Holy mountain of comics, Batman!
That’s what Robin would say if he saw the stacks of comic books ready to be handed out for Free Comic Book Day Saturday.
Each year on the first Saturday in May, major publishing companies like Marvel and DC Comics, alongside smaller ones like Dark Horse and Archie, supply independent comic shops across the world with free special edition issues starring some favorite characters.
Crossroads Comics and Games in Oxford is taking part in the industry-wide event, and giving away the Free Comic Book Day limited-run comics to anyone who stops by the store that day.
“It’s going to be a huge day for us,” said owner Kyle Nunn. “We’ve got multiple copies of the free issues and we’ll be having a store-wide sale and Magic: The Gathering tournament. We look forward to it every year.”
As do many comic book fans. Free Comic Book Day comics are the perfect chance for readers and publishers to test the waters with new series and expansions of more mainstream characters. Free special edition issues can also turn into valuable collector’s items over time.
This year’s releases feature some truly big names including “Batman Beyond,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Tick.”
“Free Comic Book Day is always fantastic,” said Anniston comic fan Jamie Smith. “I’m taking my girlfriend this year because she’s been wanting to get into comics. Reading them is kind of a cool thing to do now. She wants the free issues of ‘Hello Kitty’ and ‘Teen Titans Go!’ I’m more looking forward to ‘Transformers vs. G.I. Joe,’ personally.”
According to Deborah Moreland, press agent for Diamond Comics and an avid comic reader, the goal of Free Comic Book Day is attract new fans to the medium as well as to “celebrate independent comic book retailers and their stores,” she said. “It’s going to be a great time for readers both young and old, new and established.”
Since its inception in 2002, Free Comic Book Day has given out more than 27 million free comics to nearly 8 million people. This year alone should see more than 4.6 million comics given away across North America and Europe.
“We love to get new readers in here, and it happens more than it used to,” Nunn said. “Thanks to all the movies and stuff, comics are a lot more accepted than they were even just a few years ago. They’re a part of pop culture now.”
This is the second year Crossroads has participated in Free Comic Book Day.
“We invite everyone to stop by whether they’ve ever read a comic before or not,” added Nunn. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
For more information, including a full list of this year’s releases, go to FreeComicBookDay.com.