If I hadn’t already been into comic books, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics would have made a believer out of me. The book is a seriously mind-blowing read, explaining sequential art with ease, an amazing depth of knowledge, humor, and clarity. McCloud is a genius.
And comic books themselves? Awesome. Seriously.
The only thing that could make comic books better is if they were free, and for one glorious day, they are. The first Saturday each May is Free Comic Book Day, a holiday that punches all the other holidays in the gut with a gloved fist. This year, it falls on May 4.
Someone from Captain Nemo Comics and Games dropped a swag bag at New Times with some of the giveaway titles inside, and these aren’t bottom-of-the-barrel tales printed on Kleenex. There was a Simpsons comic featuring Bart and other kids chasing the show’s own Comic Book Guy. There was a Walking Dead issue, because, yes, it was a comics title before it became an AMC darling (like Mad Men, but with more splattered brains). There was Archie, and a Marvel Infinity book, and a collection of stories including a choose-your-own-adventure-sort-of-thingy with Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. Algebraic!
A website devoted to the day reveals dozens of titles, from kid-friendly Smurfs and Elmo to retro-keen Buck Rogers to a brightly colored homage to Disney fairies (Tinkerbelle has a crew now, did you know?), to the monstrous Grimm, something called FUBAR, and the more decidedly adult Judge Dredd and others.
Not everything will be available at every celebrating location, but if even a fraction of these comics get into your hands, you should be happy. Or your kids will. Or your parents will.
I noticed that there’s an Avatar story tucked into a Star Wars book, so I’ll be trying to snag a copy of that if I can. To be fair, I should tell you about how to access these complimentary copies.
Captain Nemo is at 565 Higuera St. in downtown San Luis Obispo. For more information, call 544-6366, and expect more fun and surprises throughout the day!
Another comic shop in the area celebrating the day is Dr. Cain’s (778 Marsh St. in SLO, 540-4268).
For more information about the day itself, visit freecomicbookday.com. ∆
Executive Editor Ryan Miller is—BAMF! Where did he go? Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.