Free Comic Book Day is almost here!

(Last year's haul)

We're getting awfully close to the grandest geek holiday of the year: FREE COMIC BOOK DAY!

Are you ready? Are you excited? May 5, 2012! It's the tenth anniversary of the first FCBD! WOO!

But Lindsay, you say, I'm not a comic reader.

Well, you could be. Graphic novels can be had on the cheap, digital comics are on the rise, the indie and small publisher scene is great right now, comics adapted from or spinning out of novel series are still pretty popular, and big-budget movies and stellar animation continue to spread the love for superhero stories.

Is there a place near me participating? 

You can check the widget in the sidebar here: although not all shops participating are in the widget. Or use Google to find your local comic shop and see if they have a website or give them a call to find out about events.

But I don't know anything about comics, and my local shop only gives away one or two free books per customer! What should I get?

Well, here's the official list: 'Gold' books will probably be at all locations, 'Silver' books are more likely not to be carried at small shops. Some shops will also give out local books with smaller print runs, swag like posters or pins, or books from previous years or other back issues if they run out of things from this year.

And here's my advice:

Fans of fantasy, gorgeous art, good storytelling, and/or a great deal:
Get Archaia Mouse Guard Sampler

If you are lucky enough to see this, grab it! Archaia is putting out a FREE HARDCOVER BOOK. A Sampler of NEW PAGES, even! Mouse Guard, Labyrinth (yes, the Henson movie!), and a bunch of other shorts!

Fans of all-ages humor and action: Get Atomic Robo

The Atomic Robo FCBD issues have been awesome and super-fun. Snarky super-science guys!

More good choices:
Top Shelf Kids Club is reliably adorable
DC Nation/Superman Family flipbook might have some fun all ages samples
Buffy/The Guild should be plenty of fun
Infernal Devices: Clockwork Angel looks like an intriguing steampunky setting with manga-style art, from the writer of a YA Urban Fantasy series

Classic reprints up for grabs include Moomin, Donald Duck, Peanuts and Barnaby

Marvel and DC's main FCBD books purport to be intros to what's going on in their respective universes, and the writing will probably be decent, since both companies have their best-selling writers on the job. On the other hand, I usually don't find their pitches to be an effective use of pages on Free Comic Book Day. Try something new, something you've never seen!

Once you're home from the festivities, don't forget to check out a huge free digital sampler from Action Lab Comics (Info here: 200 pages from 11 titles, for FREE. Can't beat that!


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