Geeky Parent Guide: Spread the Word and Support Local Comic Shops

Free Comic Book Day is right around the corner, and there are plenty of ways to show support to local comic shops. Free Comic Book Day is such a popular event, shops from all over the world participate, giving away free comics and usually providing amazing deals to their customers.

How do you know if a store is participating in Free Comic Book Day? Easy! Head over to freecomicbookday.com, check out their Store Locator, and find a store near you. Once you’ve done that, you can reach out to the store directly or find them online to see if they’re promoting Free Comic Book Day. My kids and I are avid fans of our local comic shop, so having the opportunity to get back after an extended absence due to the pandemic makes us exceedingly happy. A special shout out to Cosmic Comix in Linthicum Heights, MD – you all rock!

As for Free Comic Book Day, this event has been held since 2002 and is a staple for all comic book fans. It’s a wonderful experience, albeit overwhelming depending on your comfort levels with large crowds. With the world still wrapped within a pandemic, it’s safe to say some people might have trepidation about engaging with large crowds. Like any other day, make sure to treat everyone with kindness and you will have an excellent time. Even if you’ve never read a comic book, this event is a great gateway to becoming an avid comic book fan.

Yes, each participating store will provide its customers with free comics. But, it’s also a great way to explore the shelves for newer titles, while scavenging through long boxes after long boxes to discover older classics. If your kiddos are interested in comics, or you want to pull them to the glorious Dark Side, find titles they might enjoy. Plus, there’s a good chance your local shop might have collector’s cards, games, posters, and a variety of toys or figurines that might spark their interests in some other way. It’s a win-win, folks.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the comic books that might be given out for free at your local comic shop. First, the Free Comic Book Day logo at the top of each comic will be a different color to indicate which age group it’s appropriate for, so that’s a huge plus for parents who are unsure about each comic book’s content.




Free Comic Book Day (Green Label): Appropriate for All-Ages




Dav Pilkey's Dog Man & Friends Super Comic Teaser
Writer/Artist: Dav Pilkey
Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

If you ask my son what his favorite books are, he’ll say Dog Man. If you ask about his second favorite, it might just be Cat Kid. The Dav Pilkey sampler comic book gives readers “fan-favorite moments” from Pilkey’s series, including Dog Man, Cat Kid Comic Club, and Captain Underpants. This is a perfect opportunity to give your kids a taste of several popular series, including a couple of my son’s favorites.




Sonic The Hedgehog FCBD 2022 Special
Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Adam Bryce Thomas
Publisher: IDW Publishing

Your kids might have seen the recent release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, so they might be the perfect candidates to dive into this special release. This story will help prepare fans for a future Sonic the Hedgehog comic book, as you’ll “get caught up with everything you need to know about Sonic’s evil counterpart Surge before she and Sonic go head-to-head in the epic issue #50.” If your kids have a need for speed, they might just love this issue!




Fuzzy Baseball: Greatest Hits
Writer/Artist: John Steven Gurney
Publisher: Papercutz

My kids love animals, whether they’re watching videos of them or having their favorite stuffed animals to snuggle up with. So, it makes complete sense that this story would be interesting for them. Plus, there are quite a few interesting components to this story, which might attract a much larger audience. “It's got animals, it's got ninja, it's got robots, all competing in America's favorite pastime!” What more could your kids ask for?




Enemies
Writer/Artist: Svetlana Chmakova
Publisher: Yen Press

This story looks like a great option to possibly learn some important life lessons. Whether it’s sibling rivalry (or bickering), or trying to prove oneself, Enemies looks like a comic book that will be relatable to young readers who are trying to find their way in school or in life.

To see every all-ages title being offered, make sure to head over to freecomicbookday.com.





Free Comic Book Day (Blue Label): Appropriate for Teens+




25 Years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Writers/Artists: Various
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will get a fun look at the Sunnydale characters, which is being presented in a unique format. This FCBD special will be showcased like a “high school yearbook,” and you will get to see “yearbook photos, vignettes, and plenty of jokes and lighthearted moments from an array of artists and writers.” This sounds like a fantastic way to celebrate such a beloved cast of characters.

Check out this FCBD 25th Anniversary Special of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:


                                         





The Incal Universe
Writers/Artists: Various
Publisher: Humanoids

The Incal is a comic that saw its first pages published in 1980, and it will also see its works adapted to film with Taika Waititi at the helm. As a special treat for comic fans, Free Comic Book Day is offering a sneak peek at three new series that will expand upon the original story.

The following three stories will be previewed in this FCBD special: “Kill Wolfhead, by Brandon Peterson and Pete Woods; Dying Star, by Dan Waters and Jon Davis-Hunt; and Psychoverse, by Mark Russell and Yanick Paquette.”




Marvel Voices #1
Writers/Artists: Various
Publisher: Marvel

When we say that stories matter, it means that any story at any point in time, can resonate with a person in such a unique and profound way. It’s also important to understand that diverse representation in all mediums, including comics, allows everyone see that superheroes can be anyone. Marvel Voices looks to take this idea head on.

“MARVEL'S VOICES #1 will be a unique introduction to the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed Marvel Voices series, which spotlights creators and characters across Marvel's diverse and ever-evolving universe. The book will include seven Marvel Voices stories, spotlighting creators and characters from different cultures, communities, and identities.”




The Electric Black: The Children of Caine #0
Writer: Joseph Schmalke
Artists: Joseph Schmalke, Rich Woodall
Publisher: Scout Comics

If I say, “traverse space and time,” do you need anything else to know before wanting to pick up this Scout Comics’ title? Well, the cover image depicts a character dressed much like a sheriff or cowboy, standing in front of an “eerie emporium” several imposing figures in the background. Along with time travel, this series includes ancient relics and magical powers. Even though my kids aren’t old enough (ages 7 and 9) for this story, I hope it’s one I get to read!

Check out this preview for The Electric Black: The Children of Caine:


                                       


For all teen-rated comics available for FCBD, head over to freecomicbook.com.




Free Comic Book Day (Red Label): Appropriate for Mature/18+




Nottingham FCBD Special
Writer: David Hazan
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios

Continuing a twist on a classic tale, Nottingham follows the Sheriff of Nottingham as he navigates a world where he tries to bring “Hood and the Merry Men” to justice. Revolving around a murder mystery, “this special issue of Nottingham takes place in between volumes 1 and 2 of the smash hit series.”




The Bone Orchard Mythos Prelude
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Publisher: Image Comics

The FCBD special will give readers “the first terrifying pieces of The Bone Orchard Mythos, a sprawling new horror interconnected universe from the Eisner Award-winning team behind Gideon Falls and Primordial, Andrea Sorrentino and Jeff Lemire!”

If you’re like me who thoroughly enjoyed Gideon Falls, and wants to also dive into anything created by this dynamic duo, then find your way to your local comic shop on Free Comic Book Day and hope this title is an option. The prelude will give you a first look into a much bigger world. Bone Orchard: The Passageway will appear in comic book stores on June 15, along with a digital edition to Kindle and ComiXology, while having a broader release to other book stores on June 21.

Check out this preview of the FCBD prelude to the Bone Orchard Mythos:


                                        

For more mature titles, head over to freecomicbookday.com to see what else will be available.


Free Comic Book Day is a lot to take in. Some shops might have guest appearances for signings, there might be tons of discounted items, and there might even be fun games for the whole family. So, it’s important to also understand how much of an undertaking Free Comic Book Day is for local shop owners. It’s a massive event and in all my experiences, people always have an amazing time.

Free Comic Book Day is a great way to get free comics, but it’s also a way to support your local shop down the road, too. If you find yourself enjoying one or two series (or more), consider coming back to your shop again and again. Ask them about creating a “pull list” for you or your kids, which will let you reserve future comics for you to pick up.

Going to the comic shop is one of my favorite things, and whether you’re a current or future comic book lover, Free Comic Book Day is a wonderful way to engage with other people and the shop owners. Or you can peruse the endless supply of comics on your own, at your own pace, and find your new favorite comic book to read. Either way, make sure to spread the word about this Saturday’s amazing event, so we can support our local comic shops on FCBD and beyond.

Are you going to Free Comic Book Day or have you attended one in the past? Share your experiences in the comments below. If you want to see more comics covered on the Geeky Parent Guide, don’t forget to mention that to us when you like and share this article over on Facebook and Twitter.

Until next time, friends, happy parenting and happy geeking.







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