Every year for the last several I've spent this day, the first Saturday in May, Free Comic Book Day, running about the greater Grand Rapids area and some of Muskegon, MI buying up comics, grabbing free comics, chatting with folks in all types of costumes, and enjoying the heck out of being a comic book geek. It feels like a day when everyone else notices my hobby and nods a "Right on!" in my direction. It's like a full moon to a werewolf or a low tide for sea phantoms or maybe something perfect-like for things a little less creepy. Basically, it's the perfect day for GEEKING OUT!
This year I was unable to accept an opportunity to present my comic work and do sketches at Lange's Sports Connection in Muskegon, MI due to my wife's recent trip to the hospital and her ongoing need for care. So instead I wandered about town, staying as close to home as possible (except just once), so that I could find me some free comics and support my favorite local stores. I greatly miss visiting Lange's, never mind that it would have been cool to get the exposure and meet folks who might want to read my work (to Todd Lange, the owner, I am extremely grateful for the invitation), but at least I was able to take part in the funsplosion that is FCBD in some way.
After visiting local Grand Rapids, MI shops like Apparitions Comics, Argos Books, Tardy's Collector's Corner, and going a little ways away from town to Lowell, MI for Rookies Comics, I was able to find all the books I wanted and a few extra to try on for size. David Petersen's Mouse Guard was one of my priority books along with the 2000AD offering, but it seems that us 2000AD fans are unlucky in the town of GR because unfortunately no one ordered the title (BOO!). The rest of the books, especially the Kaboom issue (ADVENTURE TIME!!!), were terrific, though. Honestly, my feeling is that this year and last were the best FCBDs so far, and hopefully this day and the publishers involved will just keep getting bigger and bigger and adding more and more quality material for all the goodly four-color fans around the globe.
Here's to a future where Free Comic Book Day is a more widely recognized and strictly honored worldwide holiday (I'm talking calendar recognition). Free comics for all and to all good times!
For more information on Free Comic Book Day, please visit this link: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/992
Also, May the 4th Be With You, to all of my fellow Star Wars fans. Now I'm off to watch Empire Strikes Back and plan my WEG Star Wars RPG adventure.