Six comic book shops will be joining with thousands of others across the country for the 2017 Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, giving out more than 6 million comic books as part of the annual event.
Free Comic Book Day was started in 2002 as a way for newcomers and comic book fans to discover new titles. Since the inception of Free Comic Book Day, more than 42 million comic books have been given away. There are 50 titles this year, and while shops will carry multiple titles, not all will be available.
Free doesn’t mean every comic book in the shop is up for grabs. The books given away are special printings that feature a wide range of subjects. Some of the comics being distributed this year include “Betty & Veronica,” “Doctor Who,” “Wonder Woman,” “All New Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Buffy High,” “DC Super Hero Girls Summer” and “Underdog.”
Fresno’s newest local comic book shops, Legends Comics and Games at 639 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 173, Fresno (in the outdoor courtyard at Fashion Fair Mall) and at the Sierra Vista Mall, 1260 Shaw, No. 115 in Clovis, are planning raffles and special sales to go along with the free comics.
The Fashion Fair store opens at 10 a.m. while the Sierra Vista Mall store opens at 11 a.m. Both will close at 9 p.m.
Dave Allread, owner of Heroes Comics at 110 E. Shaw Ave. in Fresno, has 3,000 free comics to be handed out. He expects the most popular will be the “Wonder Woman,” “DC Super Hero Girls Summer” and “Secret Empire” titles. “Secret Empire” is a Captain America story.
“We will also have a ‘Walking Dead’ comic that isn’t part of the 50 tiles being released but we will have it exclusively at our store,” Allread says.
The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with special events planned, such as an appearance by local comic artist Derek Fridolfs.
Free Comic Book Day was started as a way to promote the medium to new customers and to celebrate independent comic book retailers and their stores. It’s one of the largest contributing factors to the sales of print comic books over the past five years.
You can find a list of the Free Comic Book Day comics and find participating comic shops at http://www.freecomicbookday.com/
For 13 of the previous 15 Free Comic Book Days, the event has coincided with the launch of the summer movie season featuring a comic-book-inspired film. That trend continues this year with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Last year it was “Captain America: Civil War” and previous events have been on the same weekend as the openings of “Avengers: Age of Ultron, “ “The Amazing Spider-Man 2, “ “X2, “ “Iron Man” and “Thor.”
Free comics are available while supplies last. Local dealers suggest arriving early.
Free Comic Book Day
Participating shops outside Fresno
- Collector’s Choice (1500 S. Mooney Blvd., Visalia): Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Raffles, door prizes and grab bags are planned plus an appearance by a comic book artist.
- DJ’s Collectible Shoppe (214 N. Irwin St., Hanford): Open 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. A block party is planned that will include local bands, artists and authors. Look for special sales on comics.
- Red Sky Comics (617 W. Main St. in Merced): Open 11 a.m. -7 p.m. Special sales are planned.