home (the bag is freakin’ heavy!). But it’s free so I took them anyway. The difference from the previous years and this year is what I’ve been looking forward to. The past two FCBDs, I was there for the FCBD comic books (they offered Avengers in 2009, and Thor/Iron Man in 2010). This year, I was there to get the Heroclix FCBD-exclusive giveaway, Green Lantern:
So, despite having very little sleep the day before FCBD, I was able to wake up early enough. I arrived at the comic book store 5 minutes after it had opened, and guess what? A long line had already formed outside of the shop! I was worried about not getting the Green Lantern FCBD figure. It seemed like I was the 30th in line, and I wasn’t sure how many Green Lanterns they had stocked. I was so annoyed, seeing a little kid walk away with a Green Lantern figure in hand, knowing that the kid will never ever play the figure the way it was supposed to be played. I even called the saleslady to ask if she could reserve one for me. Turns out she didn’t need to – there were plenty of Green Lanterns left when my turn came. Sadly, my friend didn’t arrive on time. I invited him over and told him that if he was able to get the figure, I’d buy it from him (it’s for my nephew). Here’s the actual figure:
I wonder what’s in store for next year’s Free Comic Book Day?