Free Comic Book Day 2011

It was another great Free Comic Book Day in my neck of the woods this year. I started the day at Comic Zone, who were taking part for the 2nd year running and although I was there only minutes after opening, there were quite a few other customers already there. The bevy of freebies were displayed in an “U” shape on their generous counter so everyone could easily see what was on offer.

Next up was Quality Comics who have taken part for a few years now. With their nifty sign out the front (created by one of their talented staff members I believe) showing Superman and Deadpool in the gear of their opposing publishers, and plenty of people inside, it looked to be another success. With staff wearing hats and this year’s cool FCBD shirts from artist Darwyn Cooke, there was quite the crowd, and lots of parents bringing their kids (some of whom even dressed up as their fave superheroes). The freebies were all displayed on a large board behind the counter, and QC even had people dressed up and promoting the event with flyers in the streets of Perth. Passers by seemed to dig this and take a few photos with them. I saw a few teens dressed up as anime characters and also ran in to Batman and Batgirl.

Last on my journey was Empire Toys. This marks their 4th FCBD and their first in their swanky new location (only metres from their old place, but a lot better). Again, there were heaps of people and a few youngens. Their freebies were wisely numbered and displayed on the counter, so instead of asking, “Can I please have the Super Dinosaur Origin Special?”, they can just ask, “Number 8 please.” Makes sense.

I already had quite a few of the almost 40 (!) freebies on offer this year, but still picked up another 7 new ones today, such as DC’s Young Justice/ Batman: Brave and the Bold, and the all-ages issues from both Oni Press and Top Shelf, all for my nephew. Free Comic Book Day is such an awesome idea and it’s great to see retailers and publishers embracing it. It’s events like this that get the comic curious in to their nearest comic shop, some perhaps for the first time. Hopefully those newbies will become dedicated comics readers, well on their way to discovering the joys of sequential art. Thankfully, all 3 shops mentioned above are all on Hay Street in Perth, Western Australia and although I went to all of them early this morning, they all had more people in them than I usually see. High fives all round!