Free Comic Book Day to feature steampunk, zombies and pulp heroes
The first Saturday each May has become one of the greatest geeky days ever. It’s possibly even better than every other “official” holiday plus your birthday combined. No, that’s not hyperbole, it’s Free Comic Book Day, the annual day of free swag courtesy of your friendly local comic shop. The event usually runs in conjunction with the release of a major comic-book related film (in this year’s case it’s Iron Man 3 – opening Friday, May 3, 2013.)
The Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) tradition started back on May 4, 2002, during the opening weekend of the first Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man film. It was the perfect promotional opportunity to not only push the movie, but to remind the public that, ‘Hey, the legacy behind this movie didn’t come out of nowhere … we’ve been here all along.’ The day drives people to local shops, brings in both new and old readers and thanks long-time fans for their support – all at one fell swoop.
In addition to fun comic-book freebies, many shops treat the day as a huge party complete with music, prizes and personal appearances by both local and nationally renowned comic artists & writers who show-off and promote their work. Most of the comic shops throughout the Valley are involved in the event and you can find the one closest to you at the FCBD Shop Locater. Comic stores in Tucson and Flagstaff are also participating.
There are 53 different books up for grabs at Free Comic Book Day this year (happening on Saturday, May 4, 2013 – see your local shop for times) and the large selection has something for everyone’s tastes. Each person can get one comic for free, but if you make a day of it you should be able to hit several locations and increase your book-bounty exponentially. Be sure to show some love and bring a few bucks to spend on some of the store’s other merchandise as well and help them keep their doors open to celebrate FCBD again next year.
While perusing this year’s collection of free books, I noticed that there are a few “pulp” hero favorites which I’m hoping to get my mitts on. Below are just a few of the books that caught my eye for FCBD (descriptions from the freecomicbookday.com website.)
PULP HEROES -
Publisher: HERMES PRESS
Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, the first, best and original sci-fi hero is supporting free comic book day with a special re-print of two complete Sunday stories by fabled artist Rick Yager, who defined the look of the character for over twenty years. Hermes Press’ Buck Rogers FCBD issue will feature two complete, exciting storylines starring Buck Rogers and Wilma Deering in “The Mind of Minds” and “Wilma to the Rescue.” These stories have been painstakingly digitally reconstructed to perfection and look better than the original newspaper Sundays! Hermes Press’ Buck Rogers FDBD issue will also offer bonus material and tons of surprises!
Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
This full-color comic collects two Prince Valiant stories from Hal Foster’s 1950 peak: “Home Again,” in which Val, Aleta, and newborn baby Prince Arn enjoy an eventful ocean journey back to Thule, and “The Challenge,” in which another knight’s unwelcome advances on Aleta result in a classic duel with Valiant.
KELLERMAN / L’AMOUR SAMPLER
Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE
Kellerman / L’Amour features thrilling excerpts from 2 of the Random House Publishing Group’s stalwart authors; Jonathan Kellerman and Louis L’Amour. Kellerman’s THE WEB is the 2nd graphic novel adaptation that brings new life to a classic Alex Delaware psychological thriller. L’Amour’s LAW OF THE DESERT BORN is a classic Western-and an all-new L’Amour story told in a style like no other! The Free Comic Book Day sampler will feature a 14 page excerpt for each graphic novel, both are scheduled to publish in Fall 2013.
WALKING DEAD SPECIAL
Publisher: IMAGE COMICS
This special Walking Dead issue contains a new Tyrese short story, who made his television debut in The Walking Dead Season 3! It also reprints short stories featuring Michonne, The Governor and Morgan. This special issue is a must-have for Walking Dead fans–none of these stories will be reprinted in the trade paperbacks!
Publisher: ALTERNA COMICS INC
The New York Times-best selling zombie series FUBAR returns with an all-new Free Comic Book Day one-shot! This 32-page issue contains four stories that span the entire American experience from Valley Forge to the present day. Select stories from FUBAR: American History Z (in Previews this February) will put you in the boots of the founding fathers as they come face to face with the walking dead. If you’re new to FUBAR, now’s the perfect time to jump on board!
STEAM ENGINES OF OZ
Publisher: ARCANA STUDIO
SteamPunk Originals Presents: The Steam Engines of Oz FCBD. Get a special sneak peek at the upcoming re-imagining of Oz through a SteamPunk lens. Find out what happens 100 years AFTER the witch is dead. In an Oz ruled by a once revered hero, salvation comes from the unlikely wrench of Victoria Wright, who dares to question status quo and sparks a rebellion. This FCBD Edition will give you an exciting extended preview of the upcoming graphic novel AND a look at what else Arcana’s SteamPunk Originals line has in store for readers!
ENDANGERED WEAPON B
Publisher: DIAMOND COMIC DIST—ENGLAND
What kind of lunatic forces a grizzly bear to wear mechanized combat armor and fight his battles? What kind of fiend kidnaps a beautiful Polynesian computer genius to be his child bride? And just who has a ninja for a butler anyway? Meet the Professor: eccentric, scientist, explorer and Englishman par excellence. Madcap steampunk high jinks in Endangered Weapon B.
There are superheroes, cartoons, video game themed comics and more to choose from. To check-out the complete list of FCBD 2013 books visit freecomicbookday.com.