Friday, April 30, 2010

USA Today: Free Comic Book Day arrives at local comic shops

The first Saturday in May is always a wonderful time of year if you're a comic book fan. That particular day marks the annual Free Comic Book Day, in which comic book shops give away select free comics to anyone who comes into their stores.

The annual event, which began in 2001, has grown tremendously over the years — both in terms of the amount of titles available and the popularity of the program. Publishers produce special titles just for this day as a means of attracting new readers. The stories are usually brief and serve as preludes or previews for upcoming releases.

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day 2010. Readers are encouraged to take a trip to their local comic book shop and take a peek at some of the tremendous work that's being produced these days. After all, it's the one day of the year when, even if you choose not to buy a book, you won't leave the shop empty-handed.

For a look at 33 of the comic books involved in this year's Free Comic Book Day, and to find a participating comic book shop that you can visit in your area tomorrow, click here to go to the official Free Comic Book Day website.

USA TODAY contacted many of the creators who have titles available for this year's Free Comic Book Day. The creators were asked about the first comic book they can remember buying, why the day is important for potential new readers and for the industry, and for a brief description of the books that they created for this annual event.

Filip Sablik (Publisher, Top Cow Productions)

I'm sure [my first comic book] was an Archie or Mickey Mouse or something like that, but the first comic that burned itself into my retinas was Uncanny X-Men #268 by Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, & Scott Williams. Wolverine, Captain America, and Black Widow kicking butt during World War 2 and the present was magical. I think that was the comic that sucked me into collecting.

Who doesn't love free stuff? It gives new readers a chance to discover this wonderful art form of ours and gives existing fans a chance to explore titles and publishers they may have never tried.

It gives publishers a chance to promote exciting new projects and their favorite evergreen characters in a big way. For retailers, it's a built-in community building, business expanding event that happens every year with national publicity. It's also a chance to show the public that comics are more than superheroes, more than kids' fare, and why all of entertainment seems to be fueled by comics these days.

Artifacts#0 launches our most ambitious and epic event series to date. In the Top Cow Universe, there are 13 mystical, ancient Artifacts, which influence the fate of mankind. Individually they are incredibly powerful and include among their number — the Witchblade, The Darkness, The Angelus, Magdalena's Spear of Destiny, and 9 other items. Together they have the ability to destroy the world. With issue #0, a hidden adversary moves to take control of all 13 Artifacts and forever change the Top Cow Universe. It's written by Ron Marz with art by a series of stellar art teams including Stjepan Sejic in the zero issue.

I'm incredibly excited because in my mind this is the kind of epic, world changing story that comics do better than any other medium. This is the type of comic I've wanted to be a part of since I was a teenager reading Crisis on Infinite Earths.

To see what the rest had to say, go here.

Source: USA Today

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